August 2010

August 2010

The pond continues to be topped up with its daily allowance from the river and with the water now looking a lot higher, the threat of low waters levels has now been eased. The rain that has managed to fall has still been insignificant to what has been lost, but the knowledge and responses to the situations can only help in the future. The recent working parties have seen a few small juvenile Pike in the margins of the pond as well as a large Pike basking beside one of the islands. The pike was actually caught on rod and line at one point but managed to swallow the lure & trace and bite through the line making its escape back into the pond. With all of these young pike starting to appear, Our Fish supplier, Martin Moore was contacted for some advise and he suggested that we electrofish the pond and remove what we could. It would seem that the pike had come into the pond last December during the floods and as luck would have it, or not as the case maybe, they would turn out to be a breeding pair. It would be impossible to remove all of the pike in one go and that we would need to repeat the process probably next year as at present the juveniles would only be taking the fry. This is not to say that they would not grow but the impact on the recently stocked fish would be minimal at present.

The equipment for the electro fishing was taken to the lake on the evening of the 17th and loaded into the small boat on loan from Swallowfield Park. Martin and club secretary Russ Hatchett donned the waders and started the first circuit of the pond concentrating on the margins. The first run around the pond produced 46 of this seasons offspring as well as a large bow wave across the pond for what was presumed to be the large pike making its escape yet again.

The tank within the boat was swapped for an empty one and a second trip around the pond started. Martin also headed out to the middle of the pond to ensure any pike present in these areas might be caught. About half way around, two large swirls were spotted from the bank resulting in two decent size pike being caught along with some more juveniles. In all, 57 pike were caught from the pond, way more than was expected, which would certainly ease any predation on the stocked fish. On the up side, Roach and Chub had also managed to find their way in, and the stocked fish that happened to be stunned by the electrode all showed signs of decent growth over the six months or so that they had been resident.

Overall this had been a worthwhile exercise and another step on the ladder to the successful management of the pond as a fishery. The pictures below show part of the event and its results. Incidently, all of the relevant EA consents were in place before the electro fishing took place and all of the caught fish were returned to the river from where they would have come from. Once again, thanks go out to Martin Moore for his help and advice and to those club members who gave their spare time to help out.

Electrofishing Electrofishing

Bucket Of Pike Big Head Big Lady