Fishery Management Report
As can be seen from a full car park we had an excellent turnout for the latest work party at Hurston. I as usual had been commissioned to provide refreshments at the end of the day and having loaded my car with the normal kit for a work party barbecue set off only to realise a mile or so down the road that I had left the box of sauces behind and you can’t have a barbecue without a bit of red or brown (some say that it hides the taste of the cooking!!). Anyway by the time I got there the car park was virtually full and they were laying material down across the entrance as part of the on-going car park improvements. I swapped parking places with Mick M who was going to use his car to compact the material that had been laid. After unloading my bits and pieces I picked up a couple of scaffold poles from Vince’s trailer and with these over one shoulder and a bucket of tools in my other hand I walked down to the match lake where most of the action was taking place. I was greeted by a veritable hive of activity with the sound of the long arm cutters in operation on the island being punctuated by hammering and sawing from the guys building the new swims.
On the island we were following on from last year’s tree height reduction with another cut in some places and a first cut in others. The final result should be a much more manageable lower height but denser tree coverage on the island. This substantially reduces the risk of trees being blown over whilst providing a screen between the two fishable banks – you don’t have to look at the angler on the other bank who is doing better than you!!
As for the swim building, we have now fully embraced Nelson’s platform design and having built swims to this pattern last season the team with Vince and Steve H at the helm were working like a well oiled machine. The latest tweak to the construction is the use of plastic boards rather than the wooden scaffold board that we have used in the past. These plastic boards have a non-slip finish and are going to be much more durable than wood.
Where we have used wooden boards they do get slippery and the best thing is to staple chicken wire over the top to provide a non-slip finish. So chicken wire, cutters and staple gun in hand I took that as my task for the day. Unfortunately there was only enough chicken wire to do one platform but hopefully we can rustle some more up for next time.
Whilst writing about platforms I was very disappointed to see that someone had lifted the boards on the platform in front of the bench on the match pond. Why? I really don’t know, the people who turn out at work parties have spent a lot of time and effort creating these platforms and to come along and find this willful damage is very disheartening. We have had similar problems at Walberton and it is just not acceptable. If the unthinking members that are doing this would like to explain why then we are happy to listen but in the meantime please DO NOTdestroy or tamper with the platforms.Rant over back to the good things that were being done.
Another task for the day was to create a fish refuge at the top end of the carp pond this is in place of the floating islands that we investigated a year or so ago. The idea is to provide a hideaway for the fish from external predators such as cormorants etc. It should also hopefully provide a safe spawning and nursery area; if we can get our fish breeding it will help save money on stock in the years to come. Although it sounds quite grand the principle is simple and consists of dropping three or four trees into the lake. The real skill is selecting the right trees and making sure that they drop in the right direction to give the desired end result. I heard quite a bit of discussion between Nelson, Mike K and Mick M as they selected the trees and worked out the direction in which they wanted to drop them.
Finally we had another go at back filling the revetments, unfortunately a lot of last year’s back fill had been washed out by all the rain we have had over the last 12 months. So a lot of the cut material from the island was floated across and used for back filling.
After all this everyone thoroughly deserved a sit down and a bacon or sausage roll or the preferred option seemed to be a combi and of course the sauces went down well.