2013 Members Newsletter

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2013 Members Newsletter

Welcome to the thirteenth 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 2012 – 2013

Some of the difficulties that anglers were having in renewing permits last year seems to have now rectified itself as demand was as great as ever for permits in 12/13.  All the permits were again sold and those few that were made available on the internet were gone within a few days.  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 the usual running costs in 12/13; rent, insurance, bailiffing, contract labour, plant hire, stock, swim building materials, postage and accountancy costs.  The greatest increase however was in postage costs and the requirement to have additional legal protection insurance in addition to public liability insurance.
Looking forward into 13/14 the running costs of the fishery will unfortunately increase but will remain hopefully within a level that people will accept in these difficult economic times.  Therefore the permits will increase in cost by £1.00 for non-fishing permits, £10.00 for day fishing and £20.00 for 24 hours fishing to reflect this.

For 2013 – 2014 the prices are:-
Non-fishing Permit: – £19.00
Dawn to Dusk Permit: – £145.00
24-Hour Permit: – £290.00
Keys will be £10.00

Fishery Maintenance and Development

Last year a working party weekend was held on the 21st and 22nd 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 the building up of swims on the big pit and the repair of a swim on the carp lake.

Working party dates

In 2013 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 27th April until 5pm and again from 9am on Sunday the 28th 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 a large amount of tree trimming on the carp lake, track repairs and reed trimming.

Bow saws, loppers, pole cutters, spades, shovels, chest waders, 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 Bailey Bridge Pit on the Saturday and the Match Pit on Sunday  As plant machinery will be used please ensure you leave plenty of room on the main track.
Feedback from Members Meeting
The thirteenth members’ meeting was held at the Tallington Lakes Bar, Tallington, on 20th April 2013.

•             There was a discussion about the renewal process for 2013 and the option for Internet payment (as a bill payment via online banking) would be made available to members if they wanted to use it.  Renewals that were complex in nature rather than just a “same again” were probably best done manually.  Sponsored members would also need to apply with a cheque.  There still will be a requirement to return the renewal form in the post to confirm address details and act as a record of renewal to tally up with any online payment.

•             The owner announced there had been three stockings in the months prior.  In December 2012 4 Pike in the 14-15lb range were stocked into the New Pit, to try and reduce the growing headcount of Rudd and Perch in the lake and also introduce a bit more winter sport onto the lake.  35 Carp weighing a total of 240lb were stocked into the Orchid Pit in December 2012 also.  This was a 60/40 mix of mirrors/commons in the 5lb to 13lb range.  The fish were from Centre Parks again which have proved to be a very good, fast growing strain.  Lastly 60 Carp for 300lb were stocked into the Big Pit in February 2013.  These fish were from a new source, Wayside Farm Fishery, near Shepton Mallet, Somerset.  These fish were uncaught fish having been the by-product of a Syndicate Fishery that had a overpopulation problem.  Most fish were exactly 5lb in weight, but were very young and plump fish and probably some the prettiest fish Bainton has ever bought.  The fish were a mix of Leathers, Mirrors and Commons of equal proportion.

•             The owner wanted to discuss predation on the complex and was keen to make the point that most predation was from fish themselves or from mink and cormorants.  Some otter activity had been seen over the Summer of 2012 but there was no evidence that they have had any impact on the fish.  They had however killed or scared off much of the bird life during the summer and the assumption that otters are a fish only predator killing large fish is incorrect.  They will eat all forms of creature, which includes small mammals, birds, amphibians and prefer small fish or about a 1lb and eels.  They are also an apex predator and their illegal introduction locally will have an ecosystem wide impact.  Otters are a protected species under the law and discouragement by human presence and fencing are the only options if a problem occurs.  Bainton Fisheries does control cormorants under licence and does trap mink to reduce predation however fencing is the only option for otters.  The owner had a quote for fencing and it would exceed £45,000 for the complex due to the massive perimeter of over 4km.  There was also a requirement to insert two concrete tunnels with hinged flaps to allow the fence to cross over the drainage dyke.  It was felt that the cost versus the benefit at this stage was not affordable and the situation should be monitored.  The owner felt that there had been a lot of hysteria in the media lately about otters and the reality at Bainton was somewhat different to the situation that is often portrayed.

•             Water levels were also discussed as it had been a dry winter with worrying low levels followed by rain in April 2012 which has never really stopped.  Drainage pipes have either been overhauled or inserted in the Big Pit, Orchid and L Shape to try and keep water down to an acceptable level.  However the Carp lake is problematic, surrounded by Maxey Cut and the Old River Welland both of which are currently higher than the lake and through the gravel deposits continuing to keep water levels very high.  A proposal was made by the owner to hire in a 6 inch pump for a week to lower water levels by 12-18 inches.  Members felt that the working party in April would be useful to take place first, then if the size of the problem was still great it may be necessary to pump at the end of April.  Members however felt that they would probably cope with high levels provided the tracks round the lake were drivable.

•             The owner wanted to see what the appetite was amongst member to open up the Lolham Mill Stream (course of the old River Welland) to fishing.  There was a positive reaction to this however the stream would need to be restored both in terms of stock and water level maintenance.  As it can run very low and clear during dry spells. The owner has arranged for a meeting with the Environment Agency to determine if they will adopt it as a river restoration project during 13/14 and it is intended that fishing will be allowed from 16th June 2013 on the permit.  It is not known however if there is anything worth catching at this stage but hopefully over time this will improve.

•             Several modifications to rules were discussed, with regards to Bait Boats, parking of cars and driving off track when clearly conditions were not appropriate, resulting in tracks being cut up.  The owner agreed to look at the rules, strengthen the wording if necessary and look at erecting poles/ropes to close very wet tracks to vehicles.  It is a shame to have to do this, but there has been a failure to apply common sense by some people making this action necessary.

•             The deadline for renewal to ensure that all applications are received will be no later than Tuesday 14th May 2013 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……
Fifty or more years ago when I was growing up just outside Nottingham, a favoured spot for me and my mates was Attenborough Gravel Pits, known locally as ‘The Gravs’. Owned and managed by Trent Gravels it was very much like Bainton in that it was old gravel workings that nature took over and turned into, eventually, Attenborough Nature Reserve.  The workings were still in operation when I was a kid and the ‘chug chug’ of the gravel barges as they worked their way along from the extraction sites back to the works on foggy mornings is indelibly imprinted on my brain.  It was here too that I first dabbled in a bit of fishing.  Extracting the hook from a Perch soon taught me how not to hold it whilst doing so and sometimes, when we got fed up with The Gravs, we’d gravitate onto the weir at Beeston Lock and whip Roach out of the Trent.  For me though, catching the fish was not the main attraction.  I really loved the tranquillity of sitting quietly by the side of the pond or river, watching the world go about its business and just ‘chilling out’ – a phrase we were not familiar with back then of course.  As I grew older I shared many fishing sessions with my late father and it was from him that I think I inherited my love of nature, all fostered over many, many years and slowly – ever so slowly – developed over the decades.  These days, unless there’s more or less instant gratification, folk seem less inclined to enjoy the relatively simple pleasure that fishing can bring.  Likewise with birdwatching – or, to put it in the modern vernacular, birding – where these days you can immerse yourself in endless CDs, DVDs, guides, Apps and any number of modern aids in pursuit of your hobby. You can become an expert without leaving the comfort of home but it’s just not the real thing. I don’t know about you but for me, there’s no depth to any of this, no knowledge gleaned through working things out yourself, no experiences to fall back on and, for me at least, little sense of satisfaction.  Modern day birders are certainly more knowledgeable in terms of identifying species than I ever was or will be but the headlong rush to tick off yet another species, invariably one that’s been discovered by someone else, adds little to our knowledge of our avian friends.

If fishing taught me anything, it was to be patient and the slow rhythm of life that fishing engenders is very much in line with my activities as a bird ringer.  Ringing is not for everyone and most birders run a mile at the thought of getting up in the small hours and arriving on site around 2.30 on a summer morning like I do. For me though, apart from the fact that I know I’ll be catching some fantastic birds, just being at Bainton and soaking up all the site has to offer, including your good selves, all adds to the occasion.  Not for me a dash up the road to tick off some obscure bird that’s got lost and shouldn’t even be here.  Much more important to monitor the common species, which is what my ringing programme has been doing for over 20 years now so I can see when things are going awry.  Not that anything more than eyes and ears were needed in 2012 as it was simply a catastrophic breeding season for birds at Bainton, with the notable exception of Blackbird.  If I had been a Reed Warbler who had battled through all the spring storms that affected North Africa and Southern Europe and arrived at Bainton I’d have been pretty fed up come August.  The early spring was OK (who remembers the threat of hosepipe bans?) and the signs were promising until the rains came.  From then on, it hardly stopped.

I just hope 2013 turns out to be much improved for the birds and hope you have a good year too whilst you sit back and enjoy the rhythms of nature.
Best wishes
Chris Hughes (Bird Ringer)
The 2012 Birdringing Report can be found at

And Finally…….
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.

Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time