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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.


For full details on how to join


Further details on all of our waters and concessions.

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.



YOUR club needs YOUR help to report sightings of cormorants

It's critically important that we look after the welfare of our fish, for today and for tomorrow.



For full details on how to join and the rates for 2020/21


Further details on all of our waters and concessions.

WDAC offers our membership the chance to fish two trout waters, Winterborne Zelston and Rawlsbury



YOUR club needs YOUR help to report sightings of cormorants

MARCH 2022

By Mike Hirsh, Club Chairman

Game Section meeting Tuesday 8th March at 19.30

Annual General meeting Tuesday 22nd March at 19.30


Both meetings to be held at the British Legion Corfe Mullen and entry will be by showing your Membership Book. [Junior Members will need to be accompanied by an adult].


I had that feeling that as soon as I wrote in the January 2022 Newsletter:


“Please also take a lateral flow test on the day and expect to offer to show the negative result.”


That the Government would alter the approach to Covid again!


Now the Country simply has guidance, and the public are expected to use common sense. So, whilst the Club cannot reasonably demand that attendees to these meetings show negative lateral flow tests as part of entry, the Committee would still ask attendees to think of others and take a test before coming to the British Legion. If your test is positive, please stay away. If you have not taken a test and you have Covid like symptoms also please stay away.


Coronavirus has not gone away and so the AGM will focus on the core matters as previously advised, and the  Agenda is appended to this article (complete with a suggested timetable).


To date no member has raised any questions to be discussed at the end of the meeting and as advised in the January newsletter it would be helpful to have these in good time for the meeting.


The AGM is important. It is your opportunity to put faces to names and be part of the decision-making process of the Club.



Reminder of Proposed Annual General Meeting and Trout Section Meetings 2022 – Dates for your diaries


Admission restricted to members only.  Please ensure you bring your membership book.


Minutes silence in remembrance: To remember fishermen and friends who have died.


1. President Welcome – Brian Heap (7 MINUTES)


2. Chairman’s Report – Mike Hirsh (7 (MINUTES)


3. Minutes from 2019 - a true record of events (proposer and seconder) (3 MINUTES)


4. Constitution - proposals for change (see Appendix A) – Mike Hirsh (15 MINUTES)


a. Change to constitution paragraph 3a concerning membership definition and at j a new element on membership renewals

b. Change to constitution paragraph 5a to allow for the new role of Vice-Chairman

c. Change to constitution paragraph 7 to allow for routine purchase of membership related items without the proposal coming to Committee. To add at 7d the setting of financial objectives and 7g to enable the Club to borrow money to purchase additional water.

d. Change to General Rules of fishing: Rule 6 to make an appropriately sized land net available at all times for use when required.


5. Nominations for President and Officers (10 MINUTES FOR 5 AND 6)


a. President – Brian Heap

b. Chairman – Mike Hirsh

c. Treasurer – Jan Nightingale

d. Membership Secretary – Chris Crompton

e. Secretary – Stuart Hitchman

f. Match Secretary – Jim Finch

g. Game Secretary – Paul Baker

h. Welfare Officer – Sean Harris

i. Media Officer – James Nash

j. Rivers Officer – Nick Churchill

k. Head Bailiff – Steve Neale


6.  Nominations for Committee


a. Nigel Taylor

b. Mike Jepson

c. Nick Lawrie

d. George Frost

e. Hugh Miles

f. ?


7. Nomination for the new post of Vice Chairman - Iain Scott (3 MINUTES)


8. Treasurer’s financial report 2020 and 2021 – Jan Nightingale and Mike Hirsh (10  MINUTES)


9. Membership report 2020 and 2021 – Chris Crompton (5 MINUTES)


10. A summary of Forward Plans for works and stocking – SH with IS (15 MINUTES)


11. Questions/AOB (20 MINUTES)

By Mike Hirsh, Club Chairman

The Club has just spent some money on signs for Edmondsham. The signs advise to ‘shut the gate’ and are on the gates that are an integral part of the otter deterrent conservation fencing. It is pointless spending labour and cash on fences and gate installation if the gates are to be left open. Stu Hitchman, as part of the volunteer workforce, got sunburn on his eyelids carrying out this work last year – real blood, sweat and tears!  I originally considered the need for signs superfluous given that it ought to be absolutely obvious. However, to date the gates, particularly those between the car park and Julia’s, the lower lake, have been left ajar on at least three occasions recently. So PLEASE shut them.


As foreshadowed in the January newsletter a further stocking of carp has now taken place into Julia’s. Viv Shears of VS Fisheries arrived with carp of entertaining sizes to around 12lbs on the afternoon of the 4th February to be met by a small team assembled to check the fish and get them quickly into the water. The icy wind made it really important to get the job done quickly; so a big thank you  to all those involved. The Club has photographs of the fish and below are a sample:

Shut the gate

Photos: 1 and 2 two of these beautiful carp; on the right is a fish of just over 11lbs

Photo 3:  Two to two and a half pounders - One hundred and twenty-five ‘C2s’  like these have been stocked to grow on.

Viv and I talked about the small tench and crucians in the top lake, Medleys, and got on to the subject of the occasional small trout that are an unintended bye-catch. I am told by the regulars fishing the lake that from time to time, when a trout is caught, they put them into the River Crane. It is thought these trout are coming in as fry, down the inflow pipe from the River and are then growing on in the lake’s still water. Therefore, putting them back into the Crane, with its quite strong current, different habitat and an established trout hierarchy may not be such a good idea. However, these fish may also prove valuable as predators by eating some of the coarse fish fry, so on balance please return them to the lake. The Club’s officers do have other plans for the control of the existing population  to improve the stock’s average size and we can explain this at the AGM.


Nick Lawrie cut down the large dead alder, which had become a hazard, from beside Medleys recently. Soon there will be a working party to remove the strings from across this water that have successfully kept off the cormorants again this winter and it will then be ready to fish.


What the Club’s Committee could really do with is some feedback about catches. So, if you are fishing Edmondsham please drop a line to the website email to let us know how you get on.  Pictures would be welcome to – I have heard about some recent carp catches and that included one of the splendid long resident fish!

By Mike Hirsh, Club Chairman

In the last month the Club has released over ninety tench and a few more carp into the lakes at Kingsbridge. These fish have been grown on by the Club to a size where they can be released into the lakes.

Home reared fish for Kingsbridge

Photo 4: moving tench at dusk

The Club’s Committee has allocated monies to refurbish the stock pond this coming year. The work can be done when we have some dry weather and then the aim will be to re-stock with fish to grow on again in early 2023.

By Mike Hirsh, Club Chairman

Winterborne Zelston has been fishing well through the winter, but the Club’s other trout water at Rawlsbury was open again at the start of this month. Chapman’s the main lake has been stocked and in addition our landlord, as promised, has rebuilt the second fishing platform.

New fish and a fishing platform at Rawlsbury as the trout season gets under way

Photo 5: Chapmans ready for the new season with the new platform.

Whilst it has been too wet to stock Cowleaze the two catch and release lakes Viners and Sandys are also ready to fish. A pre-season working party has been tidying banks, including removing the reedmace, and in addition this last winter our fish in these upper lakes have been regularly fed -thanks Gary! Later in the year, when the track dries out, the intention is to stock some additional brown trout of around two and a half pounds into these upper lakes.


Of all the lakes the Club controls the Rawlsbury complex is, in my opinion, by far the most scenic. Even if you are an angler with no interest in trout it is worth having a walk around the lakes.  In terms of our health and wellbeing it is a great place to enjoy this deepest Dorset countryside, but do sign in to the book in the farmyard (see your membership book for details).


If you are a once upon a time trout angler, or a coarse fisherman who would like to have some help with fly fishing, do contact Paul Baker our Game Secretary, who I know is keen to help – his email address is in the book. Indeed, if you are a game fisherman but are not on Paul’s email list for regular updates about stocking, water conditions, working parties etc please make contact too.

By James Nash, Club Media Officer

Next up from the Club’s committee is Game Secretary, Paul Baker.


1. Paul, can you tell us a little bit more about your role as Game Secretary and what that role involves?

An interview with Club Game Secretary, Paul Baker

2. Which is your favourite Club venue and why?

3. What’s been your highlight capture from a Club venue since you first joined?

4. If you could go fishing with any angling personality, who would it be and why?

5. Tell us an interesting fact about yourself that we may not know!

By James Nash, Club Media Officer

Coming soon - catch reports and members gallery on the Club website

It was discussed at the February Committee meeting that the inclusion of a catch report facility on the Club website would be a useful tool for us to have.


Members will be able to jump on the page and quickly log their catch reports - giving the Club direct real-time information on how each of our venues is performing.


This information will become invaluable as we continue to try and improve our waters and maximise the membership experience. As many of you will know already, extensive stocking has taken place in recent months, we need to know the nett results of this as well as monitoring waters that haven't yet seen additional stock.


We used to have a membership photo gallery too. In all honesty it was relinquished on the basis that we simply weren't receiving many photos. Whilst this is still the case (massive not-so subtle request for piccies!) we do have a large library of images that we know members will enjoy looking at and hopefully adding to in the future. So this will constitute part of the new page too.


We'll inform everyone via email when the page has been built and approved for use. Keep an eye out for the email and on Facebook, we should be up and running with this in the next week or two.

There are a few elements to the role really. My main responsibility is to record all the catch returns, these are usually sent to me by email. This is to ensure the Club is aware of when lakes require restocking.


In addition to the monitoring and stocking of the lakes, I am always concerned about their maintenance. Weed removal and clearing around the margins require constant attention. The recent purchase of a Neptune rake has aided our efforts when combatting the weed! Work parties are good fun though and it brings a real sense of camaraderie.


We’ve been delighted to have found an excellent supplier of trout in recent months. The fish have incredible fighting qualities and are fine eating too. In fact Japanese restaurants really value the quality and texture of the fish.

Rawlsbury Lakes for sure. It has everything there really. It’s catch and release on two of the lakes and a catch and take on the other two waters. It’s a picturesque, tranquil spot at the foot of rolling hills. We have the hut there which provides cooking, toilet facilities and running water. It’s a fantastic place to sit and have lunch.

For me it’s not the size of the fish, it’s the challenge that fly fishing for trout encompasses. Conditions can vary enormously and you adjust your approach accordingly. The tactical elements of catching our hard-fighting rainbows is the highlight for me personally.


As far as non-club waters go, I’m a real fan of chalk streams in Dorset. Living in London for my most of my life having the chance of fishing these rivers was always a huge ambition. The river Frome and Piddle, in April and May especially, provide excellent fishing. Wild brownies to 4lb are my intended quarry. There is nothing better in life than being in the middle of a crystal clear chalk stream in the early morning as the sun comes up.

It would have to be Bob Mortimer. He really does make me laugh. He’s been doing a fantastic job of popularizing the sport, in his unique light-hearted, jovial way.

I started fishing at the age of just seven. Chasing tench, perch and carp on my own at a local stillwater. I think more children should get the chance to go fishing as it has been proven to have health and well- being benefits especially in later life.


As a youngster I remember leaving my house at around 3am rods tied to our bikes. Armed with blood and bone ground bait and whatever else we could get our hands on. We’d cycle to our nearest lake called Berwick ponds on Rainham Marshes. We got to know all the best swims and would use a leakey old punt to get across to an island where we would fish for tench – heath and safety was non-existent back then, boy was it fun!






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