Another season has flown by in a blink of an eye so we're now officially closed for 2017. Once again, I'd like to thank all of our customers (new and old!) for their support this year. Whilst the gates are closed here's a quick overview of what we've got planned in the coming months. We expect to re-open in Feb/March '18. We'll keep you updated as soon as a date has been confirmed so keep your eyes out on Facebook.
Surprisingly, Winter is one of the most exciting times for us at the fishery despite the lack of fishing. After much planning we can finally commence our winter maintenance work which is particularly extensive this year.
We have already started refurbishment of swims on the Doughnut lake and hope to complete construction within the next few weeks. We also hope to install a footpath (similar to the Top Lake) on the Doughnut at a later date to ensure all weather access. This will be on the widest bank closest to the Top Lake only. Once this is completed we will move our attention to the S lake where all current swims will be removed and 10 newly constructed swims will be installed. Over the last few years we have been removing swims to create a more enjoyable experience with less angling pressure. Originally the S lake had 24 swims when it was first constructed as a match lake so this will make a vast improvement once completed.
As always, Winter is the time of year when we turn our attention to stocking. Fish should only be moved during the coldest months (Oct-Mar) to ensure minimal stress as oxygen levels are highest in cold water. We currently have stock reserved with Priory Fisheries Ltd, a fish farm based in Devon. We have over 700lbs of C2 Carp (1lb) and 1000 6-8" Bream arriving in December, destined for our Match Lake and the recently refurbished Float Pond.
A prime example of Priory Fisheries Carp stocked into the Doughnut Oct '16
The newly opened Float pond has proved very popular with anglers this year. Prior to opening, the pond had been somewhat neglected over the years and was incredibly weedy. With visitors quickly falling in love with this little pond we decided to commence a complete refurbishment of the pond ensuring the lake is better suited to anglers fishing it. The pond had been struggling with a leak for several years so fortunately we were also able to locate the leak and repair it. Now the pond is finished, our aim is to utilise it as a growing on facility for our smallest fish and juveniles for future stocking across the complex.
Another exciting job this winter will be a fishery wide netting survey. With the help of Andrew Ellis from AE Fisheries, all lakes will be netted to better understand our current fish stocks. We will be relocating stock to ensure each lake is best suited to the anglers who fish them. In simple terms, the stock in each lake will be adjusted as follows:
- Float Pond - All stock under 2lbs
- Top Lake - Carp, Tench & Bream under 10lbs
- Doughnut Lake - Carp 10-20lbs
- S Lake - Carp 15-30lb+
- Barrow Lake - Wels Catfish
Netting the Top Lake Winter '16
Netting is a crucial aspect of sustainable fishery management. By monitoring stock density we can ensure that each lake is heathy and never overstocked. Overstocking is common place in many fisheries today but at a significant cost to fish welfare. Fish kills are often the result of overstocking; stress, lack of oxygen and disease are all consequences of overstocking so this is an avenue we will never consider. Our priority will always remain to the stock we are responsible for.
As always we will complete list of odd jobs longer than my arm across the complex. We will be installing predator nets, constructing fish refuges, cutting reeds and removing snags as always (just to name a few!).
We want every year to be the best year yet for our anglers, the work never ends but as they say the proof is in pudding. I've got the added bonus of getting married next week so it's sure to be a hectic couple of months! I look forward to catching up with you all next year on the bank!