Malcolm Barker Lake update 2015

The club recently received a grant from the Angling Trust towards the cost of regenerating Malcolm Barker into a good tench water. The number of pike in the water has been reduced, a total of 22 fish to 13lb were removed in April this year (the deaths of the thirty and a twenty have since been reported, both which may have been old fish or down to the rigours of spawning). On fisheries management recommendations the lake has been chalked to help reduce silt levels and enhance the lake bed for invertebrates. On 14th May 18 bream between 2lbs and 3.5 lbs were stocked into the lake, although there are good numbers of bream in the lake these mature fish will add value to the breeding stock. On the 11th June 300 tench mostly between 1 and 2lbs were stocked into the lake this will supplement the 220 small tench introduced in 2013 and remaining original tench stock which have been caught this season to 6lb.

A portable aerator has also been purchased and tested on the lake which will provide an emergency response if oxygen levels deteriorate and affect the fish (members are reminded to contact the emergency number on their club cards should they spot any distressed or dying fish on our waters).

Foot note: A total of 15 tench to 5lb and several good crucians were landed in one week during the beginning of May. The tench fishing has been getting tougher towards the latter part of the month. The margins are clear which can affect close in fishing in bright conditions. Once settled the recent tench stocking should help improve catches for this species.


Hall Farm Large Lake update May 2015 

In May 54 bream between 2lbs and 3.5lbs were stocked into the large lake.The funds to do this were generously donated by members of the society. The hope is that the introduction of bream will boost winter catches on the lake.





Malcolm Barker Lake netting December 2014

Following on from the fish scale survey by the EA earlier in the year the committee decided to have Malcolm Barker Lake netted to get an idea of the type, number and size of fish present.
The fish survey by Framlingham Fisheries took place on the 16th December 2014.
The silver fish netted were mainly small roach, rudd and bream with a few larger specimen bream.
There were some good sized tench netted but none of the recently stocked smaller tench. The large pike and carp known to be in the lake also eluded capture. It was noted during netting there was a lot of small fry in the margins. There were a lot of small pike caught.
After considering the recommendations suggested by Framlingham Fisheries the committee has decided the following actions:
The lake will be netted to remove all pike except the larger fish. This will enable a better chance of survival and growth for the existing stock of fish in the lake and for future fish stocking.
Once the pike have been removed, if available, larger tench between 1 and 3 pounds will be stocked which are less vulnerable to predation than smaller fish.
The lake will remain open all year round to monitor catches through the season. See video link below:


Update on Malcolm Barker fish scale survey and fish captures 2014
The EA scale survey results on silver fish caught in June 2014 from Malcolm Baker suggests growth rates for roach 81% and bream 88% of the national average.  Although below average the EA consider the growth rates on all species to improve with the age of the fish and many of the fish caught for the survey were small.
Fish captures in the last year include a number of double figure carp to thirty pounds, a few large pike with a known fish of thirty pounds. Tench to five and a half pounds, crucian to over three pounds and large bream to over four pounds. There are plenty of skimmers and small roach/rudd with some fish around a pound.
Anglers have mentioned poor sport during the season this can be typical for Malcolm Barker in the colder clear water conditions. For the last few seasons, a few months into the season, anglers have reported fishing becomes increasingly difficult.
It is worth noting that sport can be more consistent fishing out into the lake rather than close in or when fishing close to the lilies particularly when the water is clear. However most fish caught recently have been small silver fish.   
Most anglers when asked would like to see higher numbers of tench, crucian and large bream caught. Recent stockings have seen 220 tench (6-8 inches) introduced in March 2013 and approximately 471 crucians (2-3 inches) in October 2012 and May 2013. These fish were small when introduced and are not expected to be caught regularly until larger in size. Until larger in size the small baits needed would more likely attract small roach and skimmers.
The committee have arranged for a fish survey in December 2014 (net/electro-fish) to determine the balance and size of fish present in the lake. We will also be asking for advice on the fish management and future stocking policy for the lake.  


Cormorants and the affect on our fisheries

Recently The Angling Trust has won strong backing for tougher controls on cormorants after delivering a briefing to MPs. Case studies from across the country illustrated how predation from both cormorants and goosanders had destroyed once thriving fisheries. The Angling Trust pressed the case for clubs and fishery managers to be able to protect their fish stocks better and a case for tougher measures was reinforced by technical data from recent E.A. surveys. It is hoped that the current restrictions on cormorant licensing by Natural England be reduced. A recent report highlighting cormorant damage showed a 15- fold increase in numbers over the last 25 years. Over wintering birds around 2.000 in the 1960s and 1970s, rose to 14,554 in 1987-88 and 2003-04 peaked at over 30,000. Over wintering birds are estimated at 23,000 and each bird eat at least one pound of fish daily. How do cormorants affect our fisheries? Excessive predation from cormorants threatens the biodiversity of the river and lakes. In March this year fish were damaged in our large lake at Hall Farm, these fish may have been too big for the cormorant to eat and the injuries on the fish left them vulnerable to disease and death. It was decided by the fishery management team that the CDs hanging from strings across the lake should be reinstated. Although this does not look nice it is very effective and has deterred the cormorant activity on this lake. Please do not remove any of these strings. Unfortunately there have been  siting of cormorants roosting in the trees on the island at Beggars Hall. String across the lake is not an option. Other alternative methods of deterring these birds are being considered and looked at. One thing that does put the cormorant off is the presence of an angler, so the more members fishing the lakes the better.

Clive Costema, June 2013.

Stocking Beggars Hall

100 8 to10 inch tench were introduced to Beggars Hall in Febuary 2013. These will supplement the 100 tench introduced in 2011. The original stock are putting on weight and multi catches of tench have been reported with fish up to 1.5lb.


Stocking Malcolm Baker

The committee are aware that members were concerned about the loss of tench in 2011. In May 2013 the lake was restocked with 220 6-8 inch tench and 450 small crucians. Although it will take some years for these fish to put on weight it was realised that the tench lost were old fish. Funds permitting the committee will introduce more tench every 3-4 years so the lake contains different year groups. Within the first week of this season several healthy tench from one to three pounds have been caught and one unconfirmed 5lb fish, these are survivors and not part of the new stocking.This is encouraging evidence that that the tench are thriving in the lake.