Near miss on Cherry Mere. All is well!

Thursday 20 August 2015

We had a near miss on Cherry Mere on Friday, when we came very close to losing all of our fish stock. A fishery owners nightmare.

Why?  As some of you may remember we had a series of thunderstorms and low pressure go over us on Thursday night. Under certain atmospheric conditions, most normally (but by no means regularly) associated with thunderstorms, conditions are such that oxygen is in practical terms ‘sucked out of the water’. These conditions are often very localised and can happen very quickly. This happened to Cherry Mere.

Early on Friday morning we found all the large Carp of the lake literally lined up one by one along the margins. They were like sentries standing guard. They were lying very still and not responding when we approached them. To me they were clearly in distress.  Thousands of small Perch (we have not seen any caught before and did not know they were in the lake), were also in the margins and the small Carp, which have resulted from the Carp breeding in the lake were huddled together on the surface like a shoal of sardines. Very strange, a unique sight for both fishery manager Dave Bowen and myself, and very very  scary.

Fortunately, as we have a number of oxygenators at Cherry Lakes, we were able to move two onto the lake and get them working within minutes, and within 12 hours the lake was back to normal. It was good to see the Carp steadily revert to normal and slip away into the deper water throughout the morning as the oxygen levels obviously began to re-build.  It appears that we got to the Carp just in time and because we had the right equipment on site we were able to avert a disaster. To date we have not seen any casulties and I am holding my breath. Normally high stress in Carp always seems to kill a number of them. Time will tell. We were also lucky because none of the other lakes were effected. This way we could concentrate our oxygenating efforts on the lake most in need of it.

Next time there is a storm forecast overnight, I will put all of the oxygenators on….just in case.  Who said this fishery management was easy and relaxing?!!

One of the interesting by-products of this alarming morning sight, was that it gave us a good idea of how the fish are doing. The larger Carp are doing extremely well and are clearly putting on weight. We believe we saw at least three carp which would be comfortably be at least 30lb. I was pleased to see the Perch because in future years these will effectively stop the Carp from reproducing as they  have done so over the last two summers. We have clearly got a shed load of small Carp! Now that the stock pond is almost finished we will remove as many of these as possible over the coming weeks.

Despite the oxygen crash of Friday, Cherry Mere had recovered by Friday night and our guests Simon Watson and Barry Plumber, along with their wives had a great time. Over the weekend they landed 11 doubles to 19-01. This included this stunning 15-04 Mirror to Barry below. Thanks Steve and Barry for your understanding and support on Friday. Your positive attitude and approach was much appreciated.

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