WDAC CURRENT NEWS AND INFO
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We're always updating our news feed to keep our membership up-to-date with Club news.
See this months news below as well as links to previous articles.
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Select a report from the archive below for more information.
For full details on how to join and the rates for 2018/19
Further details on all of our waters and concessions.
Have a look through our galleries - loads of fish captures, scenery and wildlife!
Visit Kieth's website here:
Visit Kevin's website here:
Visit Hugh's website here:
WDAC offers our membership the chance to fish two trout waters, Winterborne Zelston and Rawlsbury
WDAC runs numerous matches across the calendar year, encompassing both stillwaters and the River Stour. Matches are also held on non-club waters.
WDAC PHOTO COMP
All the info you need to enter our annual competition.
Wildlife images courtesy of Hugh Miles.
YOUR club needs YOUR help to report sightings of cormorants
As you will all know by now, the Club has put crucians and some tench into the top lake at Edmondsham. Last month the Club stocked this lake again with another 42 tench of between two and four pounds, which arrived on the 21 November which was on a day of cold showers and hail. This was part of the stocking management programme for this lake, but had been delayed by the the warm temperatures of water at the fish wholesaler’s lakes, who with fish care in mind, wanted to minimise stress and ensure the fish came to us in good condition.
Tench are one of my favourite fish, quiet and unassuming with those captivating red eyes and as slippery as eels. Those great paddle tails give them real power.
Stocking and the meaning of life
By Mike Hirsh, Club Chairman
Part of the Tench consignment delivered to the top lake at Edmondsham on the 21st.
After they all swam off strongly I and others there for the stocking felt another small milestone had been achieved.
It is one of life’s realities that sweet moments of minor triumph such as this stocking have a habit of being of being put in perspective. In this instance it came in an email from Club member and friend David Lynch. David is a good angler, and one of those people who is a keen observer of what is happening on our waters. David sent me an email attaching a photograph taken on the afternoon of the 22nd. It showed a signal crayfish head and claws left on the cut stump of a tree by the hut at Edmondsham about 20 metres from where the tench had been put in the lake the day before. It was as if the otter who left it was putting us on notice that it was about.
The Committee are aware that otters run the River Crane and indeed we understood that downstream there had been reports of an otter and cubs. We had debated what we should do and our Club Secretary, Stuart Hitchman had applied for a grant to include money to subsidise the erection of an electric fence along the riverside to deter otters getting to the lake, but it was a timely reminder of their presence. Of course otters do like small and easily caught prey and there are reasonable number of signal crayfish in the River.
The hot news is that the Club has been awarded the grant application by the Angling Trust, for predation control. So our work is already being prioritised for 2019.
Our club is now the provider of prime tench and crucian fishing at Pinnock Lakes and to protect our valuable stocks from predation, your committee have decided to close the top lake at Edmondsham from October to April in order to completely net the lake and keep the cormorants off. There will also be a temporary electric fence to protect our fish from otters.
This will hopefully ensure that when the summer fishing starts our stocks will be plentiful and in prime condition to be caught.
The club’s website and Facebook pages will inform you when the lake is open for fishing again, hopefully early April when the cormorants have left for foreign parts. After more than two years of hard graft and considerable investment by the club to create this fishery, we hope you will applaud this initiative and enjoy the good fishing that it will provide in the future.
Precious tench and crucians
By Hugh Miles, Club committee member
Chris Yates with one of our lovely new tench, taken on the opening day
Club Secretary Stuart Hitchman getting stuck in
We go fishing for a myriad of different reasons. For some it’s a passion, for others a simple way to escape the frenetic pace and trials and tribulations of day-to-day life. Whatever your motivation, it’s something many of us love to do when time permits. Fishing brings us joy in a variety of ways. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors and get some fresh air in our lungs. Wetting a line at the water’s edge gives us a sense of purpose and a reason for being outside.
Our ancestors spent all day outside with no choice in the matter. We, in the modern world often suffer the constraints of spending the majority of our time indoors. Being outside and enjoying the stunning scenery this country has to offer surely cannot ever be a bad thing.
Angling - relaxation in a fast-paced world
By James Nash, Club Media Officer
A lovely photo of the Stour, entered into our annual photographry competition
For some, angling is the perfect excuse to be closer to nature. To see the dipping and darting of a Kingfisher. To witness the new life that blossoms and emerges in spring. Opening your eyes to sights you simply don’t see on a normal day. Being at one with nature is at once powerful and additively hypnotic.
It can be a time to reflect and think things through. The peace and quiet allows us to settle our thoughts, to contemplate our lives and to make important decisions. It’s much easier to do this when you’ve taken a step away from the noise and clamour of daily life. The quiet time can allow your mind to refocus and to relax – again a rarity in the fast-paced world in which we live.
Wildlife is abundant in Dorset when you make the time to see it
For others being on the bank offers a chance to spend quality time with like-minded people. Socialising whilst fishing ticks numerous boxes. Enjoying a brew, or even a cheeky beer on your favourite venue with your favourite people takes some beating. ‘Chin wags’ that put the world to rights - we’ve all had them and likely always will do. For people that have never fished or have never had the desire to, these reasons may not register on their radar. Why would they? On face value, we dangle a line, get cold and wet and often come home fish-less. Those of us who’ve been bitten by the bug though, have a much deeper understanding of why we do it. Fishing can take us into new, undiscovered worlds.
Another beautiful entry into the Club photo comp
Maybe you know someone who needs a little ‘headspace’, or someone having a tough time at the moment. Ordinarily you might go for a coffee or out for a drink. Maybe a nice walk. Perfectly logical and kind things to do. But perhaps just a few hours fishing though could be life changing for someone you know. If you know someone who might appreciate the thought, take them fishing for a few hours if they’re up for it. Not necessarily on a club water, anywhere that you can. A thermos flask with a hot brew, a chair by the water and a friendly face to enjoy it with. You might make more of a difference than you ever realised you could.
I was re-reading the AGM minutes from the 27 March 2018. It is part of planning for next year’s AGM, which is to be held on the 26 March 2019 at the British Legion Corfe Mullen.
A few things struck me about that meeting and what was said.
The first was that nobody from the membership stepped up to offer themselves for election to the Committee either as an officer of the Club or as a Committee Member.
In that context it was highlighted that the Club needs help with the work of Treasurer. Brian Heap is currently both Club President and Treasurer. The Club needs somebody Brian can share that work with and ultimately take over the reins. It is suitable work for a numerate person with an understanding of spreadsheets. There is no need for any financial qualification (although naturally that would be an advantage). Of course like any Club Committee Member or Officer the work does mean you would need to attend a Committee on the first Tuesday of every month. Twelve months after election such a post is entitled to free membership under the terms of the amendments to the Constitution also agreed at that AGM last March.
A third of the Committee must retire and be offered up for re-election, but in practice all Club officers are, in theory, up for change at the 2019 AGM. [See Rules 5(a) and (b) of the Constitution]. Committee Members and Officers have no right to be there if the Membership want change and of course that includes me too.
In the post-AGM wash-up the Committee agreed that the Meeting took too long. In part this was because there were reports about improvements and a great deal had been achieved. I had thought this might have been a one-off, but actually this last year has also been remarkably productive. So I promise the Committee reports will be slicker and shorter!
Secondly, last year at the AGM we reported on stocking some terrific carp from Poole Park Lake to Club waters. With the help of Sparsholt Agricultural College a working party on the 24 November again moved 75 carp from Poole Park to Creekmoor, the large lake. The total weight was over 650lbs and the largest fish was 18 lbs. Real teamwork is needed to co-ordinate this sort of work with every fish being checked, weighed and recorded before being moved. This is the sort of history I enjoy see being repeated.
Stuart Davison has resigned as the Club’s River Officer. I am sad to see him go, but it was largely to do with work/life balance; Stuart has got other priorities for the time being. Stuart has done sterling work for the Club, being the catalyst that kick-started improvements to the website, since taken on by James Nash, and being a fanatical advocate of River fishing. He was among those who helped bring back the matches on the River Stour last winter. Nick Churchill, already a Committee Member and a keen River fisherman, has agreed to take over this role and I am sure he will do a good job.
2019 here we come
By Mike Hirsh, Club Chairman
Over the last two years Zelston has been targeted with Angling Trust grant aid, along with Edmondsham, Kingsbridge and Creekmoor. There is now a container for storage and three refurbished platforms. However, work continues, largely due to the motivation of a small dedicated group of Club members, supported on occasion by a wider group including your Head Bailiff who recently masterminded the removal of a fallen willow from the spillway behind the weir, which was threatening to re-grow and block this outflow.
The long hot summer and dry autumn has seen the lake at its lowest for several seasons and stocking has been delayed. However, every cloud has a silver lining, because it meant that the long walkway in the south east corner fell under scrutiny of, in particular Bob Spurgeon, Paul Baker, the latter because he actually went through a piece of the old walkway that had rotted from underneath.
A new walkway at Zelston
By Mike Hirsh, Club Chairman
The old walkway with Paul Baker about to fall through it!
The work has required new vertical support members on the landward side to be piled into the ground and then cross-members bolted to support the framing structure.
The good news is that the level of the water is now rising and the water is now high enough to be stocked. Also with the structural members in place, even if the water rises rapidly there is no further work to do that will be water-level dependant.
The hardest work was taking out the old walkway hidden underneath the walkway being replaced. I did not realise it was there! My greatest sadness is that the elderflower bushes that flanked the old walkway have been lost for ever. I had to admit the despite my desire to keep them these bushes were obviously helping to decay the old structure by keeping it damp and pushing against it.
The new walkway structure under construction.
Stuart Hitchman getting further stuck in....
Excellent roach fishing on the Stour at Bailey's this month, lots of fish up to a pound with a total catch of 9lb 8ozs in a few hours, trotting a float with red maggots as bait over plenty of groundbait.
I'd highly recommend members to go down there and give it a go - it's really enjoyable angling.
A lovely catch of Stour roach
By Hugh Miles, Club Committee member
Hugh's net of Stour roach
Whilst Bob conceived the design for the new structure others, myself included got involved, to debate the merits of it. Paul Nicholls, influenced the scheme because it is always important to make best use of materials available and his wife was determined to get rid of the planks of recycled plastic wood cluttering his garage left over from the fishing platform work! Tony Tueber also became involved because his skills had previously come into play cutting this hard and unrelenting planking. The ever present Gordon Moss, took time off from the routine maintenance, volunteering to put in the concrete blocks and bed them in concrete to support the framing where it runs onto the level ground.