What an extraordinary 12 months we have just witnessed. Without doubt the fishing club has never experienced anything that could compare with the incredible events that have occurred during the 2019 2020 season.
Where do I start? We’ve endured on one of the warmest driest summers on record. The water levels at Poppy Hill were becoming dangerously low and there were serious concerns over the safety and health of our fish stocks. Weed and aquatic plant growth was prolific in Lake 1 and 2 and proving a difficult challenge for some anglers. Then the rain came, a godsend at first but after one of the wettest three months on record, the lakes overspilled and we actually saw the Canal, Lake 2 and the Jubilee connect and then link up with a Lake 3. First time for decades that has happened and the depth of water made several swims around the site un-fishable! The weather had not finished with us just yet though, strong gale force winds followed by the rain, caused many large trees to be felled or uprooted. Luckily nobody was injured, the new Otter fence had a remarkable escape and survived unharmed and purely by chance the access road, carpark and most footpaths remained open.
The old adage that bad news arrives in threes was also proved to be wrong. The angling club receive notice from the owners of Lake 3 that our long-standing lease agreement for the fishing rights was not going to be renewed and this water would not be included in the season 2020/21 membership book. The good news is that we have secured the fishing rights on a four lake complex known as the “Turnford Angling Consortium” (TAC). It is a mixed Fishery venue and should hold an interest for all anglers with your specimen hunter, pleasure or match angler. Catch reports and feedback have been very positive and I urge you all to try it out. You’ll have a supplementary TAC membership card issued to you when you purchased this years LGCAA book and you must take both with you when fishing the TAC waters. You must also obey their club rules, read them and understand them before you start fishing. Although they are specific to TAC lakes, they are very similar to our rules and bylaws are easy to understand and comply with.
Even though we’ve experienced some of the most diverse weather conditions on record during last season, Bailiff reports and match weights show that the catch rates at Poppy Hill and on the river Ouse at Felmersham was still very good and consistent with other years. With this year’s addition of the TAC lakes I’m optimistic that we may have at least one if not more than one new club record to report next year.
At the time of writing we are all on the government instructions and guidelines to play our part to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. We will not be opening any of our waters until there are clear and definitive instructions from the government that it is safe to do so. Please bear with us as we cannot predict any timescales on the relaxation of the current ruling and we must stress that the strict compliance with these rules is for everyone’s safety. If there is any significant delay to the start of the 2020 season LGCAA will ensure that none of the membership will be financially penalised please keep checking the website and Facebook pages for the latest news and updates.
As usual I would like to thank the members of the general purpose committee, the fisheries management team and volunteer work party participants for the effort and hard work maintaining of Fishery during these very testing 12 months. Also many thanks to the bailiffs who give up some of their time to help protect the members, the fish stocks and preserve the Fishery for all of us.
To round off I would like to remind you that otter predation along the length of the Ivel Valley is still very much an issue. Please report any sightings of Otters, any instance of any fence damage and most of all any incident of anglers being lazy and leaving the gates open. Please be aware that anyone responsible for leaving the gates open for any reason will be banned from the Association for life.
I hope we all get an opportunity to enjoy the forthcoming season without too much delay good luck, tight lines to everyone and above all stay safe.