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A new access for Kingsbridge Lakes from the Wareham Road – A351
By Mike Hirsh
In the July newsletter I wrote an article concerning engineering works at Kingsbridge Lakes. At the time I advised: ‘for sometime after the middle of August, for a period of about two months, land adjacent to the A351 and in the area of the track that lies between Packhorse and Tranquil will be subject to significant engineering works…… I finished by writing that the ink was not yet dry on the final papers and therefore I was not going to tempt providence by explaining the background…..'
Well I got it wrong! Work started in the first week of October. No one foresaw that the Sandbanks Chain Ferry would be out of action and in turn that meant the County Highway Authority would not allow working on the A351 until the holiday season had ended and then only at night!
There will shortly be a new access and an associated car park directly off the A351. The car park, will serve approximately 20 cars and is therefore similar in size to the existing car park. The existing car park will be discontinued and there will be no access off the track served from Organford Road. It is intended that signs will be erected at the old entrance warning there will be no access to the Lakes. In town planning terms, as the site is in the Green Belt, it is the trade of carpark for carpark that made the application submission successful together with the fact that the new car park is beyond the designated SSSI, which is also part of the lowland Dorset Heaths International Designations.
So why is this happening? It is happening because our landlord was approached by the family, who live adjacent to the padlock gate used by WDAC members on the track and who farm the land immediately adjacent. It is the family who are financing the new access and car park because they wished to find a positive solution to the various problems caused by anglers driving up and down the track 24/7. The Club is being provided with an amendment to the lease.
Club officers have facilitated this change as, on balance, it is seen to be a benefit. There are bound to be some members who would prefer to continue to use the old track, and this is appreciated, but I view this as a generous and beneficial solution to a variety of problems caused by the old track.
Of course since works commenced the rain has fallen more or less continuously but it is hoped the change-over will occur sometime around 11 November. Once we have certainty we will post information on line.
A night on Tranquil
By Simon Dunbar
It was around 7.30 p.m. that I wheeled my fishing barrow around the track between the edge of the wood and the lake. As I followed the narrow, tree lined path ,the swim I was headed for came into view and I stopped abruptly. There on the clear patch of ground I was making my way to stood a female sika deer and her young fawn. Her head raised and her ears pricked up when she saw me and the fawn looked very nervous , but she stayed put in the swim by the waters edge. I carried on slowly towards them and she moved off rather sluggishly into the wood with her offspring . One of the things that I love about Kingsbridge is the wildlife , the deer are often around the lake, sometimes in numbers, Kingfishers and Buzzards are common and in the summer months the seldom seen Nightjars can keep you awake with their unusual call during the hours of darkness. Although near a busy road it is a lovely fishery nestled in woodland on the edge of a Dorset heath and it is a great venue to spend a few hours in pursuit of Carp. I would not call myself a carp angler, Wels catfish and Pike being my main targets for many years , however I love fishing for carp at Kingsbridge. I wanted to fish the night on Tranquil Lake, the smallest ( but not easiest) lake on the fishery and I was pleased to see was that it was devoid of any anglers when I arrived.
I had about an hour of light left when I arrived on this evening in early September and quickly had my bivvy in position and my rods set up. The strong breeze of earlier in the day disappeared as the light began to fade and I was soon casting my baits out. I was fishing with hair rigged boilies in pva bags full of pellets and I cast one of these next to a bed of lilies to one side of the lake and the other out into the middle of the lake. I had enough time to catapult a few extra pellets around my baits before darkness arrived and a very still night followed. I sat on my bed chair in my bivvy in the darkness, listening to my small radio whilst drinking tea and for the first few hours my baits were untouched . Then at around 11.30 pm, as I was starting to nod off, a screaming run on the bait in the middle of the lake produced a perfect Common Carp of 8 lbs 8 oz. I recast the bait into the middle of the lake again in a pva bag of pellets and after checking my bite alarms returned to my bivvy and was soon asleep. The next action was from the same rod which screamed into life around 4.15 a.m.. After a short, scrappy fight, in the now mist shrouded lake, another Common Carp of a little over 9 lbs was steered into my net in the beam of my head torch. Again my bait went back out to the same spot in a small pva bag containing boilies and small pellets. I was planning to pack up around 6.30 am , so hoped to tempt another Carp in the remaining couple of hours.
I was half awake when I had another belting take on the bait out in the middle of the lake. This fish felt a lot heavier than the previous two as it headed for the opposite bank of the lake. It stayed deep in the water as it gradually came back across the lake and I managed to keep it away from the reed beds to my left. The fish then swam around steadily in front of my swim remaining in the depths of the water out of sight from the light of my head torch. After a few minutes it finally surfaced in front of me and a nice Mirror Carp was soon over my submerged landing net and sinking into the mesh. The Carp weighed 18 lbs 2 oz and was the biggest Mirror Carp that I have caught to date so I retained it for a few minutes and set up my camera for a few shots . As I returned the carp the sun was beginning to rise and I was soon packing up to be on my way by 7.00 am as planned.
Driving away from the lake along the track I reached the first gate to be met by a large group of deer ,including a white one which I have seen a few times. The sun was climbing in the sky and the deer let me crouch in front of them taking photo’s. A perfect end to a great night on this lovely fishery.
Pinnock Lakes,Edmondsham –
By Mike Hirsh
At the last Committee Stuart Hitchman (SH) had to report on the death of some of the Club’s tench in Medleys and the Minute of the Meeting advises:
Pinnock fish kill: – SH informed the Committee that the Club had suffered a fish kill at Medleys. The kill had been confined to Medleys and had only affected the Tench stock. The incident had been reported to the EA and subsequent water quality testing across the complex and the river crane returned good water quality results. Continued discussions with the EA suggest that the most likely cause for the kill was a sudden drop in dissolved oxygen, possibly due to an algae bloom. A total of 34 larger Tench were lost as a result of the kill, this amounts to less than 10% of the original stock. SH reminded the Committee to report all incidents of distressed fish to the EA emergency line.
SH confirmed that the Medleys had been closed whilst the EA had conducted its testing, but had subsequently been reopened. In this instance it would be counterproductive to close the lake as it was important to have a human presence to report any further abnormalities.
I was of course advised of the incident as soon as it was reported, but Stuart took the lead. Nobody has worked harder for the Club over the Medleys project than Stuart and he has again provided dedication to the task in difficult circumstances. It is a setback, but it is one of those problems that it is almost impossible to foresee. If you do find any distressed fish follow the advice above and get on the EA emergency line (look at your rod licence).