March 2011

March 2011

The rains during February have certainly had an effect on the water levels in the surrounding areas. Although the rivers are running at their normal height, part of the old canal that runs along side Swallowfield Park continues to remain water logged, as does the large area in the field by the River Blackwater. The water level in the decoy pond remains pleasingly high although with the slightly warmer weather upon us, the plant growth is now starting to show. The sedge grasses and yellow iris are starting to throw out new shoots along the bankside water line along with the weed growth still on the bed of the pond.

The Fish refuge was structurally complete on the weekend of the 6th March with more trays of sedge grass and yellow iris planted in seed form which will hopefully germinate over then next few weeks. The woody debris suspended from the floating refuge should give some protection to the fish as the plants become established and send down roots into the water making the eventual cover more dense.

The recently stocked bream appear to be doing well with only one obvious fatality. A fish of about 10oz was found in the margins with damage to the throat area. The Rudd have also been feeding well on the warmer days although the sudden drop in night time temperatures has had a knock on effect to catch rates. It is hoped that the 20 or so carp will be available towards the middle to end on the month, ready for the summer, and will complete the stocking programme for the pond.

March 27th saw a cool start to the morning, but dry none the less. The pile of collected cuttings had grown somewhat over the weeks and were burned along with some of the dead norfolk reeds coleected from the margins. It was amazing how quickly the iris had sprouted sincce these dead reeds had been cleared and let light down to the ground. Some of this new growth was dug out and replanted on the floating island to fill out the spaces between what had already been placed out there.

The weed growing in the pond had become more noticable in places over the last few weeks, so a few swims were raked out to assess just what was around on the lake bed. One side of the pond seemed to be very patchy although these patches were fairly large in size. The bottom end of the pond was a different story. Although deeper here, the wed was indeed prolific but supporting a vast amount of insect life within. Water flea's, snails, leeches, lavae in different forms were all present and would undoubtably be keeping the fish well fed. Quite a bit of weed was thinned out from peg 11, hopefully giving this fish a chance to actually root around on the bottom at some point. These will continue to be monitored over the next few months as the ponds gets fished to see if any of the Tench and Crucians are caught.