Water levels continue to drop
Temporary ban extended to pellets. Boilies only across Cherry Lakes.
Monday 8 August 2022
Most of the time I agree with our guests who say 'you are living my dream' and 'I would love to own my own fishery'. However at times like this I would not!
I have just returned from a lovely couple of weeks spent at my friend's lake in Normandy. Simon Littmoden, who I have got to know through his visits to Cherry Lakes, runs an excellent fishery called Moulin de Passais. The only disappointment of the trip was to learn that he was selling it!
On my return late on Saturday night, I was shocked to see the change in colour of the lakes as well as a further 6-9 inches fall in water levels. I will admit to now being constantly stressed by the low, and falling, water levels along with the bath like temperatures of the lakes. All of our lakes have much higher levels of algae in the water than normal (presumably driven by the bright sunshine and high water temperatures and the absence of fresh ground water coming through from the river), which is a real cause for concern.
As mentioned in a previous update (see 11 July 22), we will do what we can to maintain water quality levels. In practical terms over the short term there are not many levers to pull. We are running the oxygenators pretty much full time on the smaller lakes and for about 16 hours a day on Cherry Lake (algae produce oxygen during the day). As we get into the autumn, and hopefully into cooler weather, we will then run all the aerators 24/7 probably deploying all of our spare aerators as well.
Recognising that the Carp are not feeding hard in this hot weather and water temperatures, the only other thing we can do is act to help water quality is to ensure we manage the amount of food going into the water. Excess food will rot and absorb oxygen as well possibly encourage the build up of ammonia when eaten!
In order to do all we can to protect the health of the Carp, effective from Friday 12 August we are introducing a ban on the use of pellets and all other feeds across Cherry Lakes. For the foreseeable future we are becoming a boilie only water. I hope the guests impacted by this over the coming period understand this course of action.
If conditions continue to give us concern either for our guests or for our Carp, we will be prepared to close individual lakes or even the complex. Given the huge disappointment this will cause to booked guests, as well as the impact on our revenue of returned payments and compensation, it is a decision we would only take if absolutely necessary.
As always please forgive me, for being sketchy on the results over the last few couple of weeks whilst I have been away. The anglers on Cherry Lake this weekend all caught and shared 8 Carp which given the conditions away was not too bad. The biggest was though only 28lb as the bigger females still appear to be keeping out of the way.
Several anglers interestingly did report having full on runs but with nothing there on the strike. I think this is caused where the line is lying across the shallower areas being more easily picked up by the fins of the Carp. This phenomenon will continue whilst water levels are low. For those readers which know the water opposite Heron Lodge, the water covering 'the D' is around 9 inches or so. Following the hooking of several water birds we have had to make this area out of bounds. If water levels continue to fall we may even have to do the same for the shallows in Grebe and Osprey Lodges water.
As I intimated above, nobody said to me that running a fishery would be easy or stress free! Needless to say I am doing my best rain dance every day............. so far to no good effect!
On a lighter note. There have been some good fish caught whilst I have been away including Carp of 36lb+ and 33lb+ from Cherry Lake. We also had the lake record for Cherry Mere matched by Peter Laws when he landed this fantastic Mirror 0f 36-04 pictured in the photo below. He thoroughly enjoyed his stay in Pochard Lodge, not least when he shared this double take/capture with Matthew, pictured in the lead photo above. It was good to see both these anglers each using a Carp Cradle for their fish. Sorry I do not know the weights. Well done both.