Welcome to the twelfth Bainton Fisheries Newsletter, which is designed to keep you informed about the Fishery, in terms of news during the last season, future events and issues.
Membership 2011 – 2012
There continues to be significant demand for permits on the complex although it must be said the economic downturn this year did manifest itself with some difficulties in anglers ability to pay for permits. However all permits were sold successfully and demand looks high for the coming year. New members will only be accepted in place of existing members who do not renew by the deadline. Membership numbers will be fixed again for the coming season. Operating profits have been spent on rent, insurance, staff, (bailiff and contract labour), plant hire, swim building materials, a few tools and admin costs (e.g. Stamps/Printing etc).
This year the lease costs for 2012/13 have been confirmed with other increased operating costs, this means that overall the fishery can keep permit increase costs down to a modest level. Therefore the permits will increase in cost by nothing for non-fishing permits, £2.50 for day fishing and £5.00 for 24 hours fishing to reflect this.
For 2012 – 2013 the prices are:-
Non-fishing Permit: – £18.00
Dawn to Dusk Permit: – £135.00
24-Hour Permit: – £270.00
Keys will be £10.00
Fishery Maintenance and Development
Last year a working party weekend was held on the 16th and 17th April with the fishery being closed to anglers during the day. On both days enough eager volunteers turned up to complete the programme of work. The required work was some major relaying of tracks along the Maxey cut bank of the carp lake and around the L shape, using a loader. In addition 3 swims on the Carp lake were repaired, and two trees that were a hazard to hooked fish were trimmed. On the big pit a large amount of posts left over from duck shooting platforms in the lake were stripped out and two new swims along the main track in the reeds were established.
Working party dates
In 2012 year there will be 2 working parties, and they will take place over one weekend. The fishery is closed to fishing on all lakes from 9am on Saturday the 21st April until 5pm and again from 9am on Sunday the 22nd April to 5pm. Anglers with 24 hour tickets are more than welcome to fish nights outside of these hours, however they must remove their equipment to a safe distance to avoid any possibility of damage, e.g. falling branches.
The required work will be the construction of a formal swim in the North East corner of the big pit and the repair of a swim along the East bank of the big pit. The removal of trees in the water along the East bank of the big pit will also be considered subject to a feasibility survey.
Bow saws, loppers, pole cutters, spades, shovels, chest waders, lump hammers, wheel barrows, very thick gloves are useful items to bring. A boat will be used also on the working party so if you have a life jacket you may get a special treat.
Please meet by parking at the Match Pit on Saturday and the Stock Pond on Sunday. As plant machinery will be used please ensure you leave plenty of room on the main track.
Feedback from Members Meeting
The twelfth members’ meeting was held at the Tallington Lakes Bar, Tallington, on 20th April 2012. This had a fantastic turn out with about 60 members which was excellent.
• There was a discussion about whether Internet payment should be introduced as an option or whether the current system of cheques/POs should be the sole method. Very few members indicated that they would use it and that writing a cheque was perfectly acceptable. So the current process will continue.
• The owner thanked members for their adherence to the 10mph rule on the fishery, after spending money on having the main track relayed it was essential that pot-holes be kept to a minimum as a result.
• The proposal for the working party on the 21st and 22nd April 2012 was discussed. The fishery owner had one big pit proposal left over from the previous year, plus two suggestions for the big pit were also proposed by members. There was a useful debate about removing a long standing tree in the water along the East bank of the big pit. It was agreed that a survey would be undertaken to determine if the tree could be cleanly removed. If however it would leave a residual submerged snag, it would be left, as this would at least indicate to people that a hazard existed.
• A request was also made to introduce a step into one of the swims of the carp lake, that lower water levels had make awkward to fish.
• There was also a discussion about introducing small stock fish in Bainton Fisheries, to grow-on onsite. Understandably there was a good debate about the various pros and cons of introducing small fish to a segregated area, and the options for creating such an area. The owner agreed to look into the various proposed options, to see if any of them could be made to work within the limited options of a leasehold fishery.
• The owner stated that he had been in receipt of complaints and also through the bailiff and himself witnessed incidents of anglers leaving rods unattended. It is already unlawful to leave a baited rod and line, that is unattended, in the water or over which sufficient control cannot be effected. However there is no definition as to what sufficient control is and this is for local fisheries to enforce based on judgement. The owner felt that for all forms of fishing that did not involve alarms and bolt rigs and run the risk of deep hooking then anglers should simply not wander off. But being realistic, a maximum of 10m would be tolerated for anglers using alarms and bolt rigs. However the fishery reserves the right to assess each situation as they arise and exercise judgement about ability to rapidly cover the ground to pick a rod up.
• Stocking was discussed; there had been two stockings during 11/12. In July 2011, 16 Tench were stocked into the L Shape from a fishery near Godmanchester, Hunts. These were in the 6-7 1/2lbs range. Also 21 Mirror carp were stocked into the L shape in the 8-10lb range. These will be a fast growing strain as before from Centre Parks. These are exceptionally well marked fish that will easily increase by 5lb a year. A small stock of 7 bream in the 5-8lb range were also stocked with the carp.
• A request was also made to consider the introduction of some Water Lilies into the L shape for aesthetic reasons. The owner said he would consider this and establish if a reasonable price could be established for native species.
The deadline for renewal to ensure that all applications are received will be no later than Tuesday 15th May 2012 to ensure that membership does not lapse, thereafter; existing members will compete with new applications. Should existing members wish to sponsor a new applicant please be aware of their abilities to fish and obey rules and an early renewal accompanied with that sponsorship is advised, as latent demand for tickets seems to be great this year.
A note from the Bird Ringer……
You may well be sick of reading about my beloved Nightingales at Bainton…….but last year the site was visited by Britain’s leading authority on the species, Professor Rob Fuller and his team from the British Trust for Ornithology so they could see for themselves what all the fuss was about. To say they were gobsmacked would be an understatement. From their vast experience they were able to tell me that the site was quite unique and extremely important for the future of the species. I caught 16 individual Nightingales at Bainton in 2011 and probably there were several more across the site which evaded the nets. In 2012, a national survey is taking place in the UK and this is happening because the species has suffered an almost catastrophic decline over the last few years. The reasons for this are not fully understood but now, thanks to the BTO team, we have a better idea where they spend their winter in Africa and it could well be that pressure on land use and climate change are major contributors to the decline. A few birds were fitted with small data loggers and were retrapped back at their summer site in Norfolk where the downloaded data finally cracked the puzzle of where they go in Africa. Interestingly, they also caught a bird at that site which I’d ringed here in 2007 and in habitat totally different to that at Bainton. We are at the northern edge of the birds’ UK range and the population levels here are significant and vitally important for its future. Bainton will play a big part in the 2012 survey for sure.
Another bird also struggling and one very familiar to just about everyone is the Cuckoo. I would imagine just about all of you would have heard one if you fished the site in the spring and summer last year. Early on the morning of 12 May (4.35am to be precise!), no less than 3 males were calling at the same time – something almost unheard of these days. In fact it’s one of the species that most folk now constantly tell me that they haven’t heard ‘for years’. At a farm in the Vale of Belvoir, where I do some survey work for the BTO, the farmer bemoans the fact that he hasn’t had a single calling Cuckoo on his farm for at least 5 years whereas, in previous years, they were regular summer visitors. So, although, like the Nightingale I’m sure they drive you mad and keep you awake sometimes, I do hope that we can just spare a thought for the countless thousands of extremely envious folk across the country that are not quite as fortunate as we are. What a poor world it would be indeed without the call of the Cuckoo and the comforting ‘purring’ of the Turtle Dove, another site speciality and often to be seen perched on the overhead wires –and yes, yet another species to have been hammered over the last quarter of a century. For someone as passionate as I am about birds, it’s almost heartbreaking to witness the decline in species I was so familiar with as a lad and I know from talking to so many of you that you too are interested in the wider world around you at Bainton. Certainly, I get a very clear message that the general ambience of the place is greatly enhanced by the wildlife we all enjoy.
Let’s hope that we and those that follow can also enjoy the sights and sounds of this very, very special place for generations to come.
Have a great season
Without all your support and effort running this fishery would be an impossible task. Hopefully you get out more from it than just a days fishing, I hope you feel included and consulted and feel that you are making a contribution into shaping the ways things develop.
Remember the Bainton Philosophy is for conservation minded anglers who care about the environment they fish in.