It’s my intention to try to update weekly on what’s happening at Hunstrete, even if that’s just to confirm there is no news.
We will share everything we believe we know, this will only be facts and not assumptions or guesswork. There will be nothing held back.
We are working with several specialists and what can easily be agreed are subject experts, along side the EA and CEFAS.
Can I respectfully ask that Bailiffs and Committee members are not contacted directly as they will only know as much as we tell everyone. As you can imagine, some have been inundated with messages and this is as distressing as dealing with the issues themselves. Please remember, these volunteers have given an extraordinary amount of blood, sweat and tears to make Hunstrete what it is. These are not just fish, these are a life’s work for some.
Since our last post, the EA have returned results on the latest water samples taken from incoming water sources, the lakes themselves and water outflow. ALL samples pass quality tests and show no levels to be concerned about.
The EA now plan to take a number of fish for testing, CEFAS will also complete testing. This is good as this will hopefully identify what is affecting the fish and will help us plan next steps with their advice. We will update on test results when known.
We are still unfortunately finding lost fish, including carp, a small number of pike, bream and roach, although we cannot tell whether they are new losses or from a few weeks ago. We suspect a mix.
We can confirm that Bridge Pool and Withy are not suggesting they are affected at this stage. Apart from the first 2 fish from Bridge in our original post, no others have been removed to my knowledge. This suggests whatever is happening is contained to Main Lake. Hopefully this continues to be the case.
We plan to keep all lakes closed this week whilst we wait for EA and CEFAS results, we feel this is the responsibile thing to do. We hope to review this through the week and will then consider Bridge and Withy further when we have more info.
That’s everything we know so far, I will update again next week.
Bathampton Angling Association Announcement
Following a second meeting with the EA Today (Monday), we now have information we are able to share.
Hunstrete Main Lake has been a victim of a significant Diatom Bloom (brown algae), caused we understand from a series of cold and mild weather systems around a month ago.
The short freeze followed by mild weather encourages a Diatom Bloom to occur and spread throughout the lake when the ice thaws. The Diatoms attach themselves to the fish, including their gills.
Unfortunately around 25 of the older, and sadly many of Hunstrete’s most historical carp including Blush, Jaffa, Withy Fully and Lumpy, have succumbed to the bloom, alongside many bream and the smaller roach. We would stress that not all fish are affected.
We understand this will be upsetting and frustrating for many members, as it is for the hard working teams that have cared for and looked after these fish for many many years. Do not forget this is a hobby for many and a life’s work and dedication for others.
This was something that couldn’t have been foreseen and there is nothing we could have done to have reduced the effects once it occurred. Diatoms are permanently in the water and cannot be removed, we can only hope the blooms that occur are mild and do not affect the fish.
Other lakes are closed as a precautionary measure to reduce stress on the fish. There is only 1 spring that feeds all lakes, we have no evidence yet that the bloom occurred in either of the other lakes. Only 2 small fish have been lost in Bridge pool, which could have occurred for other reasons.
Please be respectful and supporting to the whole of Bathampton Angling Association and our members whilst we unravel what this now means. We are working with the best fishery experts in the country to plan how we best recover and restock the lake.
One chapter closing has been forced on us, we now need to start planning the next one. We will certainly be very grateful for your help and support as this happens.
We will endeavour to report weekly, where additional information becomes available.
On behalf of the BAA Committee.