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Time to get Piking

Alan Cleave recently had his first pike session of the season at Totham Pit and after the shock of finding the locked gate by the outflow he got back into his stride: 

“Once through the gate I got off to a good start and had a 4 pounder on the bank within 20 minutes.  I then had a 7lb 4oz at 11.15am and my brother in law had a 7lb 10oz at 11.45am.  Then the wind really did pick up so we called it a day.  Not the biggest pike in the lake but certainly the best start we’ve had so far at Totham since being members.”

Fish kill on canal

The area affected is 300 metres either side of Rushes Lock. Fish lost include bream, tench, chub and carp.  The Environment Agency have been on site since yesterday (9th Oct). Oxygen levels were down to 5% at one point – up to 35% now (still not good, but not fatal). The EA have aerated and opened the locks to move water through. Current theory on cause is that the sudden temperature changes last week caused an algal bloom which in turn dropped the oxygen levels.  The canal company is also aware of the situation.  The EA will site visit daily and when the oxygen levels stabilize they will do a fish survey to acces if re-restocking is required.
 
The Angling Times have been informed so do not be shocked if you read about this in the angling press.
 
As promised here is the EA feedback on the Chelmer incident:

A section of canal between Papermill Lock and Hoe Mill lock recently suffered a sudden drop in dissolved oxygen levels. This impacted severely on the fish populations in this stretch especially around Rushes lock where levels were around 5-10%.

We responded by opening the flaps within the lock gates, aiding the movement of the water and drawing the oxygen rich upstream flow down into the depleted area. We also deployed aerators to the slacker section to try and raise the oxygen levels. Within 6 hours the dissolved oxygen had reached 40% and had shown rapid recovery.

Investigations of the incident are also in progress through water samples and examinations. We are continuing to monitor the condition of the stretch. A contractor has been at the site for the last few weeks and has been keeping a record of carcass counts and any abnormal activities within this stretch.

To date 10 large Bream, 5 carp 3 eels and about 50-60 small perch and roach have been recorded. This is a small proportion of the fish seen struggling when the oxygen was low so our actions are believed to have prevented a very serious incident.

The local fisheries team has been overseeing our involvement and has been in regular contact with the affected angling clubs.  The incident has been picked up by the Anglers Mail and is likely to be reported in next weeks edition.

One of the dead pike in the edge.

Dead Pike found in Canal

One of our bailiffs has reported seven dead pike found on the Chelmer & Blackwater Canal between Beeleigh and Tesco’s.  This has been reported to the EA who have now visited the canal and advised that the oxygen levels are a bit low in some areas where the duck weed is thick and they will now be keeping an eye on the area.

One of the effected stretches of the canal (earlier in the season).

Alan’s Predator Update

Life member, Alan Cleave, loves his predator fishing.  He was at Totham Pit in February but has just got around to sending us this report:

I just thought you would like an update of what I’ve been up to!!!

 I had three trips fishing to Totham Pit in late February and on the first day I had 2 pike out with the biggest 14lb.

Then I had an amazing day. I set up two swims away from a pair of carp anglers and as soon as my first bait hit the bottom the indicator shot up and the reel screamed line off.  I would like to say that I landed it but it bit through a 7 strand wire trace as if it was just mono!!!  The carp boys thought that was funny, then to my surprise my second rod went off. A 21 pounder on the bank – yes. The carp boys went very quiet then….the reason as I found out was niether angler had ever seen a pike come out let alone up close.  I had another three pike out in a 5 hour session. The amazing thing was the carp boys had 7 carp out while I was there, the biggest was a 22lb Common….and I had never seen a carp banked at Totham so had a great time. 

My final session ended in five pike to 12lb and another one lost.

Well thats it for now, tight lines – Alan Cleave.

Wolf Hunts Pike

Rafal “Wolf” Puchala can often be seen on the banks of our fisheries containing Pike with his lures and more often than not (as I’ve witnessed) his efforts are rewarded.  Here is Rafal with a 23lb Pike landed and returned to Totham Pit.

As Christmas approaches…

With the onset of the first heavy frost of the winter last night some of us start to think about Christmas and purchasing gifts.  Right on cue Malachy Doyle has been in touch to promote his range of unique fish prints and photo albums:

Fish Prints have 14 different variations of fish prints for sale, of which the Perch, Common Carp, Mirror Carp and two variations of Pike will be of most interest.  These are approximately 6.5 inches x 6.5 inches and they best fit into a mount of approximately 12.25 inches by 12.25 inches, a perfect size for framing as pairs or sets.

There are also two sizes of photo album that hold 7×5 photos and are embossed with a gold carp, pike or perch on the cover.

Full details along with pictures of all the prints and photo albums can be found at Fish Prints

If fine pencil drawings are more your thing check out Robs Pencil Portraits as well.

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