2014 Members Newsletter

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2014 Members Newsletter

Welcome to the fourteenth 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 2013 – 2014
All permits for 2013/14 were sold last year and demand looks reasonably positive for 2014/15 due to the number of enquiries coming through. It is expected that all tickets will be sold before the new season starts.  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 13/14;  insurance, bank costs, bailiffing, contract labour, plant hire, stock, swim building materials, postage and accountancy costs.
Looking forward into 14/15 the running costs of the fishery will unfortunately increase by a minimum of £800 just due to inflation on outgoings, therefore ticket prices will increase but within a level that people will accept in these difficult economic times.  Therefore the permits will increase in cost by 50p for non-fishing permits, £5.00 for day fishing and £10.00 for 24 hours fishing to reflect this.

For 2014 – 2015 the prices are:-

Non-fishing Permit: – £19.50

Dawn to Dusk Permit: – £150.00

24-Hour Permit: – £300.00

Keys will be £10.00

Fishery Maintenance and Development
Last year a working party weekend was held on the 27th and 28th 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 trimming of trees on the Carp Pit and the laying of 100m of ground reinforcement netting on the back of the Orchid Pit.
Working party dates
In 2014 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 26th April until 5pm and again from 9am on Sunday the 27th 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 rebuild of three swims on the Big Pit, two along the North Bank where the level is too low, and a major reconstruction on the Point Swim in the North West corner.  In addition there will be an attempt to lay a secondary track in addition to the one that already exists on the Orchid Pit and remove several trees from the water in the L Shape.  There will also be some general gardening on most pits.

The most useful tools to bring will be wheel barrows, shovels, hammers, lump hammers, bow saws, loppers, pole cutters and very thick gloves are useful items to bring.

The big pit work will be mainly a groundwork day, whereas the work on the Orchid and L Shape will be a mixture of laying track and a gardening day.

Please meet by parking inside the entrance on the Saturday and near the L Shape on Sunday  as plant machinery may be used please ensure you leave plenty of room on the main track.

Feedback from Members Meeting
The fourteenth members’ meeting was held at the Bluebell pub in Werrington, on 26th March 2014.

The feedback about the renewal process involving Internet Banking was commented on.  It had been successful and as long as people use the reference on the renewal form it was relatively foolproof.  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 not been any stockings since the last meeting, however 500lb of carp from Centre Parks had been ordered and they were netted, stored in a stock pond and awaiting delivery.  Due to unfortunate circumstances with the fish supplier having both their vehicles out of action (due to theft and mechanical failure), delivery had not yet taken place but was imminent. The final destination of the fish had not been decided, but would probably top up existing stock from the same strain.

Feedback on the project in 2013 to address the water levels was given.  It was considered a success although it had been an even wetter winter than the previous year, water levels had not been as high.  There was however quite a high level of maintenance required on the extract pipes to keep them clear for which the owner was grateful to the bailiff for attending to.

The plastic ground reinforcement netting was also discussed and again had proved to be a success.  Subject to purchase at a reasonable price a further strip of grass track will be purchased and laid during the April working party.

The owner gave feedback on a meeting with the Environment Agency (EA) with regards to the Lolham Mill Stream (course of the old River Welland) which was now included in the ticket. The meeting was to discuss the potential for restoration of this water course, so that it could be stocked with a viable population of river species.  The meeting concluded that the management of this water course by the EA meant that it was used to run water off in the Winter and was almost standing water in the Summer.  This lead to river bottom silting and subsequent stagnation during the hot summer months.  The EA concluded that they classified the waterway as a low quality fishery and that they would not invest in any restoration work in the short term, advising that any stocking would be unlikely to be successful due to the variability of the river, caused by it’s management.  A follow up meeting will be arranged with the EA as part of an annual reminder that anglers rod license money does require some investment back into fishing and habitat restoration.  However some fish are present and members are permitted to fish the river as specified in the permit.

There was a discussion about the numerous small rudd in the Match Pit making it hard to make baits  available to Tench and other species.  This was also combined with a request from a member to have some Rudd made available to stock a small lake on a housing estate.  So it was proposed that there was potential to have a stock of rudd removed by the most efficient method possible.  The owner said they would discuss the matter with the EA initially to understand if they would be willing to help.

An update was given on the main gate.  It had been extensively overhauled during the Winter to replace the padlock, further work could take place to ensure the jockey wheel was adjustable.

The main track and potholes were also discussed.  As the pea gravel on site is running low, a different approach is now required.  Enquiries had been made to obtain road planning and/or crushed brick to gradually relay the road in a more stable material, to hopefully avoid pothole creation.  At the moment these enquiries have not lead to any firm offers of aggregate at an acceptable price, however the search continues.  It would appear that a 20 tonne load would cover about 30m of track, at a price of about £150 per load.  For a long track across the site this would quickly add up to a significant amount.

There was a lengthy discussion about the use of baitboats at the meeting.  The general feeling was not that people were generally anti bait boats, but the issue was that a few individuals were fishing beyond a range that would be considered as part of their swim, and also taking baitboats into places that they could not cast and potentially endangering fish.  The rules should be strengthened coupled with random compliance tests as part of that strengthened rule.

Rule 12 would be changed to read – Bait boats are permitted but they must be used within the following framework:- a) to use the boat in water that you can actually safely cast to from your swim (keeping out of uncastable sanctuary areas) and b) to only use it within an area which would be considered to be the swim area, (i.e. not intruding on another swim’s fishing area and c) not to exceed a maximum distance of 120 metres and d) not introducing risk of loss of fish by proximity to snags.

All other rules were unchanged.

The deadline for renewal to ensure that all applications are received will be no later than Tuesday 13th May 2014 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……

The times are a’changing

The weather!  The perennial subject discussed up and down the country by just about everyone.  It does seem to me that the weather patterns have shifted somewhat and, depending on who you believe; we are in for some more changes.  The easily recognised seasons seem to be somewhat blurred round the edges with overly wet winters and summers, severe winter storms, mild winters etc, all seemingly playing havoc.  I’ve no idea what the impact of all of this is on the fish (and fishing) but over the years, birds have had to learn to adapt.  And not just to our ever changing weather but with loss of habitat at an alarming rate.  2013 was the coldest spring since 1962 yet was followed by the warmest summer since 2006 with 50% of the average summer rainfall too.   You might have thought this was great news for breeding birds but 2012 was such a poor breeding year that there just weren’t the numbers of juveniles around from that year to swell the ranks of the adults from previous years. Subsequently, despite the pretty good weather, 2013 was not a particularly productive year and juvenile numbers were down for most species, not only at Bainton but around the country too.  The good news though is that with the mild winter, survival rates for last years’ young might be good so 2014 should, in theory anyway, be much better.  Also, with a following wind – literally – our summer migrants winging their way back from Africa should find things a bit more to their liking.

Just to show though how things change, it’s not that many years ago that the recording of a Cetti’s Warbler at Bainton would have made national headlines.  These fantastic little birds (they look a  bit like a Wren on steroids and you’ll hear them rather than see them as they have an explosive song) first bred in Britain only  40 years ago.  I’ve only ringed four juveniles here but amazingly, two of them have been caught again by other ringers.  The first was in Pembrokeshire in 2010 and one I ringed in 2013 was caught again in Yorkshire a few weeks later.  Whilst some species are expanding, others are in serious trouble with populations being decimated by a combination of factors, weather being one of them.  Warblers overwintering in Africa are as much dependent on suitable conditions there as they are here so if it’s not right there, it impacts greatly on their survival.  To compound the problem, in 2013 they had to contend with strong headwinds on their way north and then, when they finally got there they were met with a cold spring.  One species that had an unusual year was Spotted Flycatcher, a sub-Saharan migrant.  Over the last two decades or so, only two have ever been caught here – both juveniles – moving through in autumn, yet in 2013 six were ringed including adult birds in spring.  Never common, populations of these nondescript, streaky brown birds have declined by 50% between 1995 – 2010 and by a staggering 88% since 1970.   I remember as a young child spending hours watching them fly out from a favourite perch, twisting and turning through the air as they chased some flying insect before returning to the same perch.  Like most things, I took it for granted that I’d be able to watch this display of aerial mastery for ever but it’s difficult to spot one now.  Had I not been ringing, it’s doubtful anyone would even have known they were around, which is one of the joys of ringing.  You just never know what you’re going to catch and, after hundreds of ringing sessions over the years, a Tawny Owl finally managed to plop into a net.  In fact, the following week, another did exactly the same!  Fascinating birds, lovely cryptic plumage with a dozy looking expression that can fool the unwary into thinking they’ve nodded off whilst you’re extracting them from the net.  Their massively strong talons can apply an amazing amount of grip as I can personally testify from having one insert a claw into and out the other side of one of my fingers when I caught one at Ferry Meadows, Peterborough a few years ago.  Not an experience I care to repeat.  Thankfully, these two were very obliging but you do have to exercise a little caution, as no doubt do you when you’re disgorging a pike I expect.

So, mind your fingers, come and say hello if you see my Skoda parked up and have a great 2014.

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.

Remember the Bainton Philosophy is for conservation minded anglers who care about the environment they fish in.

Ian Wakeford

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