Another new season is upon us, and I would like to extend a warm welcome from the directors, officers, committee members and bailiffs of the Association. Whether an existing member, or a new member looking forward to fresh angling challenge we sincerely hope that you enjoy the fishing at our venues and hope to see your name on the members register for many years to come.

Another unusual year has slipped by and the uncertainty of another covid outbreak during 2021 impacted on almost everyone in the country. Unlike many other sports and social activities, angling was largely unaffected by government restrictions, we were very fortunate to be able to continue to enjoy our sport with a few self-imposed disciplines such as social distancing and simple self-hygiene practices. We were very lucky to have the Angling Trust lobbying the government to allow fishing to continue throughout the year.

Covid was not the only set back during the last season. We had periods of quite extreme weather, even by British standards, experiencing both long hot dry spells, intense rainfall and windy conditions. Weed growth was prolific in places, the River Ivel burst its banks for only the second time in decades and trees fell like matchsticks during several belts of gale force winds. Unfortunately, the lakes and rivers were unfishable for several weeks and the property at Poppy Hill suffered some damage from fallen trees. If that wasn’t enough, we then suffered an oxygen collapse in all the lakes at Poppy Hill and in order to protect the fish stocks, fishing had to be suspended at Poppy Hill for the second time during the season.

On a more positive note, I can report that during the season there were several notable catches of large carp at least one 8lb+ Tench and some large bags of fish during club matches and the pleasure anglers. We had 5 stockings of fish and introduced several very big Tench into Lake 2, two stockings of smaller Carp into the canal, a large quantity of quality Roach into Lake 1 and the Environment Agency introduced two or three hundred pounds of mixed Roach, Dace and Chub into our section of the River Ivel. Hopefully these stockings will have a positive impact on catch rates this season.

I would like to draw attention to Byelaw A, in the membership book. LGCAA has always been a ‘members only’ club and non-members or guests are not allowed at the Poppy Hill complex. We appreciate that there may be the odd occasion when a member may wish to request permission to bring a non-fishing guest, but advance permission must be approved by the Fishery Manager and a date agreed. Bailiffs will be notified on a daily basis of any permissions that have been granted by the Fishery Management Team, any unapproved guests will be asked to leave the fishery. 

This rule does not apply to adult members who wish to bring a child under the age of 12 to any of our waters if they occupy the same swim and share your rod allocation for the water that you are fishing. 

LGCAA is nearing its 70th anniversary and it’s longevity is solely down to the commitment of several ever changing teams of dedicated individuals that have freely invested their time and effort taking the fishing club forward. We know that our Poppy Hill lakes complex is one of the very best open membership club water in the region. The club officials and a handful of volunteers that attend our work parties put in an awful lot of effort to make Poppy Hill what it is today. If you’re interested in putting something back into the club, try volunteering a few hours of your time a couple of days a year at one of the organised work parties. If more members were willing to do this Poppy Hill could be even better. You may find there’s more to joining the club than just turning up and going fishing. If you are genuinely interested the contact details of the appropriate people are printed in the club book or chat to one of the club bailiffs or officials when you meet them on the bank. If you don’t know where to start my suggestion would be to contact Len Leroux or Jason Byrne in the first instance.  A big “Thank You” to all of you who did volunteer your time during the past season.

Once again, it’s time to thank all the officers of the club, the GPC members, Fisheries Management committee and work party volunteers for their hard work and support over the last year. I would also like to thank the bailiffs who have the very difficult job of enforcing the rules and regulations of the club and who give up their fishing and leisure time to protect the fish and the anglers and help preserve the fisheries we all enjoy so much.

I hope you enjoy your association waters, good luck, and tight lines.

Paul Dalrymple – Chairman LGCAA.