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Tuesday, 11 November 2008 08:51

ACA News Update

November 2008

The ACA has secured a settlement for one of its commercial fishery members. After terse negotiations, insurers have paid out £3,500 to compensate Cuttle Mill Fishery in the Midlands for the damage they suffered following pollution with milk over the Christmas period back in 2006. The milk, which spilt from a tanker in a nearby haulage yard, entered the fishery via a feeder stream. The oxygen levels in the receiving water fell dangerously low and, despite the best efforts of the fishery owner to limit the damage using bunding and aerators, large specimen carp and a number of roach were lost. The timing could not have been worse for the fishery which had to close at what is usually one of its busiest times of year with anglers hoping to escape for a peaceful days fishing over the festive season.

In Wales, the ACA continues to fight for damages on behalf of the Islwyn & District Anglers following the devastating chemical pollution of the River Sirhowy, in Gwent, by a private company situated on the banks. The ACA has now issued a claim in court. In May 2007, whilst decommissioning a chemical treatment plant, the company emptied treated effluent onto the floor of the treatment plant building which subsequently found its way into a surface water drain that discharges into the Sirhowy. Despite being successfully prosecuted by Environment Agency Wales for breaches of the Water Resources Act 1991 and the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975 the company is determined to defend the ACA civil claim in court.

In Leicestershire we are representing the Gopsall Fishing Club after illegal in-river dredging on the River Sence. It is thought that the dredging destroyed spawning grounds and also altered the river width due to the excavation of the river bank which affects the river flow. The Environment Agency decided not to prosecute for the offence, even though those responsible were forewarned that any damage caused as a result of their works could result in criminal prosecution.

In further Scottish news, the ACA has been forced to refer another case to the Scottish Information Commissioner following the Scottish Government's refusal to release fish farm inspection reports relating to rainbow trout farming operations in Loch Lochy. The Scottish Information Commissioner will decide whether the Scottish Government is justified in withholding dive reports, mortality reports, grid plans and a containment audit report that relates to recent escapes of rainbow trout into the loch. The ACA represents the Lochaber District Salmon Fishery Board in this matter after escapes of farmed fish into the Lochy system from the floating cage farm operated by Kames Fish Farming Ltd.

Other news...

The ACA will be holding an EGM on Monday 8 December in Birmingham to vote on a resolution for the ACA to take part in the unification of angling and conservation organisations. There is much more information about these plans in the autumn update which will be arrive with all members this week and on the temporary web site for the Angling Trust: www.anglingunity.co.uk

If you can't make the EGM, please complete the proxy voting form included with the mailout in the postage paid envelope. You could send back your raffle books at the same time...

Thames21, a charity working in the London area, is organising a free training day for anyone wanting to organise river clean-ups at Fishmongers' Hall on Monday 24 November. Please go to www.thames21.org.uk for more information.

The Artist Richard Bramble is donating 10% of profits to the ACA from members' orders of his new Brown or Rainbow Trout porcelain 30cm dinner plates at £35 each, which are from a set of Trout and Grayling designs available on plates, mats, boards and clocks by the artist. When ordering, either by telephone 01935 815236 or online at www.richardbramble.co.uk Just mention 'ACA' for the donation to go through.

Finally, Hugh Miles is hosting a 'sort of world premiere' in Dorset of his new series of films "Catching the Impossible", with stars Bernard Cribbins and Martin Bowler present, but with red maggots instead of the red carpet. All proceeds go to the ACA and the Wimborne Angling Club. The films will be screened on Tuesday 25 November and Tuesday 2 December at the Barrington Theatre in the centre of Ferndown, near Bournemouth. Tickets are just £5 from: Bob Simmons, 1 Cuthburga Rd. Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 1LH Tel: 01202 889283 Please make cheques payable to Wild Wise Ltd. and enclose an SA

Source: Anglers Conservation Association

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Published in Latest UK fishing news
Monday, 03 November 2008 00:00

Poacher must pay £2,500

A Lancashire man has been fined £1,400 and ordered to pay £1,100 in costs after pleading guilty to poaching offences, at Lancaster Magistrates Court yesterday (30 October 2008).

In the early hours of 17 June, 2008, Mr X was discovered by Lancashire Police at his home on Thursby Road, with 25 freshwater fish (salmonoids) trapped in a large net. MR X appeared to be removing the fish from the net and from a number of plastic bags, officers also spotted a deflated dinghy in his front garden.

When questioned by officers at the scene, Mr X claimed to have taken the fish from the sea at Heysham, but on further questioning, he later admitted to having poached them from the Lune Estuary. Mr X also admitted to not having a licence to fish.

Richard McIlwain, Fisheries Team Leader for Lancashire said: “The removal of 25 fish from the Lune Estuary could have had a huge impact on fish stocks. If half the fish were female, there would potentially be a net loss to the river of around 60,000 salmon eggs.”

“Considerable time, effort and money has been spent on improving the fishery on the Lune, and for somebody to come along and just help themselves could have caused major set backs both ecologically and financially. Any re-stocking works will bring about considerable costs.”

“This is a significant case for the Environment Agency and we are satisfied with the result, let this be a warning to those who think poaching pays.”

Duncan Thomas, Lancashire Police Wildlife officer adds: “This is a classic example of successful partnership work between the Police and the Environment Agency, we are very happy with the conviction and sentence, and hope this sends a very clear message to poachers - that we are targeting them. We believe the fish would have been sold on for financial gain, so this fine will go a long way to redress the balance.”

During a formal interview with Environment Agency officers on 21 July, 08, Mr X responded to questioning with a ‘no comment’ response throughout. At the time of this incident Mr X was already on police bail in relation to offences of deception.

Source: The Environment Agency

Published in Latest UK fishing news
Monday, 03 November 2008 00:00

Autumn acoustic survey

Over the past month, fisheries staff from the Environment Agency have been out surveying the fish populations on the rivers Ancholme, Witham, Welland and Nene.

The team has been using an acoustic fish finder which is the freshwater equivalent of the equipment trawlers use at sea. A pulse of sound is fired out from a transducer, and from the strength and direction of the echo received, the location and number of fish can be found.

Using this type of equipment means large areas of river can be surveyed in a few hours, compared to the usual netting method that only covers 100 metres and can take most of the day.

In the past, the areas the acoustic boat has surveyed has been dictated by the need for a suitable slipway nearby for the boat to enter the water, however a smaller boat has now been fitted with the equipment for the first time this year and is able to reach areas of water that were not possible to survey before.

Ecological Appraisal team leader, Chris Reeds, said: ‘The information gathered from the acoustic survey is invaluable in identifying areas of river that fish use for shelter and feeding, as well as giving a good idea of fish distribution over many miles of river. Monitoring fish populations also gives us an idea of the state of the rivers and how healthy they are’.

The acoustic survey is carried out at night as fish move about far more under the cover of darkness and can be detected more easily.

‘It is still necessary to net some fish to find out more about the age and species of fish in our rivers, but for monitoring fish population numbers, acoustic methods take some beating,’ said Chris.

The acoustic survey begins in spring and runs through to the summer routine survey, and then the autumn acoustic survey. All the data is processed during the winter to find out the population numbers and health of fish in rivers.

Source: The Environment Agency

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Published in Latest UK fishing news
Wednesday, 25 October 2006 00:00

Thorpe Lea Surrey

Regular readers of my diary pages and the UK Fisherman Fishing Forum will know that for some time now I have been itching to try some carp fishing at Thorpe Lea in Surrey, a venue in Surrey renowned for its huge stock of fast growing carp and as a quality "bagging" water. Anywhere with "easy fishing" suits me to a tee !!

not quite my PB - a 14lb 8oz Thorpe Lea mirrorI couldn't resist a kind invitation from Luke "crazy_carper" Thomas to meet up with me and show me how to get the best from a days fishing at Thorpe Lea so duly took the day off work (any excuse to get away from the computer) and met up with Luke at 8am in the Thorpe Lea carpark.

The weather forecast had been for heavy rain and wind and for once the weathermen had got it right. The grey skies got greyer as we walked round to the far side of the lake and the heavens opened as we settled into our swims. Luke explained that the reason for choosing these swims is that about 60yds out there is a plateau around 4ft deep that the carp patrol along, hoovering up any feed they come across. Luke set up a simple rig with a hair rigged Richworth Dumbell boilie whilst I opted for a method feeder using a hair rigged squid boilie.

The morning was hard going !! I failed miserably to get a take at all and to be honest I was having difficulty reaching the shallow plateau. Luke's spodding seemed to be paying off however as he managed two decent mirror carp, the largest tipping the scales at 16lb.

Luke with the biggest fish of the day, a 16lb 8oz mirrorThings livened up in the afternoon (as the bailiff said it would). Luke continued to catch at a steady rate and ended the day with 9 fish, the biggest of the day being a 16lb 8oz Mirror Carp. (In fact all the fish we caught were Mirrors).

Luke decided that the method was the not the best tactic for me and switched me to a simple rig similar to his and launched some of his spod mix out for me. It didn't take long for my baitrunner reel to whir into life (thanks incidentally to Bun at Eccleston Angling Centre for the reel) and I was soon banking a lovely 14lb 8oz Mirror carp. As we weighed it I was unsure whether I had beaten my PB but it fell just short by 8oz.

The rain got the better of us by around 4 o'clock and we decided to call it a day. Despite being easily beaten by Luke I was delighted with my fish and am itching to get back and try Thorpe Lea again. It was a pleasure to meet and fish with Luke. Thanks mate for your advice and patience in trying to educate me in the strange ways of you carp fisherman and I look forward to our next trip.

On that subject, we are planning a pike fishing trip to Farlows lake sometime before Xmas. If you fancy meeting up please indicate your interest via the UK Fisherman Fishing Forum.

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ UK Fisherman

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Published in Diary
Saturday, 24 June 2006 00:00

Manor Farm fishing, Bedfordshire

Despite still suffering the effects of a chest infection and subsequent muscle strain from coughing so much [god I'm getting old !!] I was determined to get out of the house, get some fun on my face and hopefully catch some fish. I decided to hook up with my mate Steve at his "local" venue, Manor Farm in Bedfordshire.

Coarse fishing venues in Bedfordshire - Manor FarmManor Farm is set amongst 86 acres of grass and woodland, and as such attracts a wide range of bird and wildlife. The site currently has 5 lakes, a match canal and a stretch of the River Ivel made famous by local fisherman Dick Walker. They offer a range of types of fishing including a fly-only trout lake (Damsel Lake), an any method trout and mixed coarse fish lake (Becks Lake), a 2 acre mixed lake (Blunham Lake), a 4 acre specimen carp lake (Carp Lake) and a very popular specimen carp lake (Winters Lake) stocked in 2004 with fish from 18lb to 36lb.

By the time I dragged myself up the A1, the rain had already given way to clearing skies and Steve was already set up on Carp Lake. I chose the adjacent swim to him and set up a simple ledger rig using pva bags of crushed boilies and pellets with hair rigged boilies. I set up a splashing waggler on the second rod as there were plenty of carp showing up on the surface. Using banded pellets I reckoned we could be in for some fun

Coarse fishing venues in Bedfordshire - Manor FarmIt soon became sadly apparent though that the resident carp had other plans. Neither of us had a bite or take in the first two hours. The bailiff lifted our spirits somewhat though as he explained that plenty were being caught on the neighbouring Becks Lake. As it truned out, one bloke had caught a few but despite lugging all our gear around to the new lake and perservering for a few hours, we still ended the day with nothing to show for it.

Hey, that's fishing I guess. If you've had better luck recently, why not send in the details to Fish South East or even send me some pics for the gallery.

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ UK Fisherman

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Published in Diary
Friday, 21 July 2006 00:00

Gold Valley Aldershot

Phew what a scorcher !! Although the record breaking weather of earlier in the week had given way to slightly more bearable conditions, the thermometer in the car still read 31 deg c as we headed down the M3 to Gold Valley in Aldershot, Hants. We debated the effect that the recent hot weather would have on the fishing and expected that things could be quite tough going.

7lb Gold Valley Common - nice hat dude!!Three of the lakes were taken up with matches when we arrived so we opted for a swim at the near end on the main lake. I opted for the "spasher wagger" approach as there appeared to be plenty of evidence of carp patrolling the upper levels of the water. Jim plumped for a standard insert waggler approach, again fishing only about 2ft deep, fishing luncheon meat cubes, loose feeding small pellets.

We were soon catching roach, rudd and skimmers to about 8oz, but despite varying depth and hook baits we failed to tempt any of the resident carp which go to well over 20lb. It was at Gold Valley last summer that I caught my PB, a 15lb common. It didn't look at this stage as if there was much chance of that getting beaten. By about 1pm it was so hot and humid that we decided to retire to the bar for a bite to eat and a couple of cool ones!!

Not another tangle JIm!!Somewhat refreshed we decided to change tactics and we swapped to the feeder approach. The guy next to us was having a great time landing carp after carp using this approach so we resumed with renewed confidence. Still nothing of any note to report until I switched to the method feeder, using half a strawberry pellet boilie cast to the island in front of us.

Bingo, I had found where the fish were and promtly landed about 7 carp to 9lb over the next 90 minutes or so. Jim had by this stage got pissed off and decided to resume his waggler fishing for roach. Things slowed down considerably late in the afternoon and with an hours drive back to London up the M3 we decided to call it a day. To sum up, this is not the best days fishing we've ever had at Gold Valley by any means but I can't really complain. The hot weather was not really ideal for fish or fishermen alike so I was more than happy with the day. I will just have to resume my battle to better my PB another day.

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ UK Fisherman

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Published in Diary
Tuesday, 13 March 2007 00:00

Lizard Fisheries, West Drayton

I had heard on the fishing grapevine that Lizard Fisheries in West Drayton, Middlesex had been fishing well of late, presumably due to the mild late winter weather we have been having. I decided therefore that my first visit of 2007 to Lizard was in order !!

I arranged to meet by buddy Steve there and decided to start on lake 1 and see how the fishing was, before possibly moving on to Lake 2 later on. For those of you who have not fished Lizard Fisheries before, Lake 1 is the "match" lake and holds huge stocks of fish with carp to 10lb+, tench, bream, perch and huge shoals of roach and rudd. Lake 2 is primarily a carp fishing lake, much harder to fish but with carp to 20lb+ being the reward for those who like their fishing a little more challenging.

The conditions were bright and definitely "gusty" to say the least. When I pulled into the carpark after a "leisurely" start to the day, it was clear that the choppy conditions were not going to make fishing especially easy.

Depsite this I adopted my usual tactic at Lizard, waggler fishing, this time slightly overdepth, to try and hold the waggler in place against the stong wind. Unlike my usual summer tactics of using pellets or meat, I thought conditions favoured the good old maggot, so I loaded my size 16 hook with four maggots and loose fed a small handful of maggots every third cast of so.

No sooner had my float hit the water for the first time, it dipped boldy under the surface and I was soon into my first fish of the day, a hard fighting mirror carp around 4-5lb. What a great start !! To be honest I was expecting a tough day and was delighted to catch on my first cast.

The afternoon continued very much in the same vein and I ended the day with 9 carp, the best topping the scales at just under 11lb, plenty of small roach and rudd and a bonus perch late on. As the sun went down behind the trees around 5pm, the weather reminded me that we were still in fact in the winter, and I dediced that having had a great day it was time for home.

Lizard rarely disappoints - fishing is relatively easy on Lake 1 and the fish will take most baits. Bear in mind that it can get very busy at weekends, escpecially in the summer, so get there early. There are quite a few bait bans on Lake 1, so don't take groundbait, boilies (ok on lake 2), oily pellets (such as halibut pellets) or sweetcorn with you. If you are caught using any of these banned baits, expect to be thrown off the fishery. Don't let this put you off however, as Lizard is a great no frills fishery where you are sure to catch.

Lizard Fishery is loacted on Trout Road, Yiewsley, West Drayton, Greater London, England

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ UK Fisherman

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Published in Diary
Friday, 13 October 2006 00:00

Lizard Fisheries, Cowley

An afternoon session at my "local" Lizard Fishery tempted Jim and I on a reasonably mild, early October afternoon.

common carp just shy of the 10lb markLizard wasn't really on it's best form and we both found the fishing hard going, despite some early success for me in the shape of a quality looking common carp just shy of the 10lb mark.

There were few signs of fish being caught by the handful of fisherman at Lizard and when the roach and rudd aren't in feeding mood, you just know things are going to be tough.

 

good condition common carp which weighed in at 9lbA couple of skimmers and roach were the only reward over the next couple of hours, followed late on by another good condition common carp which weighed in at 9lb, which is a decent enough fish for lake 1 at Lizard Fisheries.

So, like so many of my fishing adventures, an OK day with a couple of nice fish despite the fishing being generally hard going.


Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ UK Fisherman

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Published in Diary
Sunday, 10 December 2006 00:00

Pike Fishing at Farlows Lake

Regular readers of the fishing forum here at UK Fisherman and Fish South East will know that for some weeks now we have been planning a pike fishing trip to farlows Lake in Iver, Buckinghamshire - the first UK Fisherman "social" if you like.

Predicted numbers were anywhere between 3-10 and not surprisingly the number who actually turned up was 3 (myself, Nigel Laughton and Luke "crazy carper" Thomas. Undaunted we met in the carp park at 9am. The weather seemed ideal for a spot of winter pike action: clear skies overnight had left a touch of frost on the ground, whilst the morning saw still, glouriously sunny conditions. We were in confident mood as we chose our swims and set up our rods.

Not a monster pike but welcome nevertheless on cold day at FarlowsNigel had done a fair amount of pike fishing at Farlows and we followed his advice to live bait on the match lake. After a quick trip to the tackle shop on site we all set up a float rig with a free-roving trout livebait set around 3-4 feet under the water. As the floats bobbed and moved around we felt sure it wouldn't be long before the hungry winter pike gobbled up one of our offerings. It was just a case of waiting !!

Well, we waited and waited, and then we waited some more and after that we waited a little bit longer and nothing happened. Several hours went by and despite one run on Nigel's rod which, despite a firm strike, failed to lead to a fish, there was no action at all. By early afternoon, the bright sunny skies had given way to grey, rain filled clouds and a cold wind had sprung up leaving the lake choppy and making it difficult to control our floats effectively. After a brief discussion we decided to move to a more sheltered corner of the lake, which looked much more inviting for the fish.... and us in terms of keeping warm !!

As it turned out, this happended to be the best decision we made all day. After only about 15 minutes in our new swims, my float which I had been fishing in the margins, dipped once and then disappeared under the surface. Slightly surprised, I grabbed the rod and low and behold, I was in !! Now before you get too excited, the fish I landed will not break any records for weight - in fact It was probably the smallest pike caught at Farlows so far this winter. As you can see from the photo, it probably was around 1lb or so. Not a monster, but so, so welcome on an otherwise unproductive day.

Luke looks pleased enough with one of only two fish on the daySomeone must have rung the dinner gong because as soon as I had slipped my capture safely back into the depths of the lake, Lukes pike float boobed and dipped under. He too was soon into a monster pike (again around the 1lb mark). He and I, as novices to the art of pike fishing, were delighted to have actually caught something.

That was unfortunately the beginning and the end of the action for the day. Nigel sadly failed to catch although he is experienced enough at this fishing lark to except that's how fishing is sometimes. I big thanks to Nigel for showing Luke and I the ropes. I thoroughly enjoyed his and Luke's company and I'm sure this will be the first of many enjoyable fishing trips together.

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ UK Fisherman

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Published in Diary
Sunday, 10 September 2006 00:00

Gold Valley Lakes

The weather man was right for a change ! Highs of 27 deg c were on the cards and I felt like another fishing trip coming on. I knew jenny would need little or no persuasion to sit in the sun for afew hours and I desperately need to redeem myself after my woeful performance at Lizard last week. [See diary 07-09-06]

After a leisurely start, we decided on a visit to Gold Valley lakes in Aldershot, hants, where you are almost guaranteed some fine sport. It was midday by the time we arrived, the sun was high in the sky and the main lake was almost full. We had little choice of swims, although fortuntely one of the few availble was nearest the car park.

Mirror carp - Gold valley main lakeJenny adopted the "quantity" approach fishing up in the water for the many silver fish using a waggler, alternating between corn and banded pellets. I adopted the "quality" approach and determined to break by PB [15lb common] set up a method feeder, burying a 15mm pineapple boilie in the mix and casting to the central island. It didn't take Jenny long to find the hungry roach and rudd and it wasn;t much longer before I was playing the first carp of the day, a 7lb common which was soon safely in the net. That was quickly followed by a 9lb 8oz mirror. Meanwhile, Jenny continued to heave out the roach and rudd.

As the heat of the day really kicked in, the fish undertsandably decided that a rest was in order and things went very quiet for a while. It wasn't until about 4pm that things started to liven up again. I decided to ring the changes and opted for the splasher waggler approach using a banded pellet and feeding 6 or 7 pellets every cast.

Mirror carp - Gold valley main lakeThis bought some immediate success. Almost immediately by skud waggler hit the water, my pellet was devoured by a hungry carp which hurtled off into deeper water. Over the next hour or so, I couldn't go wrong and banked another 7 carp, the best tipping the scales at 11lb. They then switched off the feed again and I could only manage one more carp of 9lb before we decided to call it a day as dusk fell.

Gold valley had certainly lived up to its reputation once again as a fisrt class commercial fishery. Despite its various drawbacks [£10 for only 1 rod, a host of bait bans, some poor quality fish and a disappointing attitude to disabled access that we once encountered], it is still worth a visit and you probably won't go away with an empty net !!

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ UK Fisherman

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Published in Diary

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