19 July 2021

Important Update for All Anglers

The continued hot weather has created some very difficult conditions for us to manage across all of our venues.

Water temperatures are now in excess of 26 degrees – these are levels that we have not seen before.

This has serious implications for our trout stock in particular. Expert advice suggests that temperatures above 24 degrees are critical and fish deaths are likely.

Coarse fish are more resilient, though large bream, in particular, are vulnerable and the silty nature of some of our venues increases this risk due to higher levels of ‘Biological Oxygen Demand’ (BOD), which is basically the amount of oxygen being consumed by everything else but the fish.

The committees have done everything they can to support. We have various methods of aeration running for extended periods where we can. This requires a huge amount of management effort, is expensive and puts a strain on the equipment itself – it is operating for longer than it’s designed for and we are seeing issues.

To exaggerate the impact, the weather has also stimulated some of the coarse fish to spawn for a second time, again, massively increasing stress and the likelihood of mortality.

Some of our planned weeding activity has been postponed. This minimises fish stress, reduces silt liberation which reduces DO and maintains a naturally oxygenating element. However, excess weed clearly has an impact on angling, but please remember, this is keeping our fish alive.

There appears to be no foreseeable break in the weather. As such, in order to prevent the total closure of venues, we need to ask anglers for their support, particularly on the trout venues.

Though catch rates will be massively suppressed, there is a strong possibility that caught fish will die once returned. Therefore, it would be helpful if anglers kept sessions short and cease after catching their 2 fish bag limit. Catch and release in these conditions will mean dead fish in the water.

When conditions are critical, things change very quickly. If you see signs of distressed fish, please contact the club immediately using email or the published telephone numbers.

Castlehead was closed over the weekend. Our current plan is to reopen on Wednesday 21st July. If this changes, we will issue further information.

Nick Butterfield

WADAA Manager