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Compliance Works – Part 5 Netting Kingfisher (at last)

Finally the weather has started to improve and the rain is subsiding. With no anglers due until the start of the season at the beginning of April we have been able to open the valve again knowing that we could be letting more water out than was going in. With all of our fish now in Kingfisher it was a tense couple of days trying to get the water level right for netting but not too low that the fish were too distressed. Maisie still managed to get in for a quick drink on her walk.

By Wednesday 13th March the levels were perfect for netting and the fish farmer from arrived with his crew. We had friends from two other lakes nearby and as well as Nigel’s mate, Derek and Jo’s daughter and son-in-law, Sophie and Matt and granddaughter, Dotty who were all here to help. A plan was established…….

Jean-Noël has netted these lakes on previous occasions and knew that we could only carry out a partial netting as there is a very large, deep hole near to the valve outlet. He focused his attention on the deepest part of the lake and got his lads, who are all learning to be fish farmers, to hold the net whilst it was dragged around the lake. It is then pulled in as tightly as possible whilst trying to keep all of the fish inside and stop them from escaping. You can only imagine how hard this is with not only the water resistance but also probably 10,000lbs of fish as well! Once this was done they stopped for a breather and a beer.

It was decided that we would form a chain over the bank directly to Lac Lucie and carry the fish in weigh slings across. We weighed all of these fish so that we would know accurately what the stock level was in Lac Lucie on this day and could then guestimate the stocks in Kingfisher.

Once we had the removed the carp we wanted for Lac Lucie, Jean-Noël focused on the catfish as he was to take away all of the smaller ones, leaving us with one over 50lb for Lac Lucie and any others that heavy to put back into Kingfisher. Whilst not everyone likes cats there are many people who come here just to fish for them but no one wants to be woken up at 2am for a 5lb catfish.

We have said since we have bought the property that we would be honest with the stock that we have and whilst we were told that there were 120 carp in Kingfisher and 110 in Lac Lucie as soon as we had netted Lac Lucie we knew that this was not the case. We were hoping to be able to put some new fish in at this netting but they were not yet available so this will happen over the next few months as soon as the fish farmer has them for us.

65+ fish are now back in Lac Lucie with an average weight of just over 30lb. These are a good balance of common and mirror carp. There are 2 fish over 50lb and 6 over 40lb and 1 catfish over 50lb (now named Del) and a baby common of about 3lb which we have named Matty.

Jean-Noël made a guesstimate that there are 100+ carp now in Kingfisher with an average weight of over 35lb and 3 over 50lb. Again these are a good balance of mirrors and commons. We returned 7 catfish over 70lb from the netting but would estimate that there are at least 15 big ones in there now.

Over 800lb of baby catfish were taken away by Jean-Noël which will encourage good carp growth rates in both lakes now. We will ensure that we net the lake more frequently in future to ensure that these levels do not reach the same again.

Kingfisher is now filling up again nicely and the fish who have been returned to Lac Lucie seem content. Matt, the only other angler in the family apart from Nigel, had a little fishing session on Thursday afternoon and evening but apart from the below did not land anything. There is still time and the fish need to have a chance to settle down before the season starts again.

We are really pleased that we now have a much better idea of what we have in the lakes and can update our website etc with more accurate information. We want people to come and enjoy our lakes and respect our property, our fish and our community because they trust us.

We will update you with the other work that has been going on round the lake this week another time so à bientôt et bonne journée to you all

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