At the AGM in June attendees were able to ask about the clubs plans for our stillwater fisheries. Unfortunately the turn out for the meeting was very poor so only a small proportion of members will have heard about the fisheries and had an opportunity to comment and make suggestions. This really is a missed opportunity to hear about the club, what your committee are doing, and to voice your point of view.
We do think members will be interested to hear what was discussed in respect of two of our longstanding fisheries, indeed some mention has been made recently on social media.
We are in discussion with the Somerley estate, English nature and the EA in a bid to bring this fishery back to its former glory. We have outline consent to erect a Wildlife fence as a first step to protect the fishery and quotes have been obtained to desilt Crow and Tompkins. It may be possible to combine the lakes into one. Because of the location of the site nothing is straightforward and of course with several agencies involved, each with their own requirements and priorities it is not easy nor quick.
We would like to say we will immediately stock the lakes, but even that requires approval from several agencies and of course we won’t do that without fencing as protection against predators. You will have seen we have undertaken work to address the flow of water to the lakes and Liam has given the place a tidying cut with the mower.
We are doing what we can for the moment, whilst we cannot give you definitive news there is a lot of discussion going on and we expect it will suddenly come together but we are in the hands of others.
Again we are talking to our landlord Wessex Water about what we can and cannot do with this fishery. Our ongoing lease is secure, and we are seeking ways to improve the stock and deal with the weed issue which gets worse each year. We are also rebuilding the working relationship with the sailing club, and I (and others) regularly meet the manager to give feedback and hear their plans. A couple of points came out of the most recent meeting:
This year the sailing club will be using contractors to remove any weed rafts that appear between now and September as weed begins its annual die off. This will be collected and completely removed from site. The ongoing control of weed growth remains under discussion with Wessex Water.
Secondly we have their tentative agreement to establish a swim within the sailing club. The details have yet to be formally agreed and of course the swim will need to be constructed and some of their stored boats relocated so will take a while. If and when we are able to do that we will let you know, and probably ask for volunteers to help in the construction.
The reservoir is no longer used to replenish water supply but that does not mean restrictions and requirements of wildlife agencies have eased. At times here it feels like walking through treacle.
We have plans to improve fish numbers and to repair/rebuild swims and pathways and just need agreements to enable us to kick this off. Again we would like to give you a definite timetable for all the action needed but that is simply not possible.
The issues we face with both Ibsley and Spinnaker is the amount of work to be done. The usual small group of work party volunteers will not cut it, we will either be forced to employ contractors or we need more work party volunteers with specific carpentry, building, groundwork’s skills and ability to drive heavy machinery.
The committee are doing our best to push these specific projects along and at the same time not take our eye off the ball for all the other fisheries we manage.
We welcome your thoughts and comments on these projects. If you have any points to make please send them via email to the office where they will be passed on to the correct person. Simply passing comment or making observations via Facebook or the forum won’t necessarily be noted and taken into account for planning.