Sunday, 4 November 2012

Restocking Of The Old River

 At long last its started.
The Old River suffered a terrible series of pollution incidents during the summer of 2008 wiping out 10,000s of fish - and for a long time everyone thought that the place had suffered a complete wipe out.
At the back end of 2010 we were approached by a few members of the Old Boathouse Angling Club who used to control the fishing rights - to see if we were interested in taking over the fishing rights on what was once a superb tench and bream fishery.
Were we interested ? too right we were.
A couple of knock up fishing matches were organised to see what if any thing was left in there - and we were very happy to discover that a number of roach, perch and pike had survived the pollution and were breeding. Our match catches were dominated by large numbers of  2 season roach with the odd perch thrown in. Last winter we held a very successful Pike match - when over a dozen fish to 16lb were landed. Not bad for a lake with supposedly no fish in it.
A match last summer showed us that the roach were packing on weight with the fish we were once catching half an ounce each now doubling and more in size - and the masses of fry in the margins were a very encouraging sight.

After lengthy negotiations with Salford Council we were finally granted the lease this spring - and the lads (and lasses) from Salford Friendly have held a series of matches over the summer of 2012 to raise funds for restocking.
We managed to raise just over £1,000 which was a fantastic effort - compromised of £5 match peg fees and some very generous donations from members who were unable to attend but wished to contribute to the cause.
Sadly £1000 doesnt buy you very much from a fish farm these days - but it demonstrated to the council that we had members who were committed to a community cause who were able to contribute both time and cash improving a neglected lake in a public park. We completed a grant application for community funding from Salford Council - and amazingly in these financially troubled times were were awarded nearly 50% of the money which we asked for. What a great result!
So at our last club meeting we decided to spend the £3500 we have available for the restocking of the Old River on skimmer bream - to complement the existing roach and perch population and to try and create a decent "silvers" fishery. These fish are now on order to be delivered in December.
The EA also have been very hands on in helping us in our attempts to return this fishery to its former glories - and they gave already given us enough timber to restore most of the pegs - and the local area officer Andy Eaves has promised us 4,500 fish from the EAs hatchery at Calverton - which we hope will arrive over winter 2012/13.
So when i received a phone call from Andy at 9am this Sunday morning telling me that the EA had some fish for us I was naturally delighted - expecting them to be the first consignment of the Calverton fish. It turned out they werent, but were fish rescued from a lake suffering from  a blue green algae induced oxygen crash somewhere in Cheshire - in other words - extra fish on top of the 7,500 we were anticipating this winter.
So after a quick post on our facebook page this morning we met an EA netting team at 11am this morning - and just over a thousand skimmers to 3/4 lb were released into the Old River.
This was the first restocking since the pollution incident in 2008, and the start of what we hope will be a series of restockings this coming winter. Great news.
We had a great work party a couple of months ago, where we cut back vegetation from some of the more overgrown pegs and rebuilt some of the pegs with rotten timbers. Were holding another work party on the 2nd Dec - 9am start - followed by a pike fish in. I cant see there being more than an hour or twos work for anyone who turns up - then the rest of the day to fish from your newly restored peg.

Heres some photos of todays restocking.

Just the start of whats to come - see you on the 2nd Dec at 9am


  1. Excellent news!!! and just rewards for the hard work the club and members have put into turning around the fortunes of this water....

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