Bishops Waltham Parish Fishing Club
Fish lost as the North Pond dried upWater level by the sluice in the North pond
The water in the North Pond disappeared very rapidly this year. The water level near the sluice fell from 68cm to zero in a matter of days. There was still some water in part of the North Pond which fish moved into, but that water continued to disappear quickly. A joint North Pond and Fishing Club rescue attempt was made but the fish were inaccessible.
The EA had it logged as an incident and had been monitoring to try a rescue. Unfortunately the day that the water dropped to the final pool and a partial rescue could have been made, the EA Fisheries team were on the Isle of Wight. As a result no fish were rescued this year and many large carp, bream and roach were lost. The photo shows the back of one large carp which was marooned in the North Pond and will have perished.
A large carp marooned in the shallows of the North Pond
The cost of replacing that size of fish from a fish farm is in the region of £100 and that carp was just one of many. This loss of fish is having an impact on both match results and on the growth of weed (see below).
During the winter months when the flow of water is strong many fish including large carp, bream and roach make their way from the South pond to the North pond over the sluice. This happens every winter and when the North Pond dries up each year many of those fish are lost. As well as the fish, the Swans, ducks, Moorhens and Coots are also impacted. They try to make their way across the main road to the South Pond, but it is a perilous journey. Most were successful this year and recently the South Pond has been supporting a large population of water birds, including more than twenty Coots. The North Pond Conservation Group have planning permission to create an area of permanent water at the Winchester Road end of the North Pond which would solve all of the issues. They want to be able to remove and redistribute an area of silt this year (Aug/Sep) so that by this time next year the cygnets, ducks, etc. would have a safe place to go and the fish could also migrate into the area of permanent water. Fish rescue at the moment is very difficult and not very successful. Once there is an area of permanent water, the fish could be easily netted and returned to the South Pond. This would also save the EA time and money. Creating that area of permanent water is dependent on raising sufficient additional funds to be able to bring in machinery to do the digging. It is an essential action if this annual problem is to be avoided.
Some of the water birds which have migrated to the South pond
Weed is becoming a problem on the South Pond
The Club had been trying to get aquatic weed established in the South Pond over several decades, with both our own efforts and help from EA Fisheries. Until last year attempts had been unsuccessful as the weed was being eaten by the carp early in the year before it had time to grow. Last year this all changed. Partly as a result of the loss of carp into the North pond, and their subsequent demise, the weed started to take over and became a problem last summer. This year, having lost more carp, the problem is even worse. The weed is already beginning to fill most of the water space.
Weed on the South pond
Weed on the South pond
The water weed (photo attached), which is growing rampantly with the lack of carp, appears to be a type of Water-milfoil, possibly the Eurasian Water-milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) which is native
Fortunately it is not the closely related Parrots Feather which comes from South America and is sold in pet shops. That is really invasive when it gets loose.The Eurasian Water-milfoil is a very good oxygenator, home for many aquatic insects and important food source for water birds and fish, but can (as it is on the S Pond) grow rampantly if it is not being eaten quickly enough. Work parties are taking place to cut the weed to try to keep it under control. The Parish Council have passed information on to Sainsburys, who currently own the pond, for help. One solution will be dredging the South Pond to increase the depth, as it has been getting shallower since it was dredged in 1977. Sainsburys have asked for further information about costs and what needs doing, which the Club will be providing.
Gateway club members were hosted for an evenings fishing
The Gateway club were hosted for an evenings fishing during May. Roland Palmer, Paul Collins and Rod Langthorne helped the Gateway club members try their hand at catching fish on the South Pond. Glowing reports were fed back on how much everyone enjoyed the evening and the excitement of being able to catch a fish.
Medievil fishing in support of Agincourt
The Club will be running a "Medievil Fish-in" as part of the Agincourt celebrations over the weekend of 18th and 19th July. It will be a medieval fishing taster for young persons: whip fishing to simulate medieval-style fishing using baits that would have been available at the time. The South Pond contains most of the species that would have been kept in the Great Pond and eaten by Henry V, such as perch, bream and roach. Session times will be Saturday pm (12 noon to 5pm) and Sunday am (10am
- 2pm). Sessions will be organised from the Station Road entrance, opposite the old Mill.
July and August activities
July and August are often the busiest months on the pond for leisure fishing. It can be the best time to catch a specimen fish. Leisure fishing is popular, especially during the school holidays from late July onwards. The new match season started in June with the first of the Evening Match series. The second and third Evening Matches are on 4th July and 18th July, draw at 17:00. The Junior Match series takes place during July on consecutive Friday evenings: 10th, 17th, 24th finishing with the last match and BBQ on 31st July. Parents are very welcome to come along. We also have a new match for the 2015-16 season - the "Early Bird" match. This will take place on 12th July and, as its name suggests, the draw will be at 4:00am, fishing 4:30-10:00am and followed by a free breakfast at 11am at the "Priory" for all competitors. The full set of competitions is in the latest version of the Match Calendar which can be downloaded from the website.
Joining the Club
If you are interested in joining the club please contact our membership secretary Cathy Naylor on 07934-895513, or contact our chairman Roland Palmer (after 6pm) on 01489-894063 for an application form, or download one from our website. The membership year runs from mid-June. Membership is open for renewals and can be done by downloading a 2015-16 form from the website and sending, with an SAE, to our membership secretary (details above and on the web site). New members are also welcome to apply.
Membership is open to anyone who lives in Bishops Waltham, plus a number of Associate membership places (for those living outside the Parish). Priority is given to Parish membership (especially juniors), but anyone living outside of the Parish wishing to join should contact Cathy for an Associate Membership space for the 2015/16 season.
It is rare for anglers not to catch fish at the pond, which makes it ideal both for more experienced anglers and for youngsters starting out. As a mixed fishery, with fish like carp, roach, rudd, bream, perch and the odd eel - there is something for everyone. There are carp to 10lb plus, many between 6lb and 8lb, lots of roach, bream and also perch over 1lb. If you love your fishing and don’t want to travel far then join us - your local club. Its always nice to see new anglers on the bank and hopefully we will also see you at the matches.
Club web site
For more information about the club and its activities, the club's web site can be found at:
Paul Collins and Barry Jerome