November & December 2010

November & December 2010.

With the water level now almost at full height and the summer plant life brown and decaying, only the leaves from the few Oak trees are providing cover for the pond. The Rudd that could be seen swimming in the upper layers on the warmer days have gone into deeper water and not even attempting to take bread from the surface. The Lilly pads have survived reasonably well considering it has been their first year and have provided some mid lake cover for the fish.

The 16th November saw the stocking of 300 Crucian Carp supplied by the Environment Agency fish farm at Calverton, Nottinghamshire. The young fish of 3" in length all swam away strongly after their introduction and fatalities have been observed to date.

During the stocking of the Crucian Carp, Dominic Martyn of the EA suggested adding a couple of floating fish refuges for the top end of the pond in its wider area. Although the Lilly pads have given cover over the summer, there was nothing around during the winter months. Some sketches were drawn up around what materials the club already had on site to construct the refuges and various option discussed.

With the temperatures falling quite rapidly towards the end of November, the pond eventually froze over and has remained that way into December. Although the refuges could be constructed on the bank to a point, their buoyancy needed to be tested and extra floats added where needed. The plan was to anchor the islands with concrete mud weights attached by rope with enough slack to allow them to rise with the water level, should a flood occur. The refuges would tend to drift a little because of the extra length of rope but not significantly.

With the pond still frozen over Christmas and no sign of any real change, the work on getting the refuges into the water was halted. All of the buoyancy had been attached and the mesh and netting to hold the plants would need to be attached. Some brush wood needed to to on first that would hang down into the water to give the is some protection from predation until all of the plants had established themselves. Work will continue where possible as the pond awaits the thaw.