Firstly around 70% of you actually filled in the where fished and how many times you fished section. Thank you very much for your responses.
With regard to the likes and wants section of the survey, we had responses from a much lower number, around 15% of you actually filled this bit in.
Where you fish and how often you fish
Note – These figures are extrapolated from the replies from the survey and then applied to the full membership totals.
You fish an average of 22 times per year, this equates to over 12,000 water visits per year.
45% of those visits are to our rivers, so around 5400 visits.
55% of those visits are to our still waters, so around 6600 visits
In order of popularity our Rother venues are:
First Coultershaw with over 50% of our membership fishing here at least once over the season.
Shopham and Fittleworth were not far behind and the figures for these were quite similar around 45% of members fished these venues at least once.
Coates was the least popular Rother venue, however over 20% of you have fished here at least once, those that do fish Coates on average fish there more regularly. Hopefully with the improved parking more people will be tempted to give Coates a try and they will get as hooked on the venue as those that currently fish there.
Interestingly similar numbers of anglers report that they fished either Stopham or Watersfield. 30% of members fished Watersfield at least once and 27% fished Stopham at least once. However Watersfield has approximately twice as many angler visits as Stopham.
Our most popular stillwater venue is Stemps and Cart followed very closely by Hurston Lane and Petworth Park all of which are visited by around 50% of our anglers at least once.
Next is The Granary with around 25% of anglers visiting, then the Chichester Canal with 22% and finally Bethwins with 13% of our anglers visiting.
Stemps and Cart also has the overall highest number of angler visits with around 2300 visits per year. There are on average six people fishing at Stemps and Cart every day.
Hurston has around 1600 and Petworth Park 1300 visits per year.
The Chichester canal is next with just over 400 visits and finally Bethwins with around 150.
Likes and wants
We asked you what you liked about the club and its venues.
The most popular responses were;
1. We have a good variety of waters
2. Our fisheries are peaceful and quiet
3. Our fisheries are well maintained
You also felt that our members and bailiffs were generally friendly and helpful and our waters were not overcrowded.
We also asked what you would like for our fisheries
Unsurprisingly the most responses we had were about stock and of these there were two main themes:
1. More fish in the Rother ‐ The subject of stocking the Rother is regularly aired. Unfortunately this is not only down to us, we have to have approval from the EA and they have said that when the environmental conditions in the river are right they would consider supporting the introduction of more fish. Riffles such as those at Coultershaw and Shopham should encourage the fish to spawn and refuges, such as those at Shopham and Fittleworth, offer protection to juvenile fish. Projects such as SMART, which is looking at ways to reduce and remove sediments from the river will also help to improve its the ecological status and increase the chance of the native stock thriving and increasing in population. Then hopefully alongside these, we will get some restocking boosts from the EA.
2. Introduction of a greater variety of fish to some of our venues and in particular stocking perch into Hurston, The Granary and Stemps & Cart. We know that there are perch in Hurston and Stemps & Cart, not a massive head of fish, but some certainly of good size have been caught from both venues as well as smaller examples. We are looking to see where we could get some perch to stock into The Granary at the moment; however the earliest that we will be able to do this is late autumn / early winter. We are also investigating the possibility of getting some tench as well.
We have been able to push ahead with a number of your requests
Better access to Coates ‐ We have negotiated an alternative parking area for use in wet conditions. This will need a few hours work to complete and if you would like to help please contact Mike Kitchener on 07454 257527 who will be organising a session to get this up and running.
Improvements to the path to Stemps & Cart ‐ work on the path to Stemps and Cart has taken place and I’m sure that regulars will have found it easier. There is another tranche of work planned for the Autumn and if you can spare an afternoon to help, please contact us HERE
Bird and Bat boxes ‐ We have installed a number of bird and bat boxes at Hurston Lane and they are being used as can be seen in the picture below.
Regular water reports from all venues ‐ We shall post regular roundups from our waters HERE. We hope that we will be able to do these at least monthly but we do need you to fill in the log books.