Game Section - up-to-date news and information


For Winterborne Zelston


A Two Fish Ticket

Member - £15         Guest - £20


For Rawlsbury Lakes


A Two Fish Ticket

Member - £15          Guest - £20


A Three Fish Ticket

Member - £22          Guest - £30


A Four Fish  Ticket

Member - £29          Guest - £40


A Five Fish Ticket

Member - £36         Guest - £50


Trout tickets are available online to members to buy using Paypal but you require a password to access the 'Buy Tickets Page'.


If you do not have a password please email the Game Secretary


When using a PayPal receipt please record your catch return and PayPal purchase on the special tickets provided at the venues and post this in the returns box; as well as recording on the catch return sheets.


Trout tickets can also be obtained for members and their guests at:


Conyers, West Street, Blandford


Red Post Garage, A31, Winterborne Zelston


Castaways, 78 Ashley Road, Poole, BH14  9BN


Wessex Angling, 321 Wimborne Road, Poole, BH15 3DH



During week-ending 15th December the club has restocked Winterborne Zelston with a good quantity of trout from our usual supplier. We have put fish into the lake a little  earlier than might be expected in order to take advantage of this season's prices. Next year, because of an increase in the price of trout feed, the fish will be a little more expensive to buy.


Zelston is looking in great shape. Gordon Moss's hard work throughout the year with the mower and the strimmer is paying dividends along the banks with hardly a stinging nettle in sight. The water level is a bit lower than normal for this time of year, presumably because of low rainfall levels during the year, but is back to the beautiful, gin clear condition which we usual find at this time of year. If you have the time over the holiday break, and the weather allows, it's definitely worth a visit.


In the corner of the lake, next to the outflow, you'll find that a ramp has been dug to allow easier access to the water. Stocking the lake is a good deal easier, and when the time comes to start removing weed in the summer, this new feature should help in it's removal.


The south jetty now has some of the problem scaffolding removed. The next stage is to start replacing the shorter cross pieces to which the wooden supports will be attached. Finding helpers who have some free time is always a little tricky, but before too long we should find ourselves with four solid, easy to fish from jetties.


The long promised storage unit has now been given planning permission and Club Chairman Mike Hirsh has placed an order for the unit, in a suitable shade of green. Also the new disabled toilet has arrived; in line with one of the requirements which must be met in order to receive the Angling Trust grant money.


So the refurbishment of Winterborne Zelston moves on and no doubt next year will be just as busy as this year.


 On behalf of the Club may I take this opportunity to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Tight Lines.


Paul Nicholls

The jetty at Winterborne Zelston

The repair of the south jetty at Winterborne Zelston has been held up somewhat, due to the need to replace sections of the scaffolding. The club hopes to progress this work before too long and we'll be in touch to confirm when this is done.


Electro-fishing the river crane

As members may know the Club has the benefit of a wonderful chalk stream which runs alongside of our lakes at Edmondsham. This is the River Crane. On a couple of occasions this year some of our members have assisted Mr Asa White with his research into the health of chalk streams, particularly downstream from watercress farms.


This research involves electro-fishing an one hundred meter length of the river and collecting all the fish which are temporarily stunned. Three runs are made of the river to try and collect the maximum number of fish. Each fish is then laboriously weighed, measured and photographed. Not a short process as over one hundred and fifty specimens were collected. They ranged from twelve inch eels to fingerling size trout and bullheads and to brownies a full nine inches long. Finding the larger brown trout was a pleasant bonus and they were lovely fish in great condition.


Asa's research is for his PhD studentship at the University of Brighton. He carries out similar research at various spots on the Crane. He will then repeat these surveys at regular intervals and analyse his data. He is hoping to enlist our help again during next Spring and Summer. If any of our members would like to help Asa next year, then please contact the Game Secretary, Paul Nicholls. Spending a day up to your knees in an English chalk stream might sound like hard work but the members who have been involved have all thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The club wishes Asa well in his research.

Winterborne Zelston update -  9th October

Work has now been completed on the West jetty at Wimborne Zelston. The synthetic decking used is anti-slip and very hard wearing. A great addition to the facilities at Zelston.

Rawlsbury update -  5th September

This season's final work party was held at Rawlsbury on 5th September. Despite poor weather five members continued the programme of making fishing easier along the length of the dam bank on Chapmans.


Swims were cleared of reed mace. The whole length of the bank was strimmed. And back cast areas were cleared of brambles and trees. It was noticed last year that doing this type of work often helps to get us off to a good start in the following season. And hopefully next season we'll get a bit more help from the weather. Unfortunately three work parties were cancelled due to bad weather, although three were successful.


If we have more luck with the weather next year we are planning to do some work on the smaller lakes. Some of the banks of Cowlease and Viners need clearing of bushes/small trees. And occasional strimming would be useful.


Rawlsbury closes on the last day of October, so please take advantage of this wonderful fishery before it shuts for the winter break. The figures show that there are plenty of fish in the lake.

Winterborne Zelston update -  11th September

Please be aware that work has now begun on the jetty on the west (cow field) side of the lake. The old wooden decking and support timbers have been removed. New supports and synthetic decking will be installed as soon as the Club is able. Apologies for any inconvenience caused in the mean time.


In September we normally suffer an influx of Canada Geese onto the lake. It's a yearly event and a real nuisance. As with the weed issue, some members find it puts them off their fishing whilst others continue to fish. Moving them off the lake is a difficult issue which has been much discussed over the years. The Club continues to monitor the situation and normally the geese do not stay long.


The water level still remains low and we're hoping that the aquifer will soon reverse it's action and restore higher levels in the lake. When this happens we will post the information.

Rawlsbury update -  20th August

Members will be pleased to know that our trout lakes at Rawlsbury were restocked during week ending 20th August. As usual Chapmans Lake received the large majority of the fish whilst Cowlease was also stocked.


The fish put into the lakes this time around were a little smaller than those previously stocked this year. But to compensate for this Graeme from Iwerne Springs included a number of Blue Trout at the same price. Depending on how many members are able to fish and, therefore, how many fish are caught, this might be our last stocking at Rawlsbury this season. The decision will be entirely driven by the statistics.


The weed growth is not too bad and the lakes are fishable. Please enjoy this wonderful venue before we reach the season end.


Please be aware that the meadow field bank has sustained some damage due to the local tenant putting cattle into the field without the normal electric fence being in place to protect this bank. As soon as we were aware of the problem the Club contacted the land owner who promised immediate action. The club is monitoring the situation but members may find fishing is best done from the two jetties on that bank until the ground recovers. Hopefully this not should take too long. The dam bank and the swims under the trees are not affected.

Winterborne Zelston update - 20th August

As long term members will know, through the summer Zelston suffers a large loss of water and gains a large growth of weed. Apparently the underground spring appears to suck the water back under the ground, which causes levels to drop. At the same time the quality of the water, (which makes it a great place to fish), promotes strong weed growth. A double whammy! This situation occurs naturally and has been happening since the club bought the water.


Some members find fishing in these conditions too challenging and will fish Rawlsbury instead. Others are quite happy to give it a go. In fact Gordon Moss, (who has put in such a large effort this season to keep the banks spic and spam), caught two lovely fish in just half an hour. A small, heavy fly, a floating line and some very accurate casting did the job.


Hopefully the underground spring will resume it's "Winterborne" status before too long and the water levels will begin to rise.


No doubt members will have noticed that the east jetty has now been rebuilt with synthetic decking. The Club is planning to rebuild one of the other jetties in the next few weeks.


Game Secretary: Paul Nicholls 07757 316303


2016 was a challenging year for the Game Section, bearing in mind the ups and downs of recent seasons.


Mike Hirsh had laid the foundations for the recovery of this part of the club with the consultation document for the stocking policy. This is a transparent means of maintaining stock levels, even though from time to time there will be the odd hiccup.


Thanks to Steve Hemmingway's catch report sheets both the members and the officers of the club are able to see at a glance how the lakes are fishing and members, as always, can leave comments in the diaries. The addition of wipe-clean boards in both lodges allows up-to-date information to be passed on.


At Zelston the fishing jetty close to the hut was repaired this year. It is designed for disabled anglers. All the wooden boards and supports were replaced and a small concrete ramp up to the jetty was built.


The Club policy now regarding informing members of stocking details is to post information on the website and to email or text those people for whom we have contact details. By operating in this way it is hoped that all members feel included in the flow of information, instead of just a privileged few.

As Game Secretary I now have an email database of about 30 members which allows me to contact people both quickly and efficiently. If any trout angler in the club is not receiving emails, please send me your email address so that you can be included.


Throughout the year a number of work parties at both Zelston and Rawlsbury helped to make the fishing somewhat easier. Although the yearly battle with floating weed at Zelston continues to be a challenging issue. At Rawlsbury the land owner Justin Langham carried out some remedial work at our request. The silt trap was emptied and both Cowleaze and Viners have had reed mace removed mechanically along some of the banks. This should make fishing on these two lakes somewhat easier. In January Zelston was treated with micro chalk in order to break down some of the silt.


I would like to thank all of the members who kindly gave up some of their time to participate in the working parties. Their help is greatly appreciated.


Looking at the number of trout tickets sold during 2016 it's good to report that there was an increase over 2015. Hopefully this trend will continue. We have had a good start to 2017 regarding new members joining the club specifically to fish the trout lakes and a number of old members also rejoining.


I would like to thank members of the Committee for their support and encouragement last year. And to thank, once again, all the club members who have helped out in various ways.


Paul Nicholls



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