Following the successful refuge at Shopham ARRT asked the club if they were interested in a further refuge at Fittleworth. Andy Thomas from the Wild Trout Trust and Ses Wright from ARRT walked the Fittleworth stretch and identified a number of potential sites. As a club we said we were very interested in any project which was likely to have a positive impact on our fish stocks in the Rother.
8th August 2014
Andy Thomas and Ses Wright met with Roger Poole, Ray Huskisson, Nelson Keet and Steve Simmonds from the club and John Whiting one of the ARRT trustees. Andy pointed out the potential sites he had in mind.
Two of these were selected and it was felt that if they were sized approriately there might be enough money in the budget to develop both sites. For those that know the Rother well and the old peg numbers the sites selected are just below the old peg 15 and just below the old peg 19A.
I have mixed memories of Peg 15 have been drawn there in an RVS match about 10 years ago. I had a fanstastic morning catching roach and dace and felt that I had put about 7 – 8lb in the net. At this point I was called to weigh a pike which one of the visiting anglers had caught. Having done this I got back to my peg for the last hour or so of the match to find my keepnet bouncing around in the water and a large pike in attendance. I shooed the pike off and lifted my net to inspect the damage only to find a large hole and virtually all my fish gone. I managed to tie up the hole and retain the pound or so of fish that remained. During the last hour I managed to get another 2½ lb of fish and weighed in around 3½ lb, enough to win the section but I would have won the match but for those pike! Peg 19A has always been a favoured chub peg and Phil Tubb memorably had getting on for 25lb from it sometime in the late 90’s.
Application forms for the two sites were submitted to the EA for consideration.
Requests for quotations for fencing of the areas where sent out. These sparked some discussion with regard for the need for fencing. The fencing is primarily to protect the refuge area from cattle ingress whilst providing them with a drinking area. It was felt that possibly these would be small enough to satisfy both needs without the cost of fencing.
Approval has been recieved from the EA for the creation of both fish refuges and a contractor visited the site to assess the costs of fencing.
It has been decided that the larger of the two refuges will be fenced while the smaller one will remain unfenced. This will provide valuable information for further works of this type, if we can get away without fencing it makes the project much cheaper. If we find that we really do need fencing then we can fence the second site at a later date.
Work is scheduled for week commencing 15th September.
The first refuge is completed, Below are a series of pictures from Ses Wright ARRT Project Officer and John Whiting ARRT trustee.
The second refuge at Fittleworth was dug today, this is a bit smaller that the one that was dug a couple of days ago. Pictures from John Whiting, Andy Thomas and Ses Wright.
Today attention moved back to the first refuge which was to be fenced. As mentioned previously it was decided that we should fence just one of the sites and monitor how well the other stands up to the cattle. This will provide valuable information for future projects. Vee Moore The Project Development Officer from ARRT was on hand to take the photos.