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Walcot Lake

Tracker

Tracker
Total Posts: 59
Joined: February 26, 2016

The announcement about closing the lake to fishing because of the weed problem, brought back memories of long ago!
I was once a member of a syndicate on a lake which had the same problem as Walcot.
They had a relatively easy way of keeping the required pegs fairly free of weed and so easy to fish.
The method they used requires a boat (which I believe the BAA already have), a very large rake and a few able bodied anglers or contractors.
The large rake was carried out on the back of the boat a reasonable distance, dropped in and pulled through the weed to the bank.
This was done two or three times on each peg.
If I remember correctly, it was done twice a season depending on weed growth, once in early June and again in late July.
If done on a regular basis the weed does not really grow back much anyway!
I think that about 8 to 10 able bodied anglers would clear 20 to 30 pegs in a day, using just a single rake.
If this was done on say about thirty pegs the fishery would be a nice place to go and even decent club contests could be held there again.
If the BAA offered free membership cards to say 10 volunteers to do the clearing, it would be money well spent, making the fishery worth the journey to get there.
On the syndicate there were the ''pullers'' on the ropes and ''weed removers'' clearing the pulled-weed onto the bank using hand rakes.
I have attached a sketch of what I remember of the large rake, the rope and the float on the back-end is just in case it gets stuck and can be pulled free using the boat.

PS. The prongs on the rake were about 12mm diameter (not shown on sketch)!

Tags:
Attachments: Rake.JPG
Posted on September 4, 2016 at 9:42 AM

Yorkie

Yorkie
Total Posts: 27
Joined: September 1, 2016

Re: Walcot Lake

I share your frustration (already commented on the fishing chat forum).

Whilst I agree that physical removal of the weed is possible, the BAA face the problem firstly that the venue is a long way from where most members live and they have a lot of other closer, more popular waters to service with a very small fishery management team - I don't think they have the 8 to 10 people that you suggest and you might struggle to find enough volunteers who would judge it worthwhile.

The second problem is that contrary to experience on some other waters is that the weed does indeed grow back very quickly. I have cleared a swim (or fished an already clear swim) one week and gone back a few days later to find the weed already covering much of the cleared area. The Ludlow club had several attempts to clear the west lake with limited success, sometimes the weed there was even worse than the BAA side, though at the time of writing it looks clearer.

The third issue is actually the depth of the lake. Only the few swims that are regularly raked and fished (two areas opposite the two groups of islands) have any real depth of water (2-4 feet) and most of the rest of the lake is actually only inches deep, confirmed by another member who used one of the rowing boats over at the hall to explore the lake. The only certain way to deal with the problem would be to drain most of the water off, allow the mud to consolidate and excavate it, and this would be beyond the means of either the hall or BAA. There are other alternatives that could be tried (diatomaceous chalk to get rid of the organic part of the sediment) but that has a high chance of failure and would also be expensive.

Until the resources and will are found to restore the lake properly all we could do is undertake to keep perhaps a dozen swims fishable and hope that increased angling activity including on-the-day swim raking would keep them clear.

We will see what the club decide to do. On the positive side I am pleasantly surprised that the issue has attracted comments in these forums, I had began to think I was the only member interested in the lake !

Posted on September 6, 2016 at 11:23 PM

Tracker

Tracker
Total Posts: 59
Joined: February 26, 2016

Re: Walcot Lake

Yorkie, I think you are being a bit too negative!
Obviously only suitable pegs with a bit of depth would be worked on.
If 20 to 30 pegs were done it would be a decent fishery again and so get much more usage.
Just the fact of more regular use of pegs would help keep the weed at bay.
Individual raking of weed with a small rake is not very efficient and leaves behind lots of weed unless long periods of time are spent on each peg.
A large wide heavier rake does a far better and quicker job.
For easy transportation it could be made in two or more sections and bolted together at a venue.
Walcot is not the only BAA lake which would benefit from this approach, Mythe being a prime example where the far end gets really weedy and virtually unfishable.
The distance from the bank cleared need not be too far, around 20 feet would be fine.
Uckinghall is another lake where this approach could work on the pandocks early in the year.
As for volunteers, I think a worthwhile offer such as a free or reduced cost BAA card could help the cause and produce a few bodies.
There are also contractors out there who would do the job, of course at a price.

Posted on September 7, 2016 at 11:22 AM

MartinKuhl

MartinKuhl
Total Posts: 46
Joined: August 28, 2016

Re: Walcot Lake

Could a local college not be approached that does fisheries management to ask them to see what they can do? This would allow them to give practical experience to students while seeking to bring Walcot back to the venue that many still care about. A quick internet search shows that Moreton Morrell college in Warwickshire offer fisheries management for one

Posted on October 16, 2016 at 10:12 PM

MartinKuhl

MartinKuhl
Total Posts: 46
Joined: August 28, 2016

Re: Walcot Lake

What about trying Harper Adams? They're based in Shropshire.

Posted on February 11, 2017 at 11:19 PM

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