Work has continued at our coarse lakes and special thanks must go to Mike Britten, Bob Badham, Paul Clancy, Paul Barnard, Steve Trevett , Ben Bentley for their efforts at the lakes. Dave George for pursuing extra fishing leads and Dom Longley for his invaluable advice.
The latest position at each of the lakes is;
Blue/green algae declared clear after latest samples analysed by EA. No fish lost.
Opening of Whitebird, the big lake, will be July 12th from 4.00pm.
This will allow works at the site using heavier machinery to be completed and the fish some time to recover from their ordeal in the poor conditions of this spring and early summer.
The Pleasure Lake, the smaller lake, will remain closed while work continues adding cover, reducing trees, adding plants. We aim to rebalance the ecology in the small lake and develop a true “pleasure lake” with mixed species and a reduced carp/bream population to maintain the balance.
Both lakes remain closed. No further fish losses but remaining stock need time to recover. Test fishing showed that the remaining fish are still suffering from the poor conditions.
Silt surveys and sampling are ongoing. Mapping of the lake bed is complete and samples are to be analysed to assist decision making about how to deal with the silt. Ground water data for the site has been received from the EA and is being analysed but doesn’t look too problematic at this point.
The best case scenario is that we can reopen Hand’s later this year after fish recovery and introduction of plants. Hand’s lake has marginally less silt than Clark’s and with rebalancing towards plant ecology and some stock management should be usable for fishing this season. Clark’s will remain closed for the rest of this season while work continues. We will complete recovery work at Clark’s then at a later date close Hand’s for similar activity. This process will take several years to complete at all the lakes.
Dandy’s and NIghtingale Lakes.
Both lakes remain open and unaffected, Dandy’s lake is showing good signs of improvement after recent work with many fish now being seen.
Our middle Avon and Salisbury river beats are now open for coarse fishing.
Alternative fishing opportunities
Several additional fishing possibilities have been pursued and the following have been successful.
Eastleigh Club have generously doubled the club’s access tickets to Witherington lakes.
Test Valley Angling Club have kindly offered the use of one of their lakes to accommodate our junior fishing sessions and new “Small Fry” club initiative normally held at Petersfinger in the summer.
Additionally Test valley are providing two membership books for SADAC members to fish their waters.
Watergate lake has had a lot of silt removed and will be reopening next spring, the club plans to continue our association with the water.
Further details of all these initiatives will be published as they are firmed up by the committee members responsible.
The committee thanks the members for their patience in this challenging time. A lot is being learned and it is now clear that our main lakes which are gravel pits dug in the 1940s/50s and having been fished for 70 years or so now are reaching a stage of development where they require significant change to keep them fishing for the next generation. We face a situation where the least we need to do to keep them fishing for 20/30 years or so, is to treat the silt, introduce plants, manage the water quality and manage the stock, we can have shallower lakes with mixed species at the lower end of costs with these actions. At the higher end of cost and to return the lakes to their original condition we need to massively de-silt as well as the points above. This would be a professional job and would come at massive cost, at this stage we cannot even say if it would be permitted given the position of the lakes within protected areas. The outcome needs to be affordable and the finance committee will shortly be meeting to consider the challenges.