Loddon Consultative - October 2008

Loddon Consultative AGM & Presentations.

The Loddon Fisheries Consultative Committee, an organisation set up to provide a voice for local fishing clubs, fishery owners etc within the Loddon & Blackwater catchment, held its AGM at Hurst Golf Club on the 23rd October 2008. The meeting was vey well attended by the majority of its members and it was reported that this consultative had the best attendance record of all the consultatives over the country. A good indication of how concerned its members are with regard to the envvironment that surrounds their particular stretches of rivers or stillwaters.

The guest speaker at this meeting was Dr Mark Burdass, a lecturer at Hampshire's Sparsholt College and one of possibly one of Britains top fish scientist. Mark spoke about the effects of anglers baits going into fisheries with the main emphasis on the use of pellets, their effect directly on the fish that consume them, the quantities of pellets that the fish need to consume to survive, the effects on water quality when they are over used. A comparison was also shown against more traditional baits such as maggots, sweetcorn & bread. Because of the nutrional content of the pellets manufactured today for fish farms and the commercial markets it was shown that for a given weight of pellets being fed to fish, the equivalent weight gain in the fish could be achieved. For example, feeding a fish a total of 10g of pellets, a weight gain of 10g could be achieved. Now comparing this to the more traditional baits of maggots and sweetcorn, for a weight gain of 10g, 70g of maggots would need to be fed or 300g of sweetcorn. Converting this into actual relative quantities, huge amounts of maggots and sweetcorn would need to be fed to give a fish the required nutrional content.On that basis and because these natural baits do not have that same levels of protien as pellets, their effects on the quality of the water is not to much of an issue. Sweetcorn for example is almost 90% water.

Carp for example require about 12g of protien per day to keep their bodies ticking over and working correctly. Bearing in mind that a fishery would obivously have more than one fish in it, and in some cases on very heavily stocked waters, there would be a lot of mouths to be fed. But, this certainly makes one think that is it really necessary for all these pellets and groundbaits to be put into a water, given the amount of nutrition the fish needs. There is a full article on this in octobers edition of Improve Your Coarse Fishing for those who are interested.

Dominic Martyn from Environment Agency reported on the Large Woody Debris site visit hosted by Gresham Angling Society. Their stretch of river running out by Longbridge Mill at Sherfield. Large Woody Debris is basiclly the term used for trees that have fallen into rivers. A PDF of the site visit along with pictures and explanation is available on the site here. Please take time  and have a look at this as it helps to understand why these obstructions are left in place provided that do not pose any flood risk. As anglers, everyone would like to see fish spawning and staying in their stretches of the rivers. Any bankside debris can be removed to make the area safe and accessible for fishing.

The Meeting concluded with the election of the committee for the forthcoming year along with suggested talks, topics and workshops for 2009.