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Opening day pollution on canal

The canal re-opened to fishing on Sun 16th June but keen anglers at Cuton Lock had a nasty surprise.  Our Head Bailiff Kim was quick to get the EA involved and has today received this update from them:

The pollutant has been soaked up by booms and a boom put across the culvert where the pollutant is entering the river. Now checking back to find out where it has come from. It is not oil, but oil based, and could be creosote.  Luckily there appear to be no fish deaths!

The angler who initially reported the pollution had taken his son fishing on the canal on the first day of the new season.  They had been looking forward to opening day for ages only to be confronted by a mile of polluted water!  The timing couldn’t have been worse but if an angler hadn’t reported it who knows how it could have escalated if not contained!

The canal prior to the incident.

June water closures

The following fisheries will be closed in June:

Sun 16th Jun:  Canal at Tesco and Slough House Farm for the Senior & Concessionary pairs match – see page 40 of the rulebook
Sun 23rd Jun:  New Hall Reservoir for the Interclub match (see below)
Sun 23rd Jun:  Canal at Heybridge Basin for Chelmsford AA match
Sun 23rd Jun:  Rook Hall for Blackwater Coutry Show – see page 37 of rulebook.

If you see anyone fishing the canal before the 16th June…

Following several reports of people fishing illegally during the close season on the canal (and other local rivers) our Head Bailiff Kim Naish contacted the Environment Agency and this is their response:

Thank you for taking the time to forward on details of suspected close season fishing on the Chelmer, Backwater Navigation and Colne.  To ensure we build up an accurate picture of the issue, can I ask you, and other members of MAS to report any suspected illegal fishing to our 24-hr 7-days a week freephone incident hotline number 0800 80 70 60 (please see our environment agency website).  Reports made to this number will be logged properly by a trained call handler and forwarded onto a Fisheries Enforcement Officer for assessment.  We also advise that if you think people are illegally fishing and are taking fish please call the Police as well as the EA if you or anyone is being threatened.

Canal litter pick with free hot refreshments

The Chelmer Canal Trust has traditionally supported the Chelmsford Rivers Litter Pick which takes place every six months.  Neil says: 

It makes sense for us to do so as getting rubbish out of the river upstream means that there is less to be washed downstream. Since the Chelmsford Litterpicks started we believe that the amount of rubbish that we need to remove from the Navigation has decreased – so it is working! 

The spring litterpick takes place on Saturday 23rd March from 9am – 1pm although you can arrive and leave whenever you want.  The meeting point is the car park beside the Essex Record Office in Navigation Road Chelmsford (put CM2 6YT into your SatNav or click on this link for a map: Wharf Road Car Park).  To take advantage of the free parking please ensure that you get a permit to display inside your car. We won’t have a dedicated Chelmer Canal Trust team there – so just turn up and muck in!  All equipment and rubbish sacks are provided.  Please wear clothing and footwear appropriate for the weather conditions and look forward to the free hot refreshments provided part way through the morning in the Sea Scout hut (the bacon sandwiches always go down well!).

Canal working parties

There will be working parties on the Heybridge canal on Tue 19th Feb and Thu 21st Feb.  If you would like to help please meet up with the organiser at the Benbridge Hotel in Heybridge at 9.30am on each of the two days.  Everyone who wants to help is welcome.

Canal survey sites for 2013 announced

The Environment Agency have summer surveys planned for ten sites on the Chelmer & Blackwater canal this summer with possible investigations.  They appreciate that the fishing and recruitment is poor in large areas of the canal and are looking to find solutions.  The survey sites for June this year are Ricketts, Ricketts Cut, Sugar Mills, Hoe Mill, Paper Mill, Boreham, Cuton, Brook End, Barnes Mill and the A12 Bridge.

One of the intended survey sites – Hoe Mill at Ulting.

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