Saturday, 15 December 2012

Drinkies Clean Up

Many thanks to Barry, Duncan, Karl, Ian, Paul, and Nick who turned out this morning to lend a hand on our Drinkies litter pick.

Judging from the fact that we found an old Corona bottle amongst the rubbish we found  we reckon that this was the first time anyone has done a thorough clean up since the late 1970s

Many hands make light work, and in less than an hour we had accumulated over 20 bin bags of litter.
The areas behind the pegs now look respectable - and hopefully we wont get the blame for what was obviously litter left by the general public rather than specifically by anglers.

If we can keep the place clean and tidy - we can keep it free.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Old River Work Party

Last weekend saw the first of three work parties we have planned on the Old River during winter 2012/13
A freezing start had us worried that not many would show up - and we were only expecting half a dozen or so victims/volunteers to turn out - so we were very pleased to see 16 members show up - all keen to help us bring some old fishing pegs back into play.

A VERY big thank you to all those who gave a bit of their time on a very cold and frosty morning.

Our immediate objective was to cut back the overgrowth around 5 pegs where access and fishing have become impossible.
The old phrase many hands make light work - didn't really hold true as some of the pegs were so overgrown it was very physically demanding to cut back the overgrowth.

Yet again, John P donned his waders, and cleared out the rubbish blocking the exit stream through the swamp - resulting in a 3 inch drop in water levels over 3 hours. I think that keeping this channel clear is going to be a key feature in the management of this water - as it prevents the water from the moss backing up into the Old River, helping us maintain steady water levels, and maintain dissolved oxygen levels within the water.

Our next club work party will be Saturday morning 9am the15th Dec at Drinkwater Park. There's alot of litter in the bushes behind some of the pegs so we will be undertaking a thorough litter pick - please bring a pair of gardening gloves.

Our next Old River work party will be Sunday the 27th Jan 2014 where we hope to re-board the freshly uncovered pegs.

By lunchtime it was mission accomplished on the work party and the Pike lads were patiently sitting behind their rods. El Blanko (Ian Goodwin) finally caught a pike after hours and hours of trying.  Only a tiddler - but as you can see from the smile on Blankos face - they all count.

Those of us with more sense had a pint in the pub! Especially after getting to grips with this stuff.

 Thanks again to everyone who turned out.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Restocking Drinkwater Park & River Irwell

Using the money our members raised during the course of this years restocking fund matches, and a very generous grant from the East Salford Community Committee - we have been able to purchase 2000 Crucian Carp to restock into Drinkwater Park Lake.
We bought 1500 4-6" fish and 500 6-8" fish which were all stocked last Thursday afternoon.
Over the last 18 months - Salford Friendly with the help of the EA and the Forestry Commision have managed to stock 10,000 roach and rudd into Drinkies.
We've managed to repair the dam wall at the far end of the lake, to enable the lake to revert back to its normal depth (we reckon that its about 6 inches deeper) which on a lake with an average depth of about 3feet makes a huge difference in the fishes ability to over winter.
We have also added aprrox 40 hessian sacks filled with well rotted horse manure to give the fish fry something to eat- our efforts were richly rewarded by the sight of huge shoals of fish fry in the margins this summer.
And now the final piece in the jigsaw - the return of Crucian Carp to what was once the areas best Crucian Carp waters.
Many many thanks to all involved, Especially - Paul Carr, Ian Hayes, Phil Lee and East Salford Community Committee.

Over the previous 4 or 5 years - there has been hardly anyone fishing Drinkies - but this summer local anglers (and quite a few not so local) have been returning - some great carp, bream and tench have been coming out, together with some great silvers sport for those using wag and mag tactics. Most encouraging of all, is the numbers of local juniors who are now getting the same chance to learn how to fish on a local lake offering good fishing - the same chances we had when we were kids.
In 2013 - we will be looking to start a Monday evening Junior anglers coaching event - we're looking to improve fish handlng and fishing technique and set our youngster off on the right path. If you have any youngsters who want to start fishing - we'll be announcing full details in April.

 Restocking The Irwell

In winter 2011, the EA stocked 500 small barbel into the Irwell in Salford - telling us that this was the start of a long term project to improve fish stocks in our river. In truth 500 fish - a drop in the ocean? a token gesture? however they assured us that this was just the start of a long term project
So imagine our delight this winter 2012 as various last minute phonecalls have seen us being invited to attend different episodes of this years re-stocking programme.
In the last couple of weeks, we have witnessed nearly 10,000 roach, dace and chub being stocking in the Irwell in and around Salford. Again only small fish 1+year age bracket - but its a tremendous boost to angling and the river in general.

Ian Hayes of the EA has promised more fish restockings in the winters of 2013,14 and 15 with similar large numbers of 1year+ age bracket fish.
When you combine this with the proposed construction of fishing pegs in the lower river as part of the forthcoming flood defence upgrades its all looking good for the future of angling in Salford.
The best news always comes last - one of the main deterrents to angling on the Irwell is the off putting effect of the large amounts of sewage debris which still washes down our river following heavy rainfall. Riverbanks are often still coated in disgusting amounts of sewage litter such as nappies, tampons and wetwipes and this still gives the impression that the River is still heavily polluted - even though its not.
So imagine our delight to be contacted by United Utilites asking us how WE think that they can improve the river, and where we think the worst areas of sewage contamination are found.
We're highlighting the 3 sewage outfalls at Ramsbottom, Bury and Bolton waste water treatment works, and also a couple of CSOs (Combined Sewage Overflows) and have site meetings arranged on the 17th Dec with the people most able to make change.
United Utilities have a 5 year rolling capital plan - where they spend money from our water rates on environmental improvements - lets see if we can get them to spend a good proportion of it on the Irwell.
The simple screening of these overflows to allow liquid but not solids into our river isn't an expensive process and will make an immediate difference to the aesthetics of our river.