The committee want to update members on what’s been going on behind the scenes regarding Spinnaker Fishery.

The gradual degradation that has occurred over several years is well known as are the difficulties we face with the venue having in the past been a backup water supply source and its designation as an SSSI, an area of natural interest for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, English Nature and the E.A.

Discussions over the current use and changes we would like to see are conducted with our landlord Wessex Water who in turn act on our behalf as liaison with the other agencies who have an interest and have to approve any change of use. These discussions have been going on for a considerable time. We realise it might be seen as an excuse and sign that the club have little interest in developing and bringing this fishery back to its former glory but that is definitely not the case. We began to be getting somewhere when the lock down occurred and meetings were then put on hold. They have now restarted and we have had good progress on some points, others are still under discussion.

The club’s objective for Spinnaker is to return it once again to a Specimen fishery. This would involve a limited stocking of Carp to re-establish a viable population of specimen size Carp, Tench and Pike, with an established population of silvers.

As we publish this update some agreements have yet to be finalised, one of which is key to the development of the lake. The following is an outline of what has been discussed and what progress has been made, or the current position, if they are still in progress. Our intention once we have all the agreements in place is to consult a sub group of fishery regulars to have input to the future works and draw up a development plan. Some members have already put themselves forward, and we are grateful for your offer of support, once we are able to convene the inaugural meetings we will invite people to join the group. To be manageable the core group who would meet regularly needs to be limited in number, but will be asked to gather input from all members who wish to contribute.

Sailing Club Discussions

Following consultation with the new Commodore:

– We cannot have permission to establish a fishing swim within the sailing club grounds. We also asked for permission to site a portable toilet within the sailing club foreshore. The sailing club are not keen to allow this, but if our objective to have one placed within the Ivy lake car park is refused they may reconsider.

– We can purchase a club boat and use the moorings within the sailing club. The club will pay a mooring fee to use the southerly dock.

– We can establish markers on our fishing swims that can be identified easily from the water.

We have agreed that they will reinstall the fencing that enters the water at the swim immediately next to the sailing club.

We have agreed that we also now have an option to allow bait boats if we want to. This is a hot topic so we stress this is just an option to allow the club flexibility going forward. Something for the sub group to debate.

All the above subject to a 12 month trial.

Wessex Water agreement to the above was subject to us getting agreement from the Sailing Club.

The sailing club have also asked to move buoys F and G further into the lake.  One of the committee will liaise with the sailing club when the change will take place.

Wessex Water

Continuing the discussion before lockdown we have asked:

– Permission to stock fish. These may either be transferred from linked waters adjacent to Spinnaker or commercial certified stock. We have had a positive response following the latest meeting but this is still very much under debate. Not yet agreed. This topic is key to the future development of the fishery.

– Agreement to conduct groundworks to clear snags and overgrown shrubs and trees and repair swims. To also re-establish swims that may have been abandoned through health and safely concerns or have become overgrown. Agreed. This includes repairs to fencing but not otter proof fencing as you would recognise.

= Position a portable toilet adjacent to the Snails Lane parking. Not yet agreed. There is concern about this area being too close to the lake in case of spillage. We are surveying for an acceptable location.

We have also asked to install one within the Ivy lake car park.

Allow members dogs. Not yet agreed, but we think we can revisit this in a few months as the other works are completed.

On a general point weed control and harvesting is still under discussion, particularly with the sailing club and we are invited to take part in any discussion going forward. It is very unlikely there will be any activity this year other than the collection and removal off site of floating weed as happened last year.

General Wildlife Safety

One final point, you will remember we had incidents last year with wildlife getting entangled in discarded fishing line, mainly where rigs had been lost (either due to break offs or being cut by boat users) and we agreed to review our fishing practices to help eliminate this issue, together with sailing club help to educate sailors and motor boat drivers about their behaviour.

We have agreed with both the sailing club and Wessex we can erect signage to remind about a “code of conduct” for all lake users.

This subject will be a key part of the sub group discussion once it gets going.

We know we cannot answer everyone’s questions and concerns about the steps the club is taking at this stage, we do hope the above reassures you we do care about the fishery and will bring it back to its former glory with the support of our landlord and club members.

If you have any specific questions please do email them in and we will do our best to answer or if there are points to be discussed further we can contact you.

The Committee