--MANDATORY NOTE TO ALL ANGLERS--
Due to a local outbreak of K.H.V. no keepnets to be used on any still waters. Dip tanks are in place on all stillwaters. Nets, mats and slings MUST be dipped (FULLY immersed) for a minimum of 15 minutes. Keep nets are allowed on the River Stour (only) from the start of the river season.
The Association has a new Assistant bailiff.
Jon Glaiser has been appointed to the post and takes up his duties on January 4th.
Initially Jon “G” will be working very closely with Jon Weir as he finds his way round the fisheries and the Association’s customs and practises.
In order to support natural regeneration of our fish stocks the following carp have been stocked into Stour and Fordwich lakes at a cost of circa £7000.00.
The fish were all mirror carp with the exception of 1 common .The weights are imperial.
Stour lake :-14—17—14 3/4—20—18—16—15 ¾--17 ¾--18 ¾ (common )—18.
Fordwich lake :-14—18 ¼--15—16 ¼--16—18 ¾--16 ¼--16—18 ¾--19.
Assistance in the office - Membership renewals.
The committee have been reviewing the way in which we deal with the workload generated by some 1600 anglers all wishing to renew their memberships within a relatively short period of time.
In the short term we will have to rely on part time secretarial help in the office during the busy period which may be over a 6-month period.
Finding the right person to assist us is of paramount importance .To this end I invite any member , or anyone known to that member , who has had secretarial experience and would like to come and work with us on a part time basis to contact Joanne in the office and leave their details .We will call you back asap.
Minster lakes – Volunteers.
The two Jon / Johns (soon to be three) are stockpiling materials ready to commence making good the swims and the accesses to them .At the same time arrangements are in hand to convert Jade lake to a silver fishery.
All this, together with the re-building of swims at Grove Ferry and other outstanding projects, requires a great deal of labour which is why the Association’s volunteer labour force is so important .If you feel you would be able to give a few hours towards improving your fisheries please contact Jon Weir or the office and let them know you are available to assist.
Fishing the Northbank @ Grove Ferry Boat Club.
We have received a disproportionate number of complaints about the activities of our members in the five weeks since the season started @ Grove Ferry on the1st.October. These complaints have encompassed such activities as fishing from un-numbered platforms , launching of kayaks from the GFBC slipway and fishing with non members.
By far the most serious incident occurred in late October when one of our members chose to foul the site leaving his waste and soiled tissues on GFBC land. This disgusting behaviour will not be tolerated and any member found to have fouled the site will receive a lengthy ban.
Members need to be aware that all the Associations rules and by-laws apply to this site together with site specific rules as follows :-
Access to the North bank is via two electric gates which can only be operated if the combinations to the locks are known .The relevant combinations are passed to Jo in the office by the GFBC in late September.
Fishing is from numbered platforms only. Anglers may not access un-numbered platforms or pontoons.
All anglers’ cars must be parked at the far end of the site by the outfall. Cars must be kept well clear of the slipway and the slipway access where boats may need to be turned and reversed.
The slipway is out of bounds to anglers and boats, other than those of GFBC members, must not be brought onto the North bank.
October 1st. will soon be upon us and with it comes the official start of the pike fishing season on CDAA waters.
This will sound like heresy to some but should we not be considering the long term damage to the fish before deciding when to start pike fishing.
As the summers get longer and hotter so the river and lakes stay warmer for longer.
Pike fight much harder in warm conditions and become much more stressed leading to damage to the fish or its death.
With this in mind you may like to consider delaying the start of your pike fishing season until water temperatures fall.
If you are just starting pike fishing you should go with someone who can show you how to handle a pike with a mouthful of teeth and treble hooks.
Bye Law 12(b) states “It is the responsibility of members to see that there is no litter in the swim in which they are fishing“
This means all litter whether your own or litter left by other anglers.
We do not insist anglers to pick up others human waste or soiled toilet tissue, (although any help in this direction would be much appreciated) but in all such instances you must advise the office or the bailiff as soon as you become aware that the site has been fouled, that way you don’t get the blame.
KHV, Carp herpes.
A further outbreak of this deadly disease has recently been identified by the FHI (Fish Health inspectorate ) within our catchment area.
This makes it even more imperative that all anglers follow the rules set out by committee to stop the introduction of this virus into our stillwaters where it could lead to a total fish kill.
There are no if’s or but’s about this, All nets, slings, unhooking mats etc must be dipped for 15mins minimum before being taken to the bankside. Even if your nets etc. have been air dried they must be dipped.
15 mins. is the minimum period recommended by the Environment Agency.
Pike fishing. Recently spotted a number of lure anglers starting their day on the river at Fordwich with un-dipped nets etc.(So far so good ) .Later spotted the same lure anglers fishing on Trenley having worked their way down the river and into the top end of Trenley ( not so good ).If you are moving from the river to the lakes YOU MUST DIP YOUR TACKLE ,Why not do it before you set off down the river? Additional dip tank installed by Fordwich toilet for your benefit .
Westbere car park. Your committee is still investigating the disposal of Westbere car park . The Estates and Acquisition sub-committee is overseeing the project with additional professional input being engaged where it is seen to be beneficial to do so.
Grove Ferry swims. Having been held up by the activities of KCC and Canoe Wild on the picnic site Jon Weir has started re-instating the majority of the swims.( work party volunteers urgently required ).
The four swims which KCC repaired are still in need of attention to make them safe and usable .The difficulty is proving to be getting KCC back on site to complete the works to which they have already committed themselves .Anglers should take care before committing to the slippery slopes !!!
Rats at Stonar. There has been a marked increase in the population of rats at Stonar and the committee has agreed to the installation of semi permanent rat baiting points around the lake .The boxes are clearly marked as to their purpose and should not be touched .
Wiels disease is spread by rats and is a very serious disease .If however you follow the cleaning routines recommended to combat covid 19 this should not be a problem .
Covid 19. Although there is light at the end of the tunnel Covid 19 is still with us and is still responsible for the demise of large numbers of individuals . It will continue to be a threat to us all for the foreseeable future . The current schedule of Covid related restrictions on our fisheries are the minimum required by the government and must be adhered to. We could still loose the right to fish if it is thought by the powers that be that the existing rules are being ignored .
Jock White. I think we were all saddened and surprised by the death of Jock ; he seemed to be indestructible .
Very many of you have suggested that we should seek to remember Jock on his favourite swim at Stonar and to this end “The Bunker “ is to be renamed “Jock’s Bunker” and a memorial seat is to be installed .
It is also planned to organise a memorial fishing competition on Stonar sometime in August with all proceeds going to the charity that Jock supported . the NSPCC.The staging of this event is still subject to the vagaries of Covid 19.
Membership fees 2021 / 2022. Your committee have agreed that there are to be no increases in fees in the coming year .
Conversely they have also agreed that there are to be no refunds of fees already paid for the 2020 – 2021 season.
I would remind those anglers ( few in number )who have sought refunds that our fisheries have been open for most of the season except when the government have dictated otherwise .The Association provides very good angling for a very low fee and our expenses continue to increase year on year .
Boats in the meadow at HQ. There are a number of boats stored in the meadow behind HQ. Some belong to the Association , most do not .The committee have agreed that as of April 1st.all privately owned boats will be charged a rental fee of £50.00 each quarter ,payable 1 quarter in advance .
Where the ownership of a boat cannot be established that boat will be disposed of to cover the Association’s costs .
No fuel is to be stored on site by the private owners .
To keep (net ) , or not to keep (net )? That was the question posed at the AGM. The vote went in favour of retaining the use of keep nets.
The current situation is thus:- Keep nets may be used without restriction on the river (subject to season ). They may not be used at Littlebourne and Minster (no change).
At the Fordwich complex and at Stonar the use of members own keep nets is forbidden while the risk of KHV persists.
At Stonar members may use one of the 10 sets of nets kept for use ONLY AT STONAR (Larger landing nets are on order).
When matches are held on our lakes competitors will be provided by the Association with keep nets which Jon Weir will maintain in a safe condtion.
Dipping of nets etc. Current emergency rules require all anglers to dip nets, unhooking mats, slings etc prior to fishing, but the committee is aware that a small number of members feel that these rules do not apply to them.
This is an incredibly selfish attitude to adopt which puts the future of our fisheries in jeopardy and is to the detriment of all other anglers.
Where anglers refuse / fail to dip their nets etc the committee is prepared to ban such anglers for life, such is felt to be the severity of these individual’s inactions.
Matters raised at the AGM. Members raised number of points which will be considered by the committee at its next meeting, these points include the provision of parking / drop-off points, closer to Stour and Trenley and the extension of the Stonar net scheme to the Fordwich complex.
The provision of otter fencing was widely discussed and members were bought up to date with the Committee’s progress to date and the next steps to be followed ie. seeking the opinion of our landlords on the erection of fencing on their land, while we continue to monitor for the presence of otters.
15 new platforms on the Fordwich straight and down to the trout pool were all completed on time thanks to Jon and his volunteers. The grant we were promised to help offset our costs has been applied for. These new swims will provide some fabulous autumn / winter fishing .
Tackle boot fair will be held at Stonar lake on 1st July from 10am to 2pm. Parking will be adjacent to Jock’s sheds and members will be asked to pay a stalling out fee of £5.00 per car (bring your own tables) with all proceeds going to The Pilgrims Hospices.
Please restrict your sales to angling or angling related items. No knives or firearms of any kind.
Ron Meares will be on site and has offered to try and value for you any vintage angling items you may wish to bring along.
Committee membership. Two of our anglers had put their names forward for the role of committee members. As their nominations were not seconded they were not eligible to have their names put forward at the recent AGM. However rather than loose such enthusiasm the Committee have asked that they consider becoming co-opted Committee members with a view to seeking nominations at next year’s AGM. Roger Stanger has also agreed to join the Committee, initially as a co-opted member.
Guide notes on the safe use of keepnets .
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