--MANDATORY NOTE TO ALL ANGLERS--
Due to a local outbreak of K.H.V. no keepnets to be used on any waters. Dip nets are in place on all stillwaters. Nets, mats and slings MUST be dipped (FULLY immersed) for a minimum of 15 minutes.
First of all many thanks for your positive comments regarding our first newsletter. We'll try and keep up the good work,
Site safety . It is the committees intention to provide fisheries in which our anglers can pursue their hobby in safety . Members will recognize however that the bailiff can only stretch himself so far when it comes to site inspections and it is quite feasible that naturally occuring hazards may arise which neither the bailiff or your committee will be aware off . Every angler has a duty of care to him / herself and I would ask that where problems arise , such as banks washing out , fishing platforms deteriorating etc .that you notify Jo at the office so that such problems can be dealt with as soon as is possible.
New Key System. With some 8000 keys in circulation , many in the hands of non-members ,and with replacement keys of the same pattern no longer available the committee has decided to replace all the locks on our fisheries . Some 20 locks and 3000 secured keys have been purchased at a cost in the region of £13K . It is anticipated that this cost will be recouped over the next few years as the new keys are “sold “. The new locks will be installed at the beginning of April this year but new keys will be available prior to this as soon as they are delivered to H/Q , for a £15.00 deposit The older pattern keys can be returned at your convenience and £5.00 will be refunded to you.
Fishing Platforms at Fordwich on the Stour . Agreement has now been reached with the Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership as to the style and positioning of the new fishing platforms .Five platforms including one disabled platform have been completed and it is hoped that the remaining platforms will be installed by the end of March with the help of a grant of £2250.00 .
Fish Stocking . The river has received a substantial stocking of fish courtesy of the Environment Agency as the result of an application made to them by The Association .Particular thanks are due to George Howson for his invaluable input . In total some 10,000 fish have stocked to Fordwich , Plucks Gutter & Grove Fery including Chub (4000 ) , Dace (360 ), skimmers (100) and 5000 Roach .
Vauxhall lakes . Your committee , particularly Terry Hardman , have been very pro-active in trying to ensure a future for these lakes which involves The Association . The site is proving to be quite sensitive and it seems that the way forward may well involve the formation of both a fishery and an educational facility . Should discussions ever reach that stage it should be recognized that there is a huge amount of work involved in bringing the site to readiness although grant aid may be available . In the short term there can be no further progress in our discussions until 2019 as for safety reasons the site is to be closed while the National Grid install new power lines .
Beavers and Otters . With the re-introduction of Beavers into the Stour Valley this has created new problems for our fisheries . Concerns have also been raised regarding the possible presence of otters although to date we have received no reports of their having been been spotted on our fishery Beavers at least only damage trees . Otters are fish killers and can do extensive damage to the fisheries . The committee is investigating what control measures could be put in place but given Fordwichs' status as both a RAMSAR and an SSSI controls are problematical. Otter fencing is one option but with costs likely to be in the region of £100k to protect the whole of the Fordwich fishery this is not a project to be undertaken in haste . Members can assist the committee in gauging the extent of the problem by registering with the bailiff or with Jo at the office all sightings of beavers and otters or evidence of the damage caused by either of these species.
Keep net ban is still on. Members must continue to observe the need to dip and dry their own nets on every occasion .
Office opening hours. Please note that as a trial and for the convenience of members the office will be open from 9am to 1.00 pm on the first two Saturdays in April ie. the 7th. and 14th
Your committee is quite good at getting things done but ,( so we are told ), doesn’t always keep the members “ in the loop “.
This newsletter seeks to address that shortcoming and will , we hope , become a regular feature.
Grove Lake .Now lost to the membership as the owner has decided to “ do his own thing “ .We did try to renegotiate our lease but were only successful in agreeing with him that the Association would get first refusal if he did change his mind. The Tench we stocked into Grove are to be netted and moved to our other lakes.
Pump house Lake .The committee were unanimous in their decision that fishing on Pumphouse would be limited to “float only “ as the fish were being badly damaged by the use of heavy tackle and oversized leads .It was also felt that the use of the new , heavy controller floats which act as bolt-rigs was contrary to the welfare of the fish and the bailiffs have been asked to discourage members from using them . Pike Fishing .The season is now upon us though the current warm water conditions can be detrimental to the welfare of the fish as they fight much harder in these conditions .
Pike are not as hardy as their appearance would suggest and they demand care and attention both in the water and on the bank. One of the main criteria is to use an indicator system that alerts you as soon as the pike picks up the bait and. Be aware that pike feed differently on different waters and on different days . It is always better to strike too soon than risk a gut-hooked fish .
The Fordwich Complex . Flooding of the lakes and the loss of fish to the river has been a problem for many years and the stock fencing along the lower bank at Fordwich has gone some way to reducing fish losses from this lake.
With the increasing frequency of such flooding and the committee’s wish to improve the fishing on Stour and Trenley lakes it was decided to install a large bund at the top end of Trenley at a cost in the region of £14K .This has been successfully installed with a major input of time from Roger Stanger , John Sturge and Keith Heckley .
Stour lake . The committee have recognised that Stour lake in particular has not been fished on a regular basis mainly because of the weed problem . This has been dealt with by the application of blue-green dye.
It has also been agreed that the lake should be made available for carp angling throughout the season and to this end the lake has been stocked with both small “ grow-on “carp and larger target fish .
At a cost in the region of £7k , 22 carp between 14 to 17 1/2lb and 10 fish from 4-5 lbs were stocked into Stour and 20 of the smaller fish into Fordwich . All the fish selected were from a fast growing strain.
KHV / Fish herpes / Keepnet ban .Anglers will be aware that one of the waters close to us has been confirmed as having KHV although the Owner of the venue is still allowing his anglers to fish the lake . The Association has met with the E.A and CEFAS with a view to determining whether such infected venues can be forced to close until the disease can be eradicated .It appears that no such powers exist !!
It is therefore imperative that our anglers maintain the highest standards of hygiene until the threat of infection in our waters has passed .To this end a total keepnet ban is in force and dip tanks have been installed on all our lakes .Anglers are also reminded that all landing nets , weigh slings and un-hooking mats should be air dried between uses .
The Association has purchased some 20 keepnets and landing nets for use in matches and their use and cleanliness will be controlled by Jon Weir .
River Stour .We are currently negotiating with English Nature and the EA . To be allowed to install fishing platforms , including a disabled swim , along the Fordwich straight . Grant aid may be available to offset some of the costs .
TIGHT LINES .