Generally speaking we have met the challenges presented in 2018 and continued to make progress. | admit we don’t always “get it right” as some of the discussions on the members Facebook page have shown (for example regarding communications and Petty Pool), but we do try to be the best that we can be.
After seemingly years of fighting floods and poor weather, last summer turned out to be one of those glorious times that seem to happen too infrequently. The fishing responded accordingly. Taking one example, namely the River Weaver, never in recent memory has the River performed so well. Fish stocks are amazing despite the cormorants, and all bodes well for the future. The pike anglers amongst us are having a fine time as the River also continues to provide an increasing specimen population. We have however recognised that some waters do need a helping hand with regard to fish stocks and we have again stocked Petty Pool and also Vale Royal Pool. We will continue to look at fish stocks and add where we can in the coming year.
One of the big talking points of 2018 has again been the re-emergence of otters across the county and the drive to protect waters with Otter fencing. The costs relating to these specialised fences are significant as they have a particular design and need to be installed in an exact manner in order to be effective. The Management Committee approved funding to build an otter fence at Billinge Green and it was hoped to commence this build in late summer. However, we applied for a grant from the Angling Trust and one of the conditions of the application was that no work could start until the grant was approved. This effectively delayed the start of the project and, as it turns out, we also didn’t get the grant!! Anyway, we are now free to press ahead with this work and a meeting was held with contractors just before Xmas to confirm costs and timescales. Unfortunately though, the contractors then declined to take up the work and we are currently in the process of re-tendering the building of the tence...
We are continuing to work with Warrington Anglers and Budworth Sailing Club to develop a management strategy for the mere that benefits all parties and includes sharing the angling available from the sailing jetties. | had hoped this work would have reached a conclusion last summer, but the issue is now with the Sailing Club and agreeing a date for a meeting.
On the positive side we have now agreed the take up of all waters from Davenham AC and all of these waters are now open to Association members. We also managed to complete a schedule of maintenance and improve the path on the Dredger bank of the River Weaver.
There is always more to do and no doubt the lessons learned from building the otter fence on Billinge will be put to good use on other waters too, with perhaps Eyre’s pit the next in line. It is our intention to use all the additional resources we have requested over the past couple of years to protect and improve our fisheries and hopefully you will see the benefits of this on the bank. We are also moving away from key-operated locks on gates to combination locks.
Finally, best wishes to everyone for 2019 and let's hope it’s as successful as 2018!