Welcome to the sixteenth 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 2015 – 2016
All permits for 2015/16 were sold last year, the demand for 24 hour tickets was so high that not even all sponsored members were able to obtain their desired ticket. Some settled for a Dawn-til-Dusk ticket with a view to a hopeful upgrade in 16/17. 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 15/16; insurance, bank costs, bailiffing, contract labour, plant hire, stock, aggregate, swim building materials, postage and accountancy costs.
In 2012 Bainton Fisheries was informed that LeFarge Aggregates had decided that the site was surplus to requirement. They undertook a market valuation and developed a prospectus for a future sale. This was a land only sale and was not targeted necessarily at maintaining it as a fishery; possibly developing a leisure complex. The fishery was given a deadline to make LaFarge an offer or it would go to auction. After negotiation an offer was accepted. The fishery was then in a position where a commercial loan and the owner’s domestic property was re-mortgaged to raise the funds necessary. The owner was reticent in sharing the purchase of the fishery as he did not want members to think that because it was freehold the fishery would be run for commercial gain. The owner wanted to demonstrate the fishery would continue to run the way it always had. The fishery also relies on a huge amount of good will from people and felt that demonstrating to people that nothing had changed, this support would not be withdrawn as it had to be semi-commercial. Instead of paying a lease, the funds were paying the loan back now. The owner continues to take no income from the fishery, Bainton Fisheries Ltd exists as a vehicle to service the loan. It is really good news that the Fishery is secure and no-one can take it away from us and there is no intention to significantly change the way the fishery is run just because it is now freehold. However, the loans do need to be repaid so that the terms of the agreements can be honoured. This will require that the cost of being a member of Bainton Fisheries will have to gradually increase, this will be phased in over 5 years. It is believed that Bainton Fisheries will still be very competitive even with these price increases. These increases (£30/£15/£1) will be repeated each year.
For 2016 – 2017 the prices are:-
• Non-fishing Permit: – £21.00
• Dawn to Dusk Permit: – £175.00
• 24-Hour Permit: – £350.00
• Keys will remain at £10.00
Fishery Maintenance and Development
Last year a working party weekend was held on the 26th and 27th April. The required work was the creation of a new swim in the South East corner of the Big Pit and the levelling off of swims on the Match Pit to create flat areas to fish from but also try and reduce the impact of Winter water levels. In addition there were some road repairs along the Carp Lake Maxey Cut Bank which has held up pretty well over the last year.
Working party dates
In 2016 there will be 2 working parties, the fishery is closed to fishing on all lakes from 9am on Saturday the 23rd April until 5pm and again from 9am on Sunday the 24th April to 5pm. Anglers are more than welcome to fish nights outside of these hours, however they must remove their equipment to a safe distance during the day.
The required work will be the erection of a security fence along the Maxey Cut bank of the Orchid Pit, some levelling of swims on the Bailey Bridge Pit (as per the Match Pit in 2015) and some track repairs where the ground appears to be too soft in Winter and some reed cutting and tree trimming. The precise plan of works for the weekend will be alerted out via Facebook nearer the time.
The most useful tools to bring will also be notified but the fence construction will definitely require very thick gloves and hedge gardening tools as barbed wire will be involved. Please stay tuned for further information.
Feedback from Members Meeting
The sixteenth members’ meeting was held at the Tallington Lakeside Bar on 15th March 2016.
• There was a discussion about referrals; there have been a few referral’s for people who have been removed/excluded from other fisheries, members seriously need to consider the referral of another angler. If they have had any disciplinary issue at another fishery you do have to question why you would want to refer them to join Bainton fisheries and also to consider your own reputational position for knowingly referring a problematic angler.
• Members were informed that the majority of members now renewed online either by Bank Transfer or Card Payment via the Web Site. Direct Bank Transfer being the fisheries preferred option as it did not attract large bank charges. It was noted that only 13 X 24 Hour ticket holders left in 2015, leaving the tickets overly subscribed with over 30 referrals chasing these tickets. It is likely that if a similar demand takes place in 2016 that members are advised to refer early.
• Stocking news was that a split stocking had been sought of a mix of Bream and Carp, the Bream were to refresh the fish in the Bailey Bridge Pit and the Carp would top up lakes previously stocked from Centre Parcs. Unfortunately the Bream netting was to harvest a previous stocking of young skimmers from Abbey Park lake in Leicester which has been allowed to grow. The netting to extract the fish did not produce a single bream and only a few damaged carp. The fish had all been eaten or damaged by cormorants therefore making the surviving fish unsellable. There is however an option for the usual stock of fish from Centre Parcs which has been accepted and they will be spread around lakes which already have this strain introduced. They will not be stocked presently into the Carp Lake nor New Pit. When exact stocking dates are known members will be notified via the Bainton Fisheries facebook closed group.
• The owner wanted to discuss Day Ticket anglers; there was an admission that due to the over subscription of 24 hour tickets there had been an offer to anglers who had not been successful to acquire a dawn until dusk ticket. Some had accepted and a handful were long distance anglers who had joined, as long as they could stay on site at night and fish days. This was accepted as long as these anglers removed their rods from their rests as it was perceived that the likelihood of taking over a swim at dusk was unlikely. After much discussion it was agreed by members that this was too generous and that dawn to dusk members should vacate the swim completely at dusk. It was accepted that they could stay onsite at night, but park and rest away from swims, using areas adjacent to the Bailey Bridge pit, Stock Pond and just inside the gate to rest the night, The owner felt that it was unlikely to persist next year as he expected most dawn until dusk anglers aspiring to a 24 hour ticket to be upgraded, and would respect this strong feeling from the membership going forward.
• Guest tickets were also discussed; they were becoming increasingly difficult to bailiff and some guests were not being supervised, obeying the fishery rules and were not pre-agreed with the fishery. Some guests it was felt were trying to get away with non-payment. The membership felt they wanted to retain the facility to bring guests, within the limits of Dawn until Dusk, with pre-agreed and additional payment via the Bainton Fisheries website members’ area, only in advance. This payment must be evidenced on the bank either with a print out of the payment receipt or email on a phone. The guest situation would be reviewed at the next members meeting.
• The rules of the fishery were also discussed, the specific rules governing the New Pit were given special attention and it was agreed that the restrictions were set when the fishery did not have a large choice of carp fishing to choose from. Going forward it was agreed that although the three rod limit and fishing zone would continue on this lake the 72 hour on and off rule would be abolished from the new season.
• The owner and bailiff wanted to discuss summer pike fishing. Both were concerned that there had been quite a few fatalities over the summer and there was potential that extended playing of fish in warm conditions with low dissolved oxygen levels could lead to a repeat in 2016. It was agreed that pike caught in the summer via lure needed to be played quickly and fishing for them in the height of the summer needed to be discouraged. The situation would be monitored in year and reviewed at the next members meeting.
• It was felt also in the rules that it had never been necessary to say that theft from the site was against the rules, it was however noted that aggregate, wheelbarrows and general swim building materials had all been stolen on-site during the previous year and that members needed to be extra vigilant and report and challenge any acts which they felt were theft.
• Members raised three items from the floor; it was felt that the stile at the far West of the L shape lake was not being used and that a large gap in the adjacent fence had opened up that needed to be repaired, this was noted with the potential to be added to the working party list of jobs. In addition it was noted that a few gaps were starting to appear in the King Street hedge along the Big Pit, again this was noted and it was suggested that a small amount of hedge laying would resolve the problem. Finally the fishery gate was discussed, it was noted that the current construction was eroding jockey wheels and also there was quite a bit of noise. It was felt by the fishery that in the medium term the gate would be altered to a quieter and more sustainable construction.
And a note from the birdringer…..
You won’t have seen much of me and even less of Michelle, my ringing chum last year as we were both affected by family ill health. Sadly, Michelle will no longer be able to ring at Bainton, which is a great shame as she was really getting stuck into making the reedbed area her ‘own’ ringing patch. For me, serious family illness curtailed most of my ringing activity too but I did at least manage to get down to the site from time to time. Anyway, moving swiftly on…..
Two of the more delicate species I catch featured prominently last year. Willow Warbler 5U2688 was ringed by me as an adult female on 2 May 2012 and she came back to Bainton in 2013 and again in 2015. This little lass, weighing in at a mighty 9g or thereabouts has been back and forth to sub-Saharan Africa year after year, covering thousands of miles. Having been to the Sahara several times and seen how hostile the environment is, it never fails to amaze me how these tiny creatures manage this epic journey. And not only do they vaguely point in the right direction, they actually orientate to the exact site too. I have to confess to being more than a little moved when I hold one of these delicate little birds in my hands and can only imagine the journey it’s made – just so it can breed and keep the species going. Willow Warblers are unique as they have a moult in the UK before they migrate and then put on another ‘new set of clothes’ before they come back again in the spring. Most species don’t do this at all so they’ll return with the same feathers they left with the previous autumn and won’t actually moult until they’ve finished breeding the following summer. I’ve seen some really tatty specimens over the years for sure but once they’re newly booted and suited and got some fat on board, off they go.
At the other end of the movement scale is the Long tailed Tit, glorious little things that move around in family groups from May onwards. I guess most of you will have seen them buzzing around, constantly calling to each other so they stay in contact. I catch quite a few of these at Bainton and rarely get just one or two in a net. The record is 24 in one net at my winter ringing site in Leicestershire and that was quite a sight to see. One that must have swerved round the nets at Bainton a few times is BHX803, ringed as a juvenile on 18 May 2007. This chap turned up again in 2015 almost 8 years after I first ringed him. Quite where he’s been over the years we’ll never know and as they are fairly sedentary, he’s not likely to have gone far but he’s getting close to the national longevity record for the species – 8 years, 11 months. They don’t carry much weight around as they don’t need to. Unlike Willow Warblers, which pack on fat in the autumn to use as fuel for their migration, Long tailed Tits are even lighter at around 7g. Also, they have a totally different moult strategy to Willow Warblers with both adults and juveniles having a complete autumn moult. They retain all these feathers until they moult again after breeding the following year. So, in late autumn, it’s virtually impossible to tell old from young.
As you can see, ringing isn’t just about putting a bit of metal on a birds’ leg. Whilst we have the bird in the hand, it’s crucial to capture as much information as we can and all this data, stored at the British Trust for Ornithology’s HQ in Thetford helps to inform conservation strategies for the future. Hopefully, 2016 will be a better year for me so I can continue to add to the data sets that have been collected from Bainton for the past 3 decades or so.
My best wishes to you all for a successful year’s fishing.
Remember the Bainton Philosophy is for conservation minded anglers who care about the environment they fish in.