March 2010

The frequent rains throughout February had kept the constantly higher than average ensuring a good supply of water into the pond if needed, although the water level had remained pretty constant within the banks of the pond. Late February had seen some slightly milder weather, bringing with it the wild snow drops that had always been around the banks and the emerging daffodils fighting their way through the extra layer of silt that had been spread around the banks back in July. Away from the pond, arrangements for fish had been progressing slowly, with the consents filled out for the stocking of available fish from the local supplier. Martin Moore of Moore & Moore Carp, met with the club members to finalise some of the initial stocking arrangements and to assess the pond for plant growth within the water and potential food sources for the fish that would be first into the water. It would appear that the Tench and Crucian Carp would be readily available and  could be introduced fairly quickly. The twenty or so carp from one of our members ponds would take a little longer due to health checks, but the aim was for the end of March for these. The quantity of Rudd would take a little longer as the required numbers didn't appear to be available at present from Martin and he advised waiting a while before introducing the Perch as he felt confident that some spawning would take place over the summer. Any predators would soon make a meal of any available fry within the water. Sacrificing numbers of Perch was also suggested for some slightly bigger specimens as it had been found that not all smaller fish grow on easily in future years and remain small. Once Perch appear to be over this growing hurdle, it would be pretty certain they would continue to grow.

Confirmation of the application to introduce the carp into the decoy pond came through on the 3rd March from the Environment Agency which had been passed to the relevant area department for determination. The confirmation to remove fish from the club members pond came through on the 13th March although his garden pond had to be temporarily registered with CEFAS so the fish could be removed. The length and weight of each fish had to be recorded and the information returned to the consenting officer at the Environment Agency.

During one of the working parties on the 21st March, One of the members notice a large swirl of mud errupt from the waters edge although nothing had broken the surface. Possibly a small jack pike might have come in with the floods and not left. Later on that morning during a tea break, somehting else caused a large ripple across the surface which seemed to have come from something a little more substantial in size. This was witnessed two or three times over the morning, but again no tail or fins had broken the surface.

March 26th saw the first stocking of fish into the decoy pond. some 400 crucian carp of an average size of 5" and approximately 200 Tench of various sizes. We hope the fish do well on the available food supply that could be seen in the edges of the pond. The next few weeks will a nervous time for those who have worked on the project having come this far. The Rudd and the few carp are planned for a little later, and as mentioned above, should a successful spawning occur, then the new fry need to be given the best chance of survival.

The last sunday of the month enabled the club to start on the low wire fence around the bottom end of the pond. This should help prevent fish loss during high water levels and stop any predators such as pike getting in. A couple of Canada geese are now present on the pond along with Coots and a pair of Egyptian geese that inhabit various areas of the park.