2020 Reflections Part Two: The Exclusive Lakes
Friday 18 December 2020
As mentioned in my last post, I have decided to split the 2020 report into two this year. Part one was published on Monday and focussed on Cherry Lake. This post, Part two is focussed on the smaller exclusive lakes.........Cherry Springs, Cherry Mere and Cherry Pool.
We recently completed the installation of the new aeration systems into each of the three exclusive lakes. These 'bubbler' aerators will ensure that oxygen levels are maintained at good levels throughout the year. Given all three of the smaller lakes are heavily stocked, keeping oxygen levels high is essential to maintain healthy, growing fish. It also enables the Carp to fight harder. Reducing stress levels which low oxygen levels can induce, is also one way of defending against viruses etc taking hold. In periods of unusual oxygen demand (very high temperatures, thunderstorms etc), we still have the option of turning on the other aerators.
Given that we are unable to insure our fish stocks, and having an oxygen crash is probably the most obvious potentially killer of all the Carp in a lake, we are determined to continue to do whatever we can to protect the Carp A five figure investment is nothing compared to the heartache and cost of restocking.
I will start with Cherry Mere. This is my favourite one of the smaller lakes, largely because the Carp do so well in here. It is productive throughout the year even in winter. We struggle to control the Carp stocks in here, because the Carp keep breeding despite the significant stock of Perch. The water is almost always very murky, in part due to the feeding activity of the fish, and I think this allows the Carp fry (and especially the more exotic ones such as the Ghost Carp varieties) to survive and prosper when normally they would disappear as a result of other fish and bird life predation.
This lake has 4 different 30's and Jamie Green set a new record in September when he landed the 34lb Mirror pictured above.
Cherry Mere has a good stock of 20's, which I would guesstimate at there being 40-50 twenties. There are at least a further several hundred Carp to be caught. Just about all of the Carp caught under 15lb have come through from past successful spawning. Many of these Carp are Ghost Carp (Mirrors and Commons), which I particularly like. This is due to the fact that our original stockings included some Ghosties, and because the young Ghost Carp have had a much higher than the usual survival rate(virtually zero in natural environments). Ian Blackwell's 26-08 Ghost Common being my favourite Carp photo of the year.
There were some great captures from Cherry Mere throughout the year. I think the most amazing was the 44 Carp caught by Ian Blackwell and Ian Taplin at the end of January. Of these 14 were twenties to 26lb+. They even stopped fishing at 20.30 every night to get some rest!
James Stringer had never fished before when he fished Cherry Mere alongside a more experienced friend. He caught two twenties followed by this 32-08 Mirror pictured below. Not the first time the curse of the 'fishing novice' has struck! I also love the photo of Maria Cleary above who was so obviously delighted with her fish.
Cherry Springs proved to be very moody throughout the year. Given a high stock level of c400 Carp, it at times fished more slowly and proved to be quite difficult. At other times anglers frequently caught 20-30 Carp during their stay. In fact the Alam family had a record breaking week (admittingly there were three of them sharing the rods) when they landed 78 Carp during their August week's holiday. Of these 78 Carp, only 6 were 'singles' and 7 were twenties. Hannah Alam pictured below is a very keen Carp angler and was delighted with her new PB pictured below.
As well as installing the new aeration system mentioned above (we have ten 'bubblers' around the lake), we have also applied Siltex. Siltex acts to 'eat up the silt', reduce the acidity of the bottom and promotes invertebrate life, all of which should be good for the lake. We will also be netting the lake over the next couple of weeks and if we find a lot of Roach and/or small Carp, we may well remove these. All of these actions should help improve the water quality and environment and hopefully a return to greater predictability in 2021.
Cherry Pool continued to be an excellent lake for our visitors throughout 2020. You can almost always expect action on Cherry Pool. The Carp are normally interested due to the sheer number of fish in the lake. Even when the Carp are not playing the Bream do, so your indicators are never stationary for long! The biggest Carp of the year that I saw was this impressive Common of 22lb caught by Cherry Pool regular Malcolm Williams. We had some lovely specimen reported including Bream of 8lb+ and Roach and Perch over 2lb. The biggest Crucian of the year was 3-08. My favourite Cherry Pool photo of the year, was the lead photo above of young Alfie Richardson who caught two Common Carp at the same time!
I hope both of these 'Reports' have been worth reading. Working through the Latest News posts throughout the year reminds me how many lovely fish we are fortunate enough to have here at Cherry Lakes.
I would like to sign off by thanking everyone who has visited Cherry Lakes in 2020 and in the past. We very much appreciate your support.
Judith, Dave and I would like to wish you and your loved ones a very happy Christmas and hope 2021 is a great year for you.
Take care and stay safe.