INVASIVE SPECIES – FREE WORKSHOPS

An opportunity to learn more about the complex world of invasive species and how we a s anglers can help stop the spread and identify issues.

South West Lakes Trust and South West Water invite you to a free workshop to find out more about biosecurity, invasive non-native species and discuss what we can all do to help prevent their spread. There are five workshops covering our region and bookings are now being taken through our events page. https://www.swlakestrust.org.uk/events

Presentations will focus on some of the key issues of invasive non-native species and the most current and effective biosecurity methods. Workshop sessions will provide an opportunity for us to discuss the best options for biosecurity facilities at our lakes so we can help protect them and our sports.

These are free events for anyone who uses our lakes for sport or recreation. Complimentary hot and cold drinks and supper will be provided.

Please feel free to pass this invitation on to friends and colleagues who may be interested.

The events are organised by South West Lakes Trust and South West Water and are supported by Angling Trust and Nicky Green Associates. Booking is essential. We look forward to welcoming you.

South West Water and South West Lakes Trust invite you to Brompton Regis Village Hall to find out more about biosecurity, invasive non-native species and discuss what we can all do to help prevent their spread.

Presentations will focus on some of the key issues of invasive non-native species and the most current and effective biosecurity methods. Workshop session will provide an opportunity for us to discuss the best options for biosecurity facilities at our lakes so we can help protect them and our sports.

This is a free event for anyone who uses our lakes for sport or recreation. Complimentary hot/cold drinks and pasties will be served from 6- 6.30pm.

Please click here to see the programme, and click the button below to book your place (please inform us of any dietary requirements when booking).

Please feel welcome to pass this invitation on to friends and colleagues who may be interested.

This event is organised by South West Lakes Trust and South West Water and is supported by Angling Trust and Nicky Green Associates.

Invasive Species and Biosecurity Workshop

Monday 25th November, 6pm – 8.30pm, Brompton Regis Village Hall, 8 Brompton Meadows, Brompton Regis, Dulverton TA22 9PD

Workshop Programme

6.00 – 6.30pm Registration, hot and cold drinks and pasties will be provided

6.30 – 6.45pm Welcome and introduction – Kate Hills, Biosecurity and Invasives Manager, South West Water

 What are invasive species, the problems they cause, what SWW and SWLT are doing about Invasive Non Native Species (INNS).

6.45 – 7.00pm Signal crayfish: origins, pathways to introduction and biosecurity risks – Nicky Green, Crayfish Specialist, Nicky Green Associates

 Crayfish ecology, management and research – what we know about signal crayfish in the South West, legislation and what can we do about them.

7.00 – 7.15pm Invasive species: their impacts on fishing and how anglers can help to stop their spread – Dr. Emily Smith, Environment Manager,

Angling Trust

  •   A summary of some of the main impacts of INNS on fishing in the UK.
  •   Negative impacts on native fish populations in the UK – direct predation on fish

    eggs/juveniles, competition with native fish for food/shelter, invasive plants

    blanketing waterways, reducing oxygen level and preventing access to fishing swims.

  •   Easy measures anglers can adopt to reduce the threat of INNS being spread into

    their fisheries and other waterways.

    7.15 – 7.30pm AQUA Biosecurity Accreditation Scheme – Nicola Morris, Invasive Species Officer, South West Lakes Trust

  •   An update on the AQUA Scheme at SWLT lakes.
  •   Current best practice biosecurity advice and methods to help protect our lakes.

    7.30 – 7.40pm Comfort Break

    7.40 – 8.20pm Workshop session

 Group discussions on the potential for biosecurity facilities at our sites and our most

likely options to help prevent the spread of INNS. 8.20 – 8.30pm Closing summary

FREE Invasive Species and Biosecurity Workshop

Tuesday 19th November, 6pm – 8.30pm, Roadford Lake, Broadwoodwidger, Lifton, Devon. PL16 0RL

Workshop Programme

6.00 – 6.30pm Registration, hot and cold drinks and pasties will be provided

6.30 – 6.45pm Welcome and introduction – Kate Hills, Biosecurity and Invasives Manager, South West Water

 What are invasive species, the problems they cause, what SWW and SWLT are doing about Invasive Non Native Species (INNS).

6.45 – 7.00pm Signal crayfish: origins, pathways to introduction and biosecurity risks – Nicky Green, Crayfish Specialist, Nicky Green Associates

 Crayfish ecology, management and research – what we know about signal crayfish in the South West, legislation and what can we do about them.

7.00 – 7.15pm Invasive species: their impacts on fishing and how anglers can help to stop their spread – Dr. Emily Smith, Environment Manager,

Angling Trust

  •   A summary of some of the main impacts of INNS on fishing in the UK.
  •   Negative impacts on native fish populations in the UK – direct predation on fish

    eggs/juveniles, competition with native fish for food/shelter, invasive plants

    blanketing waterways reducing oxygen level and preventing access to fishing swims.

  •   Easy measures anglers can adopt to reduce the threat of INNS being spread into

    their fisheries and other waterways.

    7.15 – 7.30pm AQUA Biosecurity Accreditation Scheme – Nicola Morris, Invasive Species Officer, South West Lakes Trust

  •   An update on the AQUA Scheme at SWLT lakes
  •   Current best practice biosecurity advice and methods to help protect our lakes.

    7.30 – 7.40pm Comfort Break

    7.40 – 8.20pm Workshop session

 Group discussions on the potential for biosecurity facilities at our sites and our most

likely options to help prevent the spread of INNS. 8.20 – 8.30pm Closing summary

IMAGES FROM THE MINDS EYE – LOOKING BACK

The minds eye stores many thousands of images some of which lie dormant whilst others linger on the surface never fading completely. As a teenager I fished from the Banjo Pier at Looe in Cornwall a place I have revisited on numerous occasions since those formative angling days in the early to mid seventies. Strange how certain things stick in the mind, I just checked out the year Carl Douglas released Kung Fu Fighting. For some reason I remember this playing in the amusement arcade in Looe all those years ago in 1974. I was thirteen and by then fishing at Looe with the local lads. ( I never actually liked the song but it stuck in the mind!)

My father had introduced me to sea angling during our annual holiday to Looe which almost always fell during the last week of September and first week of October. Then as now fishing was prohibited from the Banjo until October 1st. prior to 1974 I had fished with my parents and it was garfish, mackerel and Pollock that would drag a brightly coloured sea float beneath the surface. The garfish would toy with the bait causing the float to dither before sliding beneath the surface or lying flat as the garfish swam up with the bait. I probably caught my first fish from Looe when I was seven or eight.

Those childhood and teenage days are long gone, the essence of those days remain etched in that marvelous minds eye. Strange to say that whilst I have revisited the Banjo on many occasions with Pauline watching the ebbing and flowing of the tide, the coming and going of boats and the vast seascape I had not taken a rod in hand at the venue since my last holiday with my parents back in around 1976/7. This was I guess partially due to timing as it was generally out of bounds due to it being summertime.

I remember clearly how I had fished for grey mullet on the ebbing tide in the eddy formed as the estuary meets the open sea beside the old banjo. When discussing a trip to Looe with the Combe Martin Sea Angling Club where better to fish for mullet than my old haunt? My connection with Looe had resulted in a long-term friendship on Facebook with fellow angler Matt Pengelly.  Matt is a fanatical sea angler who has fished Looe all his life. I have exchanged stories of Looe with Matt on many occasions and over the years he has freely shared a vast amount of information to which I owe him a big thank you.

As regards to the Looe mullet Matt confirmed my thoughts in that several generations of mullet later little has changed. Hence close to fifty years after catching my first sea fish I find myself on the banjo pier rod in hand along with our son James and five other members of the CMSAC mulleteers.

Quiver tips and floats are employed and mullet are caught up to around three pound.

I drop my orange tipped float into the ebbing flow. After drifting a few yards it dips slowly beneath those familiar clear waters. I lift the rod in expectation and feel a familiar gyrating motion transmitted through the line. I swing the garfish up into my hand, “Look a swordfish”, cries out a young child.  I remember such comments being made all those years ago. The green scales stick to my hands and that distinctive small of fresh garfish triggers childhood memories.

I chat with Matt who has joined us on the Banjo for a while and he tells me of plans to redevelop Looe and its Harbour. I am saddened to hear of these plans to bring prosperity to this old Cornish town. The pleasures of Looe are simple and special and locked in my minds eye and I am sure in many others who have trod a similar path.

Looking back, I have a wealth of memories relating to fishing and the places it has taken me to. I also have memories of Ilfracombe when it had a pier and how the removal of that pier has contributed to the loss of a community. I Remember how on cold winter nights we would gather on the pier safe above surging waters; ever hopeful. Sadly I feel the essence of angling holds no tangible value to planners and councilors. The social benefits are overlooked in the search for marinas and visions of splendor.

Where lies the value in a garfish and a disappearing float?

http://www.redgill.co.uk

Tackle Shops Essential for the Angling Community

Many thanks to the Summerlands Team for welcoming me into their treasure trove of fishing tackle to promote my book “I Caught A Glimpse”. It was an enjoyable couple of hours spent chatting with local anglers and reminded me of the importance of tackle shops in maintaining angling rich community.

I CAUGHT A GLIMPSE – BOOK LAUNCH

(Above) Image – Courtesy of Tony Gussin

After what seems like a long journey my book ” I Caught A Glimpse” has finally been published and I am delighted with the end result. The launch day at Blakewell Fishery proved to be an enjoyable event with a good number of local anglers attending to meet with publisher Wayne Cryer from the Little Egret Press and myself. The lush water gardens, pools of swirling trout and tea rooms bathed in bright sunshine proved the perfect setting. There was a steady stream of anglers arriving throughout the event and it was pleasing to see generations of North Devon Anglers mingling and reminiscing with several old friends reunited.

The book will be judged by its readers so I await feed back confident that I have produced a worthwhile tome. There is of course far more that I could have written about and this becomes increasingly obvious as I talk further with the anglers of North Devon.

A big thank you to all of those who attended the book launch from both Wayne Cryer and I.

On a hectic day Pauline and I then attended the Annual River Torridge Dinner at the Half Moon Inn. After a wonderful meal with members of the Association I was pleased to sign a few more copies of “I Caught A  Glimpse”. Special thanks must go to Charles Inniss who wrote a foreword to the book and promoted the book enthusiastically to the Torridge Fishery members.

I must of course give a very big thanks to all who assisted me in writing the book for it was by no means a solo effort and those who helped are acknowledged within the book. Though I have to say I have undoubtedly missed a few.

Volunteer Required – Can you help to enable a gentleman to continue his fishing passion?

I received an enquiry from Samantha Mathews who works for Valorum Care asking if I knew of anyone who could help a gentlemen to prolong his angling experiences. I know from my interviews with several senior anglers that the passion for angling is still there years after they are forced to leave the waters edge. I am sure that the below opportunity would be very rewarding.

Volunteer Required – Can you help to enable a gentleman to continue his fishing passion?

We are looking for a person, or people, to help a gentleman continue his passion for angling. He loves to spend hours fishing and returning the fish to its environment.  Due to physical disability he cannot do this without company and support.  He would love the opportunity to spend time outdoors with like-minded people.  You would ideally need to be a driver willing to drive one of our Valorum Foundation vehicles – for which we would give you training.  We would also give training in how to support a wheelchair user and any other areas you feel useful.

We are based in Braunton but could reimburse your fuel costs to us.  If this sounds like something you could do or would like to ask any questions please contact the Volunteer Co-ordinator, Sam Mathews on [email protected] or telephone 01271 815915

It would be fantastic if you could place an advert for Francois.  I’m running ideas around with regards to the social meeting idea as well so please feel free to pass my details on to anybody who you think may be interested.

UNLOCKING ROADFORD’S SECRETS

South West Lakes Trust have been running a month long trial at the 700 acre Roadford Reservoir to ascertain its perch fishing potential. During August boats have been available for anglers to target the venues perch using lure fishing tactics. The venue is normally fly only with brown trout the target.

Previous trials have enabled anglers to catch perch to over three pounds with good numbers of fish over 2lb. Fly anglers targeting the lakes brown trout sometimes get frustrated with the huge numbers of small perch present. These small perch undoubtedly provide food for the larger perch and big trout.

The opportunity to explore this potential was too good an opportunity to miss. So when my long time angling friend Bruce Elstone invited me to share a boat with him I jumped at the chance.

Bank Holiday Monday saw us arrive at the Lake as the early morning mist began to clear. The forecast was for a hot sunny day, far from ideal conditions to target the venues perch. But with only a limited time at hand we could not choose our day.

We set off to explore targeting fish in the bays. The low level of the lake revealed the skeletal remains of the many trees that had been drowned in the flooding  of the valley years before.

I started off using a jig headed soft plastic lure on the point and a small drop shot pattern a couple of feet above. Within minutes I was catching small perch almost every cast. Bruce searched the bay with a  spinner but to our surprise failed to tempt the small perch.

Bruce changed tactics using a slow jig pattern that flickered tantalizingly as it was worked beneath the boat. This worked well and Bruce was soon catching the small perch in good numbers. Having caught plenty of small perch we now hoped for that bigger fish and eventually Bruce’s rod took on a more pleasing curve. After a short tussle the pleasing sight of a big perch materialised beside the boat where it was safely netted. At 2lb 4oz it was a good start to the day. Minutes later it was my turn as a fish of 1lb 14oz seized my dropshot lure.

The hot sun beat down on the calm lake as sailing yachts attempted to find the breeze. Bruce successfully tempted several more decent perch using the slow jig patterns while I struggled to catch further bigger perch. Frequent changes of lure pattern brought frustratingly little success to my rod.

As the day progressed we listened intently as the Ashes Test Match progressed with victory for England seeming increasingly unlikely.

Mid-afternoon and we decided to head to the café for refreshment. The Test Match continued with England down to just one wicket. Half an hour later as we headed to the lake the cricket continued and our focus turned increasingly to the drama of the Test match.

We fished in the bay dropping our lures in search of perch whilst listening intently to the unfolding drama of the Test Match. When Ben Stokes hit the winning runs we both shouted out across the lake in unison to celebrate an unlikely victory for England. Moments later Bruce’s rod bent as a large weight tugged at the end of the line. Instead of a monster perch up came a brace of two pounders, one on the slow jig and one to the drop shot lure!

Does life get much better ?

We searched the lake for more perch as the evening approached. With little success we returned to  the bay where we had enjoyed success earlier in the day. As the light faded Bruce hooked a very large fish on a small plug that came off after a few moments. We were convinced that this would have been the biggest fish of the day. The next half hour proved frustrating as perch hit the lures without getting hooked. Judging by the swirls and heavy thumps on the rod these were big fish.

Hopefully there will be further trials and if there are we will be back in search of the big specimen perch that undoubtedly lurk within this vast water. Strangely we caught no trout on lures reinforcing my believe that the fly is often a far more productive method for tempting trout.

I Caught A Glimpse  – New Book Available to Pre Order Now

After several years of hard work my book I Caught a Glimpse is available to pre-order from the Little Egret Press. Details of book launch to follow. To place an order please press link below :-

Pre-Orders

Wayne Thomas has been privileged to enjoy over forty years fishing North Devon’s varied waters enjoying both success and failure. The places and the many people he has met along the way have greatly enriched his journey. In this book he tells stories of North Devon angling along with recollections from others; some from an earlier generation who enjoyed fishing in those good old days.

He has no favourite species of fish and this book reflects this with every discipline of angling represented. From the small crimson spotted trout of tumbling streams and the story of a five pound perch to the huge shark that roam the Atlantic Ocean. AVAILABLE IN THE FOLLOWING EDITIONS

    Limited Edition                    of only 300 copies
Special Edition Hardback   of only 30 copies
Quarter Leather Edition      of only 10 copies
Luxury Leather Edition       of only 5 copies

Anglers play a key role in invasive species management

Anglers play a key role in invasive species management

Have you heard of the Check, Clean, Dry campaign? South West Lakes Trust’s Invasive Species Officer, Nicola Morris, is working with anglers and visitors to the lakes to encourage everyone to work together to prevent the damage caused by invasive non-native species and protect the lakes and sports we enjoy.

Over 2000 non-native plants and animals from all over the world have been introduced to the UK by people. Most non-native species are harmless, but approximately 10-15% have become invasive, having a negative impact on our environment, economy (costing the UK economy at least £1.8 billion a year), and even our health and way of life.

Invasive non-native species (INNS) threaten many key sites and are a particular threat in sensitive areas, such as offshore islands, rivers, lakes and streams. They can interfere with recreational activities, preventing anglers from using them. INNS can also cause dramatic declines of some native species including the water vole, white-clawed crayfish, and red squirrel.

Biosecurity means taking steps to make sure that good hygiene practices are in place to reduce and minimise the risk of spreading INNS and fish disease. INNS can carry diseases that kill fish, and block waterways and banks interfering with fishing activity. They can be small and hard to spot, so are easily spread on damp clothing and equipment. Once established, they become extremely difficult and expensive to eradicate, which is why it is so important to prevent their spread in the first place. Following some simple biosecurity steps can help protect the lakes and the activities we enjoy.

Basic Biosecurity Advice

Help protect the environment and fishing we enjoy by keeping your kit free of invasive plants and animals.

Always arrive at the lake with clean equipment and a clean vehicle. Whenever you leave the water, remember to Check, Clean, Dry.

Check your gear after leaving the water for mud, aquatic animals or plant material. Remove anything you find and leave it at the site.

Clean everything thoroughly as soon as you can, paying attention to nets, waders, and areas that are damp and hard to access. Use hot water if possible and make use of any facilities provided on site.

Dry everything for as long as possible (ideally 48hrs) before using elsewhere as some invasive plants and animals can survive for two weeks in damp conditions.

If disinfectants are used, they must be used and disposed of following the manufacturer’s instructions, particularly those regarding Health and Safety.

Going abroad?

It’s even more important to Check, Clean, Dry if you are taking your kit abroad, to ensure you do not bring any plants or animals back with you. Make sure everything is clean and has been dried thoroughly before you use it again at home.

Nicola is keen to work with anglers at South West Lakes Trust lakes and said, “Anglers who fish at our lakes are an invaluable source of knowledge. Many of them fish regularly, know the lakes very well and most already carry out effective biosecurity. Their knowledge and support is invaluable and those I have spoken to since I started at South West Lakes Trust earlier this year have been great. I really appreciate their input and I am looking forward to working with them over the coming months as we work towards improved biosecurity at our lakes.”

For more information on invasive species and to report sightings please email Nicola at [email protected].