Dave Crookes Fishery at Hunstrete Arial Shot

Spawning updates

No signs of spawning on Withy as we sit here now (Saturday 1.30pm) but with the news rolling in across the country we’re expecting it won’t be long.

As soon as we are sure fish are spawning, we will be closing the lake to give them time to do it.
This applies to both Newton and Withy.

Please keep an eye on Facebook. We’ll post it there.

Dave Crookes Fishery at Hunstrete Arial Shot

Bathampton Angling Association Announcement 31/3/24

Hunstrete Update – Saturday 4th April.

There hasn’t been much to report from recent weeks, but I’ll update as much as we know to date. Please see previous updates for detail, rather than repeating it again.

We have been waiting for another report from the EA following a visit a few weeks ago to sample water again, this may take a bit longer, so we are progressing with works to the lakes whilst we wait, based on the information we already have.

Main Lake
We’ve explained what has happened and conversations held with specialists in previous updates.

We have been advised to clear the overhanging trees to let as much light and wind across the lake as possible. We also need to drop the levels of the lake, remove as much leaf matter and old silt as possible, bake the lakebed in the sun, lime it, reed line as much as we can, let the lake refill slowly and then let the water stand. Water levels have already been dropped around 3ft and still dropping. Tree work is ongoing but is restricted whilst we are mindful of birds nesting.

We anticipate the amount of work required unfortunately means Main Lake is going to remain closed for the rest of this year.

Bridge Pool
We advised that Bridge also had a lower impact bloom. There were fish losses but not to the extent of Main Lake from a percentage of stock point of view. We are netting the lake in the next few weeks and will have an idea of the stocks left, allowing us to understand how we proceed. I’ll update when we know the results of the netting.

We need to consider the nitrate issues are the same as Main, causing the bloom severity. We have already opened light to the lake and improved wind flow from the Withy end, this work will continue. We need to deal with as much silt and leaf matter as we can, then either lime or chalk the lake before restocking.

We are doing all we can to get this lake open as soon as we can. Once we know the work required, we will be able to give an idea of timescales.

I will keep the updates coming as soon as I have more information.

 

Hunstrete Update – Sunday 31st March.
We have now received the second part of the EA sample report from the original Main Lake testing. I STRESS, THESE ARE RESULTS FROM THE MAIN LAKE TESTING QUITE A FEW WEEKS AGO!.
The results confirm no virus was found, also confirmed by CEFAS. The key part of the report extracted below.

Results of histopathological examinations confirmed severe gill pathology, consistent with an environmental cause or water quality issue, with the changes seen being highly characteristic of exposure to environmental challenge. This is in line with the multi-species nature of the mortality and suspected algal influence on losses and/or bloom die-back.

In addition, we have unfortunately now had a Diatom Bloom in Bridge Pool, as suspected when a few fish were lost over the last few weeks. Oxygen levels have now dropped to near normal levels suggesting it’s now passed. Colour also looked good yesterday. We need to see the impact, which at the moment appears to be far less significant than Main, but we have had losses. I can’t advise numbers, they have not been recorded in the sane way, but it is far less. Clearly a netting will be required to understand stocking needs once we have the lakes under control.
To try to understand what is happening we requested EA attend site as it was occuring and they have taken further samples, but on site conversations giving similar results to those above.

With results from the reports from the EA, their testing, together with daily testing of our own, it is believed there is an issue with flows entering the site. A previously unknown drain into the lake has been uncovered whilst we have started action, with flows giving unusual water quality readings. We are not experts so the EA will be on site this week with a team of scientists to test all incoming flows. We will clearly show them this.
We’ll report more when known.

I apologise in advance for switching off comments. I have included everything we know at this time and have nothing to answer in questions.
Hopefully I might have more information next weekend after meeting the EA.

Thanks

Withy Pool will open again on Wednesday 27th March.
Bridge Pool remains closed whilst we wait for water test results from a visit this week from the EA.

Thanks

Hunstrete Weekly Update – 16th March.
Not a lot I can add this week.
We are still waiting for the second set of results from both EA and CEFAS. We’ll chase these next week and pass on any additional results. Lake colours are looking better and water quality reading looked much better.
We are seeing elevated O2 levels in Bridge though, suggesting a mild algae bloom. We’ve lost a few fish since this all started, but nothing like Main lake. I think the numbers are around 30 F1s and the same for bream. This isn’t unusual for this time of year though, and this is a very small percentage of the total stock numbers, so we are hoping that it’s just the normal annual occurance. We are monitoring it very closely.

A quick thank you to those that came out to help today, a lot of good work was achieved. Your help is really needed as we’ve got a lot to do.
If anyone wants to come and give a hand, just turn up on a Saturday morning, we are there pretty much every week. Not Easter weekend though. We are usually there around 8am.
You don’t need any particular skills or tools, just a pair of willing hands is a great help.

Tim

Hunstrete Weekly Update – 9th March 24.
I’ve received verbal feedback this week from CEFAS from the samples they took. The FIRST set of results confirm the same as the EA Results. The diatom bloom was the cause of our issues, with no signs of disease in any of the fish, and no other underlying issues or cause. We must wait for final results from CEFAS as there are still a few tests that must be confirmed before getting written confirmation, however it is there opinion it is unlikely these tests will find anything else.
The advice given by CEFAS now aligns with the advice we have been given by all specialists and experts involved.
The diatom bloom was a result of a set of lake and weather conditions that allowed the bloom to occur.
To reduce future risk as much as we can, we must restrict as much leaf litter entering the lakes as possible, this means lake edge trees must be cut back. We must also increase the amount of light and wind on the lake as we can, again cutting trees back will help this.
We will need to plant the lake with reeds around the margin, recommended to be as much of the margin as possible, as the reeds will reduce nitrate levels in the lake. More pads will not help, too many pads reduces saturation if oxygen. What we have is enough at this stage.
We will need to look to remove silt and old rotting leaf mulch as possible if we can, plus chalk (Siltex) the lake. This will reduce the nitrate levels and improve lake bed quality.
Obviously a lot of work to be done, which has already started.
As soon as we have confirmation of all results, we’ll update again.
As confirmed before, until we have all results, Bridge and Withy will stay closed, this is the responsible thing to do. We are close though so hopefully we are not far away now.

I would just like to thank those that have given a lot of time over the past month or so. It has been extremely emotional and bloody hard work. The same crew turn up week after week, whatever the weather, and stuff gets done to get us closer to getting a new chapter started. Thanks also to Steve Long for your time this week. Really appreciate discussing your same experiences and knowledge.
Thank you.

Hunstrete weekly update – Saturday 2nd March.
As we’ve promised, we will share as much information as possible when we get it… prepare for a long message….
Below I’ve copied the FIRST set of results back from the EA. We expect more from the EA and other results from CEFAS, which we’ll share once received. Until we have received more information, as explained in previous weeks, we feel keeping Bridge and Withy closed is the responsible thing to do. As soon as we have full confirmation we have nothing onsite to spread, these will be opened. Things are looking hopeful this won’t be long.
The results, information from the EA inspectors and support from specialist advisors confirm the most significant factor for the bloom was the excessive leaf matter on the lake bed, aggravated by specific weather, temperatures, etc. We must reduce trees overhanging the lake, try to remove as much debris and old silt in the lake as possible and plant reeds around the margin to help absorb the high levels of nitrates on the water that feed these blooms.
Work continued on this at the work party today, as it has been for many many weekends already.
If anyone wants to help, private message me and we’ll keep you up to date on working dates. The more help we get, particularly anyone with applicable skills, the more we achieve.

EA Results (a copy of their words, warts and all):

As it stands, the only plausible cause is a diatom bloom, but we’re still awaiting further results from the fish health team and the water samples that we sent off for GCMS testing.
In general, preliminary lab findings support the environmental nature of this mortality which was characterised by large-scale, mixed species losses, absence of any consistent disease signs, fish aggregating at water inlets and severe and varied non-specific gill pathologies. There has not been any suspicion of serious disease throughout the event. Virology testing has now been completed with results returning negative for SVC, CEV and KHV.

The carp and bream examined were generally in good condition externally, but all exhibited significant gill pathologies. These included pronounced hyperplasia, excess mucus, sloughing, congestion, pin-point haemorrhage and detritus with underlying filament loss. These changes were severe, non-specific and typical of significant environmental factors.

A number of other minor pathological changes (mouth damage, mechanical fin damage, internal adhesions) and parasite infections (ectocommensal ciliates, Argulus foliaceaus, Ergasilus sieboldi, Paraergasilus longidigitus and Atractolytocestus spp.) were recorded but considered of little direct significance to the mortality. The novel ectoparasite Argulus mongolianus was also detected within this sample. This parasite has previously been confirmed from this site.

As reported previously, algal sampling did not reveal any significant clear-cut results but indicated the potential for previous algal influence (primarily die-back) that could be a contributory factor in the gill damage observed (particularly with carp and bream being benthic).

Scales were taken from a sub-sample of 17 fish including roach, carp, common bream and perch. The carp all showed good initial growth with the older carp showing very reduced growth in latter years. Many of the roach also showed very poor growth in the last year. Conversely the bream and perch showed relatively steady and consistent growth.

Histology samples are currently being processed we will provide further insights into the extent and characteristics of organ pathology very soon. It is considered likely that these additional diagnostic tests will support the above observations, but we will keep you informed of any results or new findings asap. Bacteriology results are also ongoing, although initial observations from our lab examinations and subsequent bacteria culture have not flagged any significant growth at this stage.

Thanks
Tim

Hunstrete Weekly Update. Sat 24th Feb.
Not much to add to last week’s post this week.
Unfortunately we have needed to remove more fish this week, however it is felt they have been dead for some time. This includes a mix of silvers, carp and a few more pike.
EA and CEFAS have taken fish samples, advising it will be around 2 weeks for results, so no more info here yet.
As my last post, until we have results, and know why we have lost fish, we will keep the complex closed. We believe this is the responsible thing to do.
As soon as we have more information, I’ll update you all.

Just a quick note of thanks to all the bailiffs and committee who visit daily to check the lakes and meet officials.Weekly Update.
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.

Thanks
Tim

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.

Dave Crookes Fishery at Hunstrete Arial Shot

Hunstrete complex closure 16th December

Good evening all hope your all well. The Hunstrete complex will be closed on Saturday 16th of December to replace Barley straw in all the lakes. If any members want to attend to help out it would be very much appreciated. Breakfast will be supplied and you can also have a fish afterwards if you want to. Mike turner Publicity/Administrative Officer a message if you are willing to attend. Thanks.

ANNOUNCEMENT: LYDES FARM (THE PLAYERS)

ANNOUNCEMENT: LYDES FARM (THE PLAYERS)

The Lydes Farm venue is being discontinued as a BAA fishery from 21st June 2023.

The fishery is not well attended by BAA members and is an annual cost to BAA of about £5,000 which includes fishing rights and feed and any other sundry costs.

It is hoped that another venue may be considered when available and any information from members of likely stillwater venues that may be or may become available can be passed on to any committee member for consideration.

BAA Committee