Fishery Management Report

Work Parties at Cart Pond

Those members that fish Stemps Wood regularly will have noticed that we have had a dramatic drop in the water levels over the last few weeks, particularly on Cart Pond.Groundwater levels are very low right across the region as we have seen from the levels of other still waters and also the River Rother but the situation at Stemps Wood was very much worse than we expected. Our first action was to raise the monk between the two ponds to see if we could at least stabilise the level in Stemps and this would also hopefully help us to understand what was happening. This seemed to work but we were still experiencing a lowering of the level in Cart.

Following an investigation with the EA we came to the conclusion that we probably had a leak in the fenced off area between pegs 26 and 27. We experienced a leak in this area about 6 years ago and lined a section of the bank around the outlet.

We suspect that the new leak is probably adjacent to the area lined previously and the roots of one of the bank side trees could be contributing. By Sunday 30th the level in the lake had dropped sufficiently to allow us to start work. We decided to put in a poly liner along approximately 8 metres of the bank which would be concreted in and we would back fill the most vulnerable area with more concrete.

Things started slowly with just Nelson who took down the tree that he felt was one of the causes. As the rest of the volunteers arrived the pace of work picked up. The area to be back filled was dug out and then a shallow trench was dug in the lake bed to take the bottom of the liner with the rest of the liner run up the side of the lake onto the bank. Because of the scale of the job we were using a number of poly sheets and these were carefully sealed using silicone sealant. Once the liner was in place we then refilled the trench with concrete and back filled with further concrete. Finally the top edge of the liner was covered with soil which was tamped into place to give a neat finish and the fencing re-instated.
Click on the thumbnails below to view the work in progress.

Copyright Petworth and Bognor Angling Club West Sussex Copyright Petworth and Bognor Angling Club West Sussex Copyright Petworth and Bognor Angling Club West Sussex Copyright Petworth and Bognor Angling Club West Sussex

All that remains to be done is some landscaping, we have also had the offer of some suitable plants that will in time re establish the natural habitat in that area. What we need now is water, unfortunately we have to rely upon the weather and it is going to take some good heavy rain over a few weeks to restore the water level. At the moment we have kept the lake open for fishing but we will continue to monitor the situation and if we are still experiencing problems we might have to consider a temporary closure of the water. We do have the EA on call should we require their assistance but hopefully we have managed to solve the problem.

Many thanks to all those that came and helped out and the sausages and burgers from ‘chef’ Mick were greatly appreciated and well deserved.

We would ask our members who regularly fish Stemps Wood to be particularly vigilant over the next month or so. If you see any evidence of fish looking distressed please contact us immediately so we can take action.