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7daysinaweek

WHERE HAVE ALL OUR FISHES GONE?

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    Our small fly fishing syndicate on our stocked lake has been suffering somewhat the last 12 months from weed problems and some poor fish with infection. Also have a burgeoning amount of non target species such as perch. We had a day in July in which we had a big weed clear out with the boat and the big rake which is attached to it. We noticed some huge weed beds and most of the lake had become un-fishable due to diminished depth.There has been a huge increase on the amount of weed from the previous year. Some members had noted some of the tiger trout and rainbows had leeches on them when caught and these being a source of infection after latching onto fish.

     

    Our chairman spoke to a man very much in the know about such matters, he said diminished flow, over weed and over abundance of food can lead to fish becoming lazy and among other things the leaches can get on them. As the lake was last drained approx eight years ago we decided on the advice to drain the lake and have a bit of a clean out.

     

    So last week saw the E.A do a netting for us, surprisingly they only netted one trout and a couple of jack pike, also a large pike that i am told jumped out of the net on the last drag so was not successfully removed, they also removed several hundred perch. The lake took approx 3-4 days to drain, i was not there for the netting as it is a 100 mile round trip for me though i do get over there several times a year.

     

    I went over last week and we made a huge effort to clear as much weed as possible, fallen branches etc, it was bleddy hard going and i sank many times up to me knees in the 18-20 inches of silt in most of the lake, i only stopped sinking when i got down to the puddle clay, i had me trusty cane with me for checked the depth. We cleared out the inlet ditch with the machine and removed approx 70-80 tons to of silt which took the whole day. We dredged the pools with a fine net and removed a further few hundred perch and non target fish which were liberated to another pond. I caught loads by hand and was a bit wild at times.

     

    The sheer amount of natural food in the lake bed was staggering almost a carpet of snails among lots of insects. We are now deciding the next step, ideally we would benefit from removal of all of most of the silt as is has effected the levels in the lake. Either way it will be restocked with rainbows.

    We have been scratching our heads as to where the fish have gone as has been stocked each year not overly stocked nor overly fished, members have caught some nice fish up until a couple of months ago.

     

    Me mate trapped a mink on the inlet ditch last month and still signs of them about which is an ongoing management, would they have such an impact on the fish?

     

    atb

    7diaw

     

     

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    sorry can't help I don't fish but an interesting read about something a bit different than the normal posts.

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    hello, i belong to a club with 2 lakes stream fed, this year due to the hot weather we lost 200 rainbows, this year we put up CCTV, as last year we lost 200 from predators of the human kind

     

    Hi opp

     

    This did cross our mind as there was talk of someone local selling said fish of the rainbow type in one of the local pubs and possibly from our lake being the only one around. All the rest of the chaps in the club are local and are trying to establish if this has been the case in relation to our lake. A couple of the club members walk it every evening and no one has reported any suspicious activity and the owner of the land house overlooks the lake.

     

    May be a thing for us to put a couple of trail cams up, would be difficult though as trees only on one side of the lake.

     

    atb

    7diaw

     

    atb

    7diaw

    Edited by 7daysinaweek

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    I use to fish s carp lake, an old estate lake.Same thing happened after the lake flooded due to very heavy rain.we also removed alot of silver fish and bream.I think the flood washed nutritionts into the lake causing the increased weed and also the removal of the silver fish and bream had an affect. Possible clearer water as a result of less fish.The increased weed gave the fish plenty of places to hide and plenty of natural food. It was impossible to fish dispite attempting to remove the weed.it settled down after 3 years!

    I use to fish s carp lake, an old estate lake.Same thing happened after the lake flooded due to very heavy rain.we also removed alot of silver fish and bream.I think the flood washed nutritionts into the lake causing the increased weed and also the removal of the silver fish and bream had an affect. Possible clearer water as a result of less fish.The increased weed gave the fish plenty of places to hide and plenty of natural food. It was impossible to fish dispite attempting to remove the weed.it settled down after 3 years!

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    You either have human poachers or cormorants and herons.

     

    I hope all the work with clearing the silt and debris sorts out some of the problems.

     

    We are very lucky as our lake has a 9 foot fence topped with barbed wire and armed guards so we do not suffer from the human problem!

     

    Good luck, please keep us updated.

    Edited by TIGHTCHOKE

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    Hi opp

     

    This did cross our mind as there was talk of someone local selling said fish of the rainbow type in one of the local pubs and possibly from our lake being the only one around. All the rest of the chaps in the club are local and are trying to establish if this has been the case in relation to our lake. A couple of the club members walk it every evening and no one has reported any suspicious activity and the owner of the land house overlooks the lake.

     

    May be a thing for us to put a couple of trail cams up, would be difficult though as trees only on one side of the lake.

     

    atb

    7diaw

     

    atb

    7diaw

    hello, well someone from the club had a check around certain food outlets and found one selling rainbow trout, this has been going on for years from carp lakes to course lakes to the river thames even a small river like the ock i have seen it happen by the tesco bag load,police even caught 2 cooking a swan, it does not help that carp is a traditional fish at christmas for a certain nationals, since the CCTV only those pesky corms have been seen and asked politely to leave :lol: the poachers are very cunning and you will have a job to see anyone has been there or some time back one local lake had a few !!!! in broad daylight and some can be violent, we also had string hook lines found in the thames, 2 cameras are better than nothing, good luck with your lake and hope you all have some good fishing for years to come. :good:

    Edited by oldypigeonpopper

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    Cheers TC will keep you updated, that aside sounds like you are on the mend, good man and keep it up!

     

    NP there was just so much weed it had to go.

     

    Thanks OPP yes can be difficult keeping your eye on a place. It has access from a adjacent road so people can be over to the lake in the matter of minutes, no members report any cormorants.

     

    atb

    7diaw

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    There used to be lots of posts, a few years ago, on "another fieldsport" forum where members tried to out do each other in the size of fish or numbers netted from lakes such as yours. That is where they would be going IMHO and no they were not from other countries, they were born and bred here

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    Any signs of otters around? they have been decimating fish stocks around here for ages and successfully breeding in the wild.

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    Cheers for the replies chaps.

     

    No signs of otters though 4 mink have been accounted for since my original post and this is an ongoing process, the lake is now refilled and we are awaiting a date for re stocking of rainbows only. Will keep updated.

     

    atb

    7diaw

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    My guess would be Mink, they are indiscriminate killers and will take as much as they can, personally I would ring net the fishery with traps, on a permanent basis, just reread your OP and would suggest you catch the escaped pike unless you want a potential record that has been fed on your trout

    Edited by islandgun

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    Whilst fishing our syndicate water 2 months ago, I saw a guy appear on the opposite bank, remove a small telescopic spinning rod from a rucksack and promptly began fishing. As it is a sizeable lake, I was unable to get to the far bank without a 3/4 mile walk. As I watched he caught a decent Rainbow, knocked it on the head, then collapsed the rod and back into the bag, then left. We keep finding abandoned tackle and even camping gear during our 'Poacher Patrols'. I never thought that I would say it, BUT, I am thankful for the 'doggy walkers', their presence is a bit of a deterrent.

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    Nice to see you post henry d .

     

    Drop in when I can :D

     

    Cheers for the replies chaps.

     

    No signs of otters though 4 mink have been accounted for since my original post and this is an ongoing process, the lake is now refilled and we are awaiting a date for re stocking of rainbows only. Will keep updated.

     

    atb

    7diaw

     

    We used to have a small garden pond with goldfish and koi that was attacked by (a/several) mink. Tey left a lot of debris behind, eads fins etc and they like otters tend to poop in obvious places, so you should see less signs as you get into their numbers.

     

    If you want to stop netting you could try putting an old style washing pole, complete with concrete lump out in the middle somewhere and check it periodically for signs of poaching

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    Thanks for the suggestion Henry, will give it a go.

     

    The lake is now refilled and we have taken advice again from the chap in the know from the E.A. The advice is stock with around 150lb of fish per acre, the fish will also be pre treated. Just awaiting agm for getting all members input.

     

    atb

    7diaw

    Edited by 7daysinaweek

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    Thanks for the suggestion Henry, will give it a go.

     

    The lake is now refilled and we have taken advice again from the chap in the know from the E.A. The advice is stock with around 150lb of fish per acre, the fish will also be pre treated. Just awaiting agm for getting all members input.

     

    atb

    7diaw

    hello, would be good to see some photos now the work has finished and ready for some good sport

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    Any signs of otters around? they have been decimating fish stocks around here for ages and successfully breeding in the wild.

    My usual chap came to service my boiler this week and is a very keen coarse angler. He was adamant that this is correct and gave several locations - your side of our county - and examples where they'd popped up virtually under his nose.

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    Cheers for the heads up wymbeley 

    Just googled it and one of the members mentioned that otters had been seen on the River Weaver not so far from the lake. When i was over there last when i took the pictures we had a good check for signs of otters however nothing to suggest activity. That said they are know for travelling and popping up as you say and do not always leave signs. We will continue to monitor.

    atb

    7diaw

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    Mink are not major fish predators, they tend to hit the birds and mammals hard. Otters are very good at fish removal and will make repeated visits. They are common in most parts of the country now, just very nocturnal so are rarely seen. 

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