On to stage 3 of the plan - the first netting of Kingsfisher Lake (which holds a large head of small silver fish) took place this morning. A team of four Environment Agency netsmen braved a freezing cold morning and a lake with a part covering of ice to undertake a netting survey of the lake. This initial netting was conducted to ascertain fish species, size and numbers - also to take away a sample of fish to undergo EA health checks to ensure that the fish were not carrying any notifiable parasites - a thorough check of fish numbers and health. The last thing anyone wants is to transfer parasite ridden fish from one lake to another.
The first sweep of the net, confirmed all of our initial thoughts about the type of fish which inhabit the lake. Huge numbers of small roach, a smattering of small perch, a decent bream and a couple of crucian carp.
The second sweep across the main body of the lake, confirmed that the roach were present in huge numbers but not in huge average size. Though this second sweep of the lake did throw up a dozen or more pike to about 4lbs - nothing really big - but we think that pike have only recently been introduced to the lake, and haven't yet had time to grow on. Given the huge numbers of prey fish, it shouldn't be too long before these pike pack on weight and give some good sport.
All fish (barring the 40 which were taken away for lab analysis) were returned to the water. Once we get back the fish health check results a second netting will be organised to net a few thousand of these small stunted roach and transfer them into Drinkwater Park Lake where they should thrive in the food rich, low fish density water.
The guys from the EA assured us that the fishing on Kingfisher will be improved by the removal of these stunted 2-3inch roach as there will be less competition for food, allowing the fish to grow to a better average size.
We hope the next netting will be completed in late February - (ice permitting) - if anyone would like to attend this netting please join the society at www.salfordfriendlyanglers.co.uk as i shall email members to give them dates and times.