Fishery Management Report

Hurston Lane Update

A lot has being going on at Hurston Lane Fishery over the last few weeks, so much so that we have barely had a chance to draw a breath and update you. However we have now had a chance to sit down and pull everything togetherSo what’s happened? and what’s happening? are the obvious questions
What’s Happened!
We have successfully drained down the Carp Pond and removed the fish into the Match Pond. Although there were reasonable numbers of carp we appear to have lost some of the larger fish, whether through natural wastage or something a bit more sinister is a matter for speculation. The fish seem to be doing well in the Match Pond and we are feeding them at the moment to supplement the natural food available and to help them over the stress of the move.
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Nelson checking the water levels as the pond was drained.

Along with the carp we also transferred some silver fish and perch into the Match Pond. It has only really been this winter that we have seen a few small perch coming out of the Match Pond. Now the weather has warmed a little there seems to be plenty of them responding to a maggot. They have obviously bred well in the ponds but are only small at the moment but will hopefully grow on to give us a decent head of fish for the future.
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Once the water level had dropped sufficiently the team waded in with nets.

One disturbing thing that was noticed is that quite a number of the fish show signs of having survived encounters with cormorants so we are definitely going to have to look at more effective ways of keeping them off the waters. The best of course is to have plenty of human activity on the venue but we are never going to have people fishing the ponds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. So it looks as if we will have to consider roping all the ponds so the birds don’t have the room to land. We might also need to consider doing what the Rother Club has done at their New Pond venue and that is to string the ropes with plastic balls. They have found this a very effective way of deterring cormorants. It is not the most attractive option but to a degree needs must when we are trying to protect our fish stocks.

That just about brings you up to date with where we have got to.

What’s Going To Happen Next!

The first thing is that we want to let the base of the Carp Pond dry out as much as possible and the weather we have at the moment is really helpful and is keeping the project ticking along nicely. Once it has dried out sufficiently then we can get our contractor in to look at the silt and weed situation and decide exactly what has to be removed or treated. So at the moment we are (as we always have been) a bit in the hands of the weather but it has certainly been kind to us over the last week or so and lets hope it stays that way!
Copyright Petworth and Bognor Angling Club West Sussex

When the bottom has dried completely then the weed and silt can be treated.

In the meantime we should be starting work on the reinforcement work on the riverbank shortly and we are also looking to improve some of the swims around the back of the Match Pond.

Once we have completed the work on the base of the Carp Pond, which we estimate to be in 6 – 8 weeks time we will be fitting new monks to give us better level control. Then it will be time to refill the pond, so it will be literally all hands to the pumps. Once the pond has been refilled it will probably need a week or two to settle down before we transfer the carp back across.

We have managed to locate some further stocks of silver fish for the Match Pond and as long as everything goes to plan we will be in a position to introduce these fish before the end of April. That will unfortunately be the last stock that we can bring onto the site until the autumn but we are already getting fish reserved for then.

Please look out for further updates and possible closures when the contractors are working and of course we are likely to need some more help from you so keep a look out for our requests for help either on the website or in the tackle shops.