Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Something Fishy Going On

The main event today was the start, at last, of the project to remove some of the common carp from Mockbeggar Lake. You might reasonably ask why anyone would want to remove them, the reason is that there are so many that they have eliminated all the weed and stirred up so much silt that the water is like soup. Unfortunately carp can build up to such numbers that they alter the whole lake ecosystem. So it was decided that as many as could be removed should be. That was some two or more years ago, since when negotiations to get to the point of actually doing the work had staggered along. The fish were removed using electro-fishing, that is stunning the fish with an electric charge so that they can be caught using a net, the fish are unharmed. Having got started the work continued rapidly and the fish proved easy to catch in good numbers, although that probably just shows how many of them there are.
Each big bucketful of fish contained about 100lb of fish each one weighing mostly between 8 and 12 lbs.

Once removed into aerated tanks they will be taken off to be used to stock lakes elsewhere, although we do not want them there are people elsewhere who do.

Of course it will be impossible to remove all the fish and with so many more resources it is likely that the remaining fish will grow larger and when they breed their off-spring will have the chance to survive, denied for so many years by competition. This makes it likely that the whole process will start all over again in a few years, but at least we might buy some time to try and put a more effective management plan in place.

If nothing else it was good to finally see a real start being made on the management of this lake, which was once one of the best in the whole complex for wildfowl.

As a result of fish related activity in the morning and a meeting of the Blashford Lakes Forum in the afternoon I saw rather little wildlife today. A pair of cuckoo over Mockbeggar and a sky generally scattered with swift was about the sum of it. Reports received amounted 2 hobby and not much else.

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