Members of the committee have completed the latest stage to replace the old islands on the Gt. Pond which were sinking. The picture shows two adjoining islands which had been planted with water plants about to be towed into position.
The original islands were put in place some 14 years ago but some had begun to deteriorate and to sink and needed removing and replacing. The original islands were put in place to identify the position of fish refuges which were made from coils of sheep netting, and which, at the time, provided shelter for our fish from marauding cormorants.
As we got on top of the cormorant problem however the refuges became less necessary, but with time, as they became encrusted in algae, they subsequently also provided a usefull habitat upon which spawning fish could lay their eggs.
Similarly the floating islands also proved to have another very important use. Numerous studies throughout the world have shown that when such structures are planted with water plants, which sit on the islands with their roots in the water, they can reduce ammonia and other undesirable products from fish waste, helping to keep the water clean and the fish healthy. The roots of the plants also provide a place for fish to spawn and later in the summer somewhere for the fry to hide from predators such as perch and herons.
Both refuges and islands have proved to be an integral part of improving the fishery.