On December 9th-11th we will be doing some netting and moving fish around as part of our development plans for some of our still waters. Plans for 3 of these are below.
Hucklesbrook: The lake will be netted to assess stock levels and remove a number of the smaller, common carp present. These fish will be transferred to Waddock. No further fish are scheduled to be stocked at this time, by reducing some of the biomass present it will allow the bigger carp, tench and roach to continue their high growth rates. There is still a cormorant issue at the water, accentuated by the shooting suspension in place due to the current avian flu outbreak. This makes the silverfish population present a bit of an unknown – and also means stocking roach at this time is a large risk. The aim remains for Hucklesbrook to be a caro, tench and roach venue so stocking of the latter two species will recommence once we can ensure the protection of these species.
Wedgehill: Wedgehill Top Pond will be completed in early December. This will have almost doubled in size since prior to the works, has been de-silted and had substantial bank works completed. This new, larger pond will hold larger carp and be stocked with tench becoming a stepping stone water between the commercial style Middle Pond and specimen carp lakes. The Middle Pond will be netted in early December with the larger carp transferred to the Top Pond. Sooner silvers will be moved to the Bottom Pond. If a severe excess of carp are present they will be transferred to Waddock to ensure levels remain healthy and sustainable.
Waddock: The predator fencing was a huge undertaking but has secured the site, ready for further work. 200 tench were stocked into Lake 6 and more will be introduced this winter. Lake 7 will receive the majority of the carp transferred from Hucklesbrook and Wedgehill. This is being opened up and swims created to make it a mixed fishery holding carp, tench and silvers. A £15k grant from the Fishery Improvement Fund will allow work on this lake to be completed by the Spring. Lakes 2 & 4 will receive the larger fish transferred from Hucklesbrook. The carp already present in Waddock have grown 3-6lb over the the past year so show fantastic potential for the future. Lake 1 has been earmarked as a new trout lake, with work planned to ensure the banks are suitable for fly-casting prior to rainbow trout being stocked as a rival venue to Whitesheet, fishable on the same basis as this currently is. Again, cormorant predation is a big issue here so no silverfish or smaller tench are currently on order. This will change as soon as we can protect the investment we have earmarked (via the reinstatement of shooting licences) to create a truly mixed venue catering for all fishing styles. The Frome here is proving to be every bit as good as hoped, with phenomenal grayling fishing currently being enjoyed.
Holtwood: Again, cormorants are a big problem. All three pools were emptied and cleared of the parrot feather weed that caused such issues over the past couple of years and a stock pond created to breed and grow our own fish on site. The original crucian were found to be stunted following EA testing, the dye we had originally been advised to use to restrict the invasive weed growth thought to be the root cause in also prohibiting natural, marginal weed growth and the wealth of invertebrate that form the building blocks of the food chain. This is no longer in use. The top pool was restocked with small roach, the remaining crucian and some tench. The bottom pool was far healthier with a good head of tench present along with crucian, roach and perch. The middle pond needed major re-thinking. In this, we stocked a number of roach, ide and small mirror carp – chosen for 2 man in reasons:
– to provide some fun fishing during the winter to hopefully get some footfall to the direction deter cormorants over the winter months
– their aggressive bottom feeding will severely limit the re-emergence of parrot feather weed that choked this pool previously.
Any carp caught in either the top or bottom pools should be placed into the middle pool. We will be managing stocks in each pool much more closely to try to develop the crucian and tench complex we originally envisaged.
Spinnaker: swim works are still in the pipeline with some funding recently obtained to complete these. The nature of these will be very much like swim 1 was repaired. The club car park is stainless awaiting improvement works by Wessex Water and is hoped to be completed in the not too distant future. Paths have all been improved to improve access for anglers and barrows. The club is still ‘negotiating’ with NE to complete the second stocking of 50 carp agreed two years ago. The 50 stocked in the winter of 2021 have put on an average of 8-10lb to become beautiful, mid-20 fish. It is hoped that next year they will start topping the 30lb mark.
The club has ring-fenced a large amount of capital to compliment stock levels, as required, once nettings have been completed, requirements established and protection measures can be put back in place.