Dave Crookes Fishery – Hunstrete Recovery Overview Members Update Hunstrete Update – Sunday 26th May.

Dave Crookes Fishery – Hunstrete

Recovery Overview

Members Update

Hunstrete Update – Sunday 26th May.

Apologies, long post coming!

As I’m sure everyone appreciates following my recent updates and comments, we have needed to follow lots of processes, discuss many things with experts and officials, that ahs now finally lead to us being able to formalise a plan for recovery of Bridge Pool and Main Lake at Hunstrete.

The following update gives a brief overview of the works we plan to complete at the complex.

It’s extremely hard to give timescales, although we assure you we will be taking the right balance of time to make sure we do this properly, against the need to reopen the lakes for fishing.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank all those that have given us advice over the past 5/6 months allowing us to now have a clear plan in place, including CEFAS, EA, Simon Long, Simon, and particularly Andrew Ellis.

Incoming Flows

Everything starts here.

We know we have incoming springs passing through the soil, and flows coming across neighbouring land, through drains, entering Bridge Pool.

For information – the EA have confirmed incoming flows across the land are within legal quality limits.

We are advised that we need to do as much as we can to control the water as it enters Bridge Pool, as this impacts both bridge Pool and Main Lake.

We will intercept as many incoming flow sources as possible by extending the ditch next to Bridge Pool, allowing a large bed of reeds to be planted. These reeds will help control nitrate and phosphate, as well as filter the water. We will also add a gravel/stone filter prior to this reed bed, and after if we can. The gravel/stone will filter larger particulates.

General Works

We must reduce the leaf litter entering the lakes, improve air flow across all waters, and increase the amount of sunlight on the lake. This work is essential.

This will require the removal of trees over hanging lakes and continue to clear some of the trees behind Bridge Pool. We willretain the ‘good’ trees though.

Will continue to plant ‘large plants’ in the water on Main Lake, such as Flag Iris. We need to fill the full perimeter of the lakes where possible. Large plants will use the nitrates and phosphorous, helping control future levels. Bridge and Withy are in vey good condition.

Large plants can include small quantities of lily pads, although this must be controlled as they inherently reduce light entering the lake and wind flow across the surface.

Bridge Pool

It was made very clear by our experts that we need to spend time repairing Bridge before moving on to Main Lake. Any issues we have had are in the soil, lake bed, existing fish and water.

We will fully drain Bridge Pool, allow the lake bed to bake in the sun until there are significant cracks in the silt, then lime the bed.

Our experts advised it was not necessary to remove the silt, as we will be liming the lake bed.

Liming sterilises the lake bed, essentially neutralising anything in it. Chalking the lake bed does not do the same job and is not a suitable alternative.

It has been recommended to remove the islands and level the lake bed to a uniform level. This will ensure the water is allowed to circulate the lakes, removing dead spots for water to stagnate and sit. It will also encourage the fish to continue to move around, greatly improving fishing results and preventing fish stacking in one depth of water or area of lake.

We will of course be mindful to retain good depth across the lake.

Once we have limed the lake, we will be able to allow it to refill. pH levels will need to reach ideal levels before we are able to restock fish. It has not been agreed what fish stocks will be at this time. We will advise this once we have agreement.

Main Lake

Once we have completed works on Bridge pool, we move to Main Lake.

We will need to complete very similar works to this lake. We will drain it, bake the lake bed in the sun, and then lime it, exactly the same as Bridge Pool.

It was not discussed that we need to level the depths in this lake.

Again, it is advised that it was not essential to remove the silt from the lake as we are going to heavily lime the lake be, although we would benefit spending time removing as much weed as possible.

Again, ne discussions have been held regarding fish stocks, that will follow once work is progressing. We will however be looking for one stocking from a reputable and quality source.

This lake needs work on the reeds around the lake. It looks like there is quite a stock of reeds already in the lake, mostly inhibited from growing where the trees cover them. We will see what growsonce trees are cut back, filling in the rest of the margins if there are gaps.

I’m sure you all appreciate the sheer quantity of works to be completed and will appreciate any and all help as it’s going to be extremely valued. Please let me know if you plan to join us on a Saturday to make sure we are there.

We are also going to need to start looking for additional funding to support the works we must complete. We have funds retained for the works to begin, however if any member is willing to help us search for additional funding from external bodies, please get in contact. All the help we can get will allow us to get this completed to the highest standards we are all aiming for.

Thanks, Tim