More fish???

Below is an observation from one of our members which raises a number of issues, some of which are regularly raised by anglers, who often comment “We need some more fish”.

You have transferred some fish from  Firsby  Reservoir to the ponds I have been told. You say that transferring  fish will incur feeding at extra cost, well who fed the fish at Firsby when there was no one there?
I was told again that there is plenty of natural food in the your ponds, so why not transfer all of the surplus fish from Firsby .This would make fishing “easier” and could increase
your membership, unless you think your numbers are healthy enough, & your committee is happy with the way things are. There is plenty of competition out there….. Just food for thought….and
just an observation.

I’ll  try to answer the best way I can.

We did transfer approximately 500lbs of roach, with some big rudd and perch, from Firsby into the Gt. Pond last Spring. The reason for doing this was because the Council had dropped the water level leaving only half of the original area of water. The result of this action was that if left alone half the fish would have gradually starved. Why? Because naturally a given area of water will support a given amount of fish. Half the area, half the amount of fish it can support. An obvious comparison is cows in a field. If a farmer’s field supports 20 cows and he reduces the area by half then he would remove half of his cows because there wouldn’t be enough grass in half a field for them all to eat.

Originally the fish at Firsby fed on natural food as all creatures do in the wild, they don’t need anglers to feed them in the wild.

Before the transfer the Gt. Pond was already holding its quota of stock and feeding them naturally for the main. Putting those 500lbs in meant that extra food had to be added to help feed what was already in plus the 500lbs. The alternative would have been that the fish would gradually starve and become stunted, which was not what we or other anglers wanted. Hence the cost. A picture of the fish is shown below and what beauties they were.



As for transferring any more fish from Firsby that is no longr possible for a number of reasons outside our control.

Whoever said that there is lots of natural food in our ponds was correct. The Kingfisher Pond is just one example, we have just removed 2000lbs from it, a staggering amount. And experts tell us that fish eat ten times their body weight each year which, for the Kingfisher amounts to around 12 tonnes of natural food/year! Experience over the years tells us that the other ponds are just the same, just look how many carp there are in the Carp Pond and last time we netted that we removed 800lbs of silver fish! However all that natural food is currently being eaten by the fish that are there already. If any does become spare for whatever reason the fish either eat it and put on weight, (which is what we try to achieve in the Carp Pond) or breed up rapidly to take advantage, which over a year or two is what happens in any pond.

And so, if we add more fish we need to add more food to preserve the fishery…..and adding food costs money. As an example the fish in the Kingfisher Pond are now in Burcliffe and we are begining to add a minimum of 30kgs of pellets, grain etc each week to keep them going. And that is winter feed, in the summer they would need much, much more.

Supplementary feeding as it’s called is not new. Many specimen fisheries do it to fatten up their fish. Most commercial fisheries get anglers to do it and make money do so by selling pellets for anglers to throw in day after day. It’s better than printing money……now why didn’t we think of that?