Cherry Lakes Carp Spawning update

Saturday 27 May 2017

The Cherry Lakes Carp this week, in tandem I imagine with a lot of other lakes around the country, have been busily ‘at it’ this week. The hot weather of the last few days along with high over-night temperatures have produced the consistent water temperatures needed at this time of the year for the Carp to spawn. Given that I am frequently asked about whether the Carp have spawned or not, I thought I would give you a detailed update.

The first lake to start was Cherry Mere on Tuesday morning. The sheltered nature of this lake and the fact it is the shallowest often means that it has the warmest water at this time of the year. After three days of spawning other than the odd couple of fish, spawning activity appears to have finished. We are hopeful that the Carp will have fully spawned out and that will be it for this year.

Th Cherry Pool have also been enjoying themselves over the last few days and similar to Cherry Mere appear to have largely finished. The spawning Carp are easier to observe on Cherry Pool than the other lakes and for me the last few days has been quiet an experience.

In previous years, given I have been often working away, I have normally missed much of this spectacle, this year has however been different. It has been a somewhat disconcerting experience for me. The Carp really do not care when they are spawning and almost have a ‘Salmon like obsession’ to get it done! I literally watched some Carp damage themselves on tree roots and saw many scales lost in the bargain. My beautiful and good conditioned carp have literally become a bit battered over-night! They will no doubt show the scars for the next few months whilst they recover their energy and repair themselves.

Equally fascinating was at first watching the Bream, of all sizes, move into the shallows (some even seemed to get in-between mating Carp) and feed with gay abandon on the Carp spawn. Within a day of spawning the Carp also seemed to be re-visiting the sites of spawning to also feast on this high -protein and rich (I assume) diet.

The Carp on Cherry Spring were also spawning over 3 days this week, although not in the numbers that we would expect. In the past the Cherry Springs Carp have often spawned more of a night than during the day and we are hopeful this has been the case again this year. If not they will no doubt be trying again.

The Cherry Lake Carp started spawning on Thursday and have had an orgy lasting about 36 hours. They have interestingly enough been spawning in a variety of areas around the lake. Under the trees particularly on the west and north banks has been popular as well as the reed bed opposite Heron Lodge (as you can see from the photo below they have successfully flattened some of it). They have also spawned heavily on the clay bar in front of the house and occasionally in open water. The weather has now changed (Saturday)and is much cooler. I am unclear as to whether the Cherry Lake Carp are fully spawned out or whether some of them will try again when the conditions are next right. I hope they have.

In past years, where the weather has not been so consistent, the Carp have had three separate attempts to spawn. When this happens the Carp get a lot more stressed out and we inevitably loose some fish. If they have become ‘spawned out’ this week, then the Carp will recover more quickly and both Carp and anglers will have a better summer and I will have a less stressful time!

I tried pitifully to capture the Carp spawning. A combination of not having the right camera and spending time watching rather than photographing patiently the activity of the Carp, means that I did not get any really good shots. These two were the best I could manage. Still they make a change from the normal ‘trophy’ shots!

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