Frylands Ponds update December 2017
Most of the initial work to the ponds has been completed just in time for winter. We have dragged out as much leaf and silt as possible bearing in mind the margins of the ponds made it virtually impossible to use a digger and both ponds have been treated with siltex. We treated the main pond one week before the smaller of the two ponds and already the colour of the water has improved considerably.
Although we haven’t received much in the way of rain both ponds are filling up nicely and the small pond, in the foreground below, is looking much better. We are hoping it doesn’t clear too much otherwise the local herons will have a great time feeding on our crucians.
Lilies and the first batch of marginals have been planted and hopefully they will not have sunk too far into the silt. We will have to wait until next Spring and Summer to see how they get on and we will also see what naturally re-grows bearing in mind that the edges of both ponds have received a healthy dollop of good quality compost – the silt and leaf litter.
The Environment Agency visited recently to check the quality and depth of the water. I am pleased to advise you that they have very kindly donated 500 crucian carp which have gone into the ponds.. Many thanks to the EA for their support in this project and the plan is to introduce further fish next year.
We do not propose closing the water as one of the benefits of people fishing is that they add food to the water but in the meantime we will supplement any natural food by feeding pellets next Spring.
The fish may look small but I can assure you the chap from the fish farm had very big hands !?! He is optimistic that they may start breeding as soon as next year and if so we will be able to use any surplus fish to add to our existing waters. We even had one bonus rudd in amongst the crucians.
We still have a couple of jobs to carry out before next April - the creation of some natural swims using logs and the replacement of the existing wooden bridge. We will also be putting in pipes for an overflow system. This will link both ponds and also allow excess water to flow from the main pond into a nearby stream. Rather than dig the overflow ditch by hand we may be on the lookout for a small digger. A job for next year I think !09 Dec, 2017
News November 2017Badgers Wood Mega strim Saturday 18 November
It’s that time of year again.
We will be holding the annual mega strim at Badgers Wood on Saturday 18 November. It is a good chance to meet with fellow members and we will throw in a hot drink and a bite to eat . We would ask that you wear suitable clothing and if you have a decent strimmer or brush cutter this would be useful. If not bring a rake (we have a few) as there is always a bit of clearing up to do. Any time after 9 o’clock and you will have the opportunity of using the brand new car park !
With regard to the car park we would like to thank one of our newest members who took time out over a weekend to spread and roll the surface. Unlike my road, not a pothole in sight !
There is no truth in the rumours that we will be painting in parking bays although this might not be a bad idea having seen some of our members parking. We have noticed that some of you have been leaving cars just inside the gate so as to access the swims nearer the road but having spent a lot of time and effort to put in a track and car park could we ask you to leave your cars in the car park area. If not we will have to resort to double yellow lines !Frylands Ponds
We a have had a bit of a job draining the small pond at Frylands as there was a lot more water than we bargained for. Decades of leaf and acorns from the surrounding oaks have resulted in a virtually lifeless pond but despite this we managed to net and move 21 small carp into the main pond. There were already a number of carp in the main pond so with a bit of luck they will grow on and provide good sport next year. There is a full report and pictures in an earlier news article.Rivers update
One of our members has reported a 24lb pike from Wineham (downstream from the bridge) but unfortunately there was nobody with him to witness the fish . Hopefully it will feel hungry again soon and somebody else will be able to claim the club record.
We have also cleared the approach to Wineham upstream and created 6 swims for fishing including from the "berms". Initial indications are good with roach chub and pike having been caught. Watch out for the carp !
The stretch of river adjacent to Flintstones Manor is once again proving to be a hotbed for chub with plenty of fish between 2 and 3lb being caught.100 Club
The winner this month is Jean Fisher.
And finally..........For those of you who were unable to attend, the AGM minutes are now available to download.. A riveting read for a cold winters evening !11 Nov, 2017
Frylands Ponds update November 2017
Things have moved on since the last update and as mentioned we decided that we would completely drain the smaller of the two ponds. Rather naively we assumed we would be able to drain it, net the remaining fish and remove the leaf litter (by hand) in one day but it has not proved to be that simple. After two sessions of pumping the water level had gone down by a foot or so and we were only able to net four small carp.Small pond 31 October
In those two sessions we removed another huge load of fallen leaves and even managed to get down to the clay along the causeway bank. However it was clear that even if we managed to pump out the pond it would take us considerable time to clear the leaves and other debris that had fallen in the pond over the past 40 years or so.
Fortunately for us, on Friday 3 November, the 4 regular members of the maintenance team were reinforced by staff and students from Plumpton College. As a result we were able to drain enough of the small pond to net the remaining fish.
We managed to net a total of 21 carp between 1 and 3lb and all were transferred to the main pond. Apart from a few frogs there was nothing left in the pond – not even an eel slithering around in the mud.
Another huge amount of debris was removed and apart from one corner most of the leaf litter has been removed. One more visit should finish it off.
As there are no fish in the pond it means that we can stock with pure bred crucian carp with no fear of inter breeding with any existing common or mirror carp but before we do so we need a prolonged spell of rain to restore the water level. We have been promised fish in early December but we will only put the fish in if we have sufficient water. In the meantime we will be improving the fish habitat by planting water lilies and other plants and we also cut back some of the overhanging branches. It might look a bit messy at the moment but we know there are reeds already in the pond and with the plants we will be introducing, by next Spring it will look completely different.Small pond 3 November
The final job of the day was in the main pond and the staff and students of Plumpton College applied “siltex” (powdered chalk) to break down the existing silt. We have enough to treat the main pond again next April and we will also treat the small pond once it has a bit more water in it. Josh Kemble from Plumpton gave an interesting explanation on how the siltex works. It is totally harmless to fish and plants so fingers crossed it will do the trick by reducing silt levels and increasing water depth as well as making the pond healthier.
All in all a very successful day and big thanks to all who came along to lend a hand.05 Nov, 2017
News October 2017Where have all the big perch gone ?
As we still haven’t had the first blast of winter there is still time to target perch.
In the past Decoy, Wildings and even George Cragg pond have produced a number of perch over 2lb but this year they seem to be few and far between. If you have caught a decent stripey please send us your photos.
Once it does get a bit colder we are hoping that winter rains will scoure away some of the weeds that are clogging up the rivers. Then we can get down to some serious pike fishing. Last winter was a quiet time with very few double figure pike reported but we know they are in there and we have plenty of stretches of river for you to try. The Adur at Cemetary wood was looking particularly tempting when we strimmed it recently. This short stretch seems free of the weed that seems to plague the upstream sections.Badgers Wood
The Environment Agency recently electro-fished Badgers Wood and took scale samples to ascertain growth rates. The results have not been received as yet but they were very impressed with the lake. The good news is that they were encouraged by the large numbers of small tench and roach (and perch !) but on the downside it does mean that if we want some of those to grow on to a decent size we should consider thinning them out to avoid the lake being over-run by small stunted fish. This is something we will be looking at next year but in the meantime it is a good sign that the fish we originally stocked are breeding.
The final piles of road planings have now been delivered and the plan is to spread these over the unfinished area of the car park in the near future. Once they have been rolled this will complete the works around the lake and create plenty of parking space for what is becoming one of our more popular waters.
On to more strenuous matters we will be having our annual mega strim at Badgers Wood on Saturday 18 November. Any volunteers would be appreciated and there is the offer of a bacon sandwich and a hot drink to tempt you ! Start time will be around 9 o’clock and if you are able to help please wear suitable clothing including work boots. If you don’t fancy strimming bring a rake or a pair of loppers or secateurs as there are always plenty of jobs to do.Hamsey
We are meeting with the owner to try and improve the parking and access to the river. It may well be that we will have a work party to assist him and if this is the case we will put details on the website.100 Club
The winner this month is Mike Webster so if you see him at the AGM the drinks are on him.
We hope to see as many of you as possible on the 20th October at Burgess Hill Football Club.14 Oct, 2017
Frylands Ponds update October 2017
Thanks to all who have been able to help with the leaf removal and you can see from the photos that the main pond is looking much better following the work we have carried out over the last year or so. Unfortunately due to the narrow nature of the pond surrounds it has not been possible to use a machine so we have had to remove the leaves and fallen branches manually.
After removing the trees from around the smaller pond it was taken over by duckweed which we had to remove but this is also looking better and a lot of the fallen trees have been taken out of the far bay.
There is now sufficient depth in the main pond to enable us to move on to the next phase which will be the silt treatment. Following advice we will be applying “siltex” to the main pond. This is very fine chalk and we have it on good authority that it will help break down some of the remaining silt and leaves. It will not completely remove the many years build up of silt but it is an ongoing process with the initial application to be made this Autumn with a follow up next April.
The margins have been planted up with yellow and purple irises as these are not likely to spread as much as reeds, and we have managed to obtain a number of water lilies (at no cost) which will be going in shortly. If anybody has a garden pond with any available marginal plants please contact Tony Elkins. No Canadian pondweed please as it took years of dragging to remove this from George Cragg pond.
Following a meeting with the Environment Agency we have decide to drain the small/stock pond so we can remove any fish still in there. The intention is to replace these with pure bred crucian carp for growing on. When we drain it, we should be able to remove more leaf and silt to improve the depth.
The main pond already has a number of small carp and we will add tench and silver fish in the next year or so.
Things are looking good and once it is completed we hope our members will give it a go as it has been neglected and ignored for a number of years.11 Oct, 2017
News September 2017100 Club
A double payout this month with the two winners, Mark Harmsworth (August) and Mick Burkett (September). Just enough to add a few bits to the tackle box for the winter season.Hamsey
We are aware that there are problems with regard to access but unfortunately the owner will be keeping the gate locked all the while there are livestock in the fields. The stile has been cleared so you no longer have to clamber over the gate and we are also pressing the owner to build a secure parking area just inside the gate.Wildings
The owner has somewhat belatedly handed out a do's and dont's sheet to the residents of the campsite and he has also mentioned that he is proposing to repair the causeway during the winter months. As far as we are aware the middle gate is still unlocked so we can still drive down to the lakes. There was a good turnout for the Robin Wallace Memorial Match – thanks to all those who contributed and the club was able to make a donation to Paws and Claws.Badgers Wood
As part of the ongoing management of the site we have trimmed the hedgerow alongside the track and are taking action to try and eradicate one of the more invasive water plants. There are two clumps of Norfolk reed which are in danger of running across to the central islands and the idea is to remove it completely and replace with a smaller rush or reed.
The Environment Agency have recently electro fished the lake and taken scale samples to check the rate of growth. We are awaiting the official report but the comments that were passed on during the day indicate that apart from a few small tench with damaged mouths the lake holds plenty of fish and they were in good health. The report should be available for the AGM.Pickwells Crucian
It seems we are a bit reluctant in sending in our catch photos. I have been advised of a 3lb crucian caught at Pickwells which was checked, weighed and photographed so if you have the photo please send in to the website.And finally.....
It is that time of year again. The highlight of the Mid Sussex Social calendar. Hassocks and District Angling Society AGM to be held at Burgess Hill Football club on Friday 20 October . Refreshments will be provided- Dress code Smart Casual. A night not to be missed so make a note in your diaries..18 Sep, 2017
News August 2017
As we are in the middle of the Summer break the Committee has not had a meeting this month which means that for those of you who follow the 100 club there is no August draw but rest assured there will be a two draws next month.
The maintenance team have been busy removing trees from Pickwells lower lake. Once again the engineering expertise came to the fore with winches and pulleys involved but at the end of the day we were successful and two swims have been freed up for fishing again. A couple of the team are away at the end of August so if there are any jobs that need doing let us know and we will deal with them in September.
The Beginners day at Badgers Wood was spoilt by the weather but those who came along had a very enjoyable day with everybody catching fish. Full details can be found below.
Work continues at Frylands ponds and we have completed the tree removal phase and are now dealing with the water quality. As has been mentioned previously there is over 40 years accumulation of leaf in the ponds and because of the lack of access we have had to remove the leaves manually using an assortment of rakes. We have had a couple of sessions and must have removed at least a ton of leaves (by hand!!!) so it was good to see that the water levels are rising following the recent rain. The first marginal plants have been put in the far bay and it is starting to come alive at last.
And finally...Is there anybody who can help ?
We are still trying to finish off the car park at Badgers Wood but unfortunately the supply of road scalpings/planings has dried up and those that are available are ridiculously expensive ( £400 per load !). If there are any members who are "in the know" and know of a source at a reasonable price please contact Tony Elkins or send an email to the website for forwarding on to him.
Enjoy the rest of the summer.18 Aug, 2017
Open day 2017
Although we didn’t have the numbers we were hoping for those who came along to our beginners day had a great time.
It was a proper family day with everybody catching some of the smaller tench.
One young guest caught numerous perch and his patience paid off when caught a very nice little crucian carp.
His mum managed to land a small tench after losing 3 in the lilies.
For some people it was the first time they had been fishing using a rod and line (or a whip) but the fish were very obliging with everybody catching.
Badgers Wood fished really well with virtually all of the species in the lake being caught, roach, tench, perch and crucian carp.
Many thanks to the organisers of the event and to all who came along to lend a hand and provide refreshments.06 Aug, 2017
Committee News July 2017
The hot weather is continuing and although it makes for uncomfortable fishing the fish still seem to be feeding so, slap on the sun screen and treat yourself to a day out. We haven’t received many photos recently so don’t be shy about sending them in.Wildings, Hamsey and Flintstones
We are aware there are difficulties at Wildings with the campers so we are having another word with the owner. It is bad enough that very young children have been seen wandering around the lakes unaccompanied but swimming in the lakes is unacceptable especially when there are anglers present.
We have also spoken with the owner of Hamsey as one of the tenant farmers has put a padlock on the gate. This is because , in the past, the gate had been left open and livestock got out of the field and damaged the crops in the adjoining field. The locked gate means there is limited parking and the only way to get to the river is via a stile or by climbing over the gate. The maintenance team will be clearing the stile so it should be easier in future. The parking issue is with the owner !
Bad news tends to come in threes and you may have read about the incident at Flintstones where one of the dogs ended up with a hook in its mouth. Please do not leave any tackle on the banks and in particular do not leave baited hooks lying around as the dogs at Flintstones have got used to sneaking up on anglers and helping themselves to meat, pellets and any other bait left on the ground. As we said in the last report please do not feed the dogs as this only encourages them to hang around fishermen.Maintenance
After a narrow escape coming out of Decoy we have cleared the tree line so there is much better visibility when coming out of the entrance. We have an active strimming programme to keep the waters looking tidy but if you see anything that needs clearing, fallen trees etc let the Maintenance team know. Contact details are in the membership book.Frylands Restoration
Phase 1 is virtually complete with the unwanted trees now cleared. There is a full report on the website complete with up to date photos . We are going back next Tuesday 25 July to try and remove 40 years accumulation of leaves so if you fancy getting muddy come along and lend a hand. Frylands ponds at 9 o’clock on Tuesday 25 July. Anybody who attends will get a free pint !Burgess Hill fete
We decided to promote the club by having a stall at the Burgess Hill fete on 8 July. Two of our more glamorous committee members manned the stall and it seemed to work as we have had 1 new member and a family membership, all who joined directly as a result of us attending the event. Well done to the chaps who gave up an afternoon on the club’s behalf.Beginners day 5 August 2017
We will be having a beginners day at Badgers Wood lake on Saturday 5 August so if you know of anybody who would be interested in coming along please contact Nigel Jackson (details in the club book) who is organising the event. All bait and equipment will be provided and refreshments will be available. Full details will be published on the website shortly. Any helpers would be appreciated.
And finally ........ The 100 Club draw for July was won by Nigel Jackson.18 Jul, 2017
Frylands Restoration July 2017Please can you help ?
As you may recall from last month we have been trying to clear the remaining fallen trees from the far bay of the main lake. It was virtually unfishable with very little depth of water.
We have finally managed to clear the overhanging trees but this was not without problems as some had rooted themselves into the bottom of the pond and despite the best efforts of the three strongmen of the maintenance team we couldn’t shift one particularly stubborn tree. Fortunately the owner of Frylands managed to winch it out. As you can see it has now gone !
Good news - the trees have been cleared , Bad news - the water levels are extremely low after the recent hot spell and there is 40 years accumulation of leaves in the lake which need to be removed. It is especially bad in the bay we have just cleared.
We have made a start as most of the leaf has built up in the margins but we need to clear a lot more. Unless a club member has a portable dredger or a giant sludge hoover it seems we will have to remove the leaves by hand using long handled rakes etc.This is where we need your help, please.
We are going back on Tuesday 25 July with rakes and forks to drag as much of the old leaf out of the ponds as we can. We will be starting at 9 o’clock so if you can spare a couple of hours please come along, bring a decent rake, fork or pitchfork plus old clothing as it is a bit messy. If you need any more information please call Tony Elkins on 01273 843726.
Look forward to seeing you on the 25th.12 Jul, 2017
June 2017 News - The Glorious 16th
It is only a week or so until we can get back to the rivers and if you were not aware we have a few hidden gems available to our members. They may be small but they are full of fish so why not give them a go, after the 16th of June, of course. Locally we have 5 stretches of the upper Adur.
There are 7 purpose built swims from the weir at the top end of the stretch to the bridge over the road.
This is the view from the Bridge swim which is home to some decent sized chub and bream.
The field approaching the river is now flat after being ploughed last winter and we have strimmed paths through the field alongside the river. As the river banks are both flat and solid we managed to create 12 swims. This is the view looking downstream from the weir.
Having visited this stretch very recently to take these photos I was amazed at the number of carp sunning themselves on the surface.
Following clearance of the woodland there is a clear path to the river but it is better suited to the angler who prefers to travel light.
Parking can be a bit limited and with this in mind we have kept the number of fishing spots down to 5 swims. However it is well worth a visit in view of the quality of the fishing. The weir pool in particular holds just about every species of river fish.
Wineham Bridge up and down stream
For those of you who prefer wild fishing, this stretch has been left in its natural state to enable you to creep amongst the reeds and drop a bait on an unsuspecting chub or river carp. We have however cleared the path to the upstream section.
Arun at Pulborough
For those of you prepared to go a bit further afield we also have we also have a stunning stretch of the Arun at Pulborough
Ouse at Hamsey
A couple of miles of the river Ouse at Hamsey
Full details of locations, parking etc are available from the Waters section of the website. Good luck and if you are successful on the rivers don’t forget to send in the photos for the Gallery.
On more mundane matters, the June 100 Club draw was won by Tony Smith.10 Jun, 2017
Frylands Ponds May 2017
Having cleared the bulk of the fallen trees from the main pond it was time to sort out the trees and reeds in the smaller pond. As you can it was very overgrown and as it has been neglected for a number of years was in danger of being taken over by the encroaching reeds.
After a couple of sessions by the maintenance team and with help from the owner we have cleared the area along the causeway and part of the far bank and removed a lot of the reeds. It really is the same pond !
A big improvement and although very shallow the plan is to use this as a stock pond and providing the water quality and depth are suitable it will be used initially to hold the existing small carp.
Looking ahead we will be able to use the stock pond to transfer any surplus fish from the main pond and prevent it from being overrun by huge numbers of stunted fish.
We still have a bit of work to do in the main pond, namely the clearing of the fallen trees from the far end. Not a job for the faint hearted as it is virtually impossible to walk out into the pond due to the considerable amount of silt. This is the problem we face with more wood in the water than out.
We still have a major problem with the amount of silt in both ponds so once the trees have been removed we will check water quality and depth in both ponds . Rather than dredge the ponds the plan is to reduce the silt by treating with “Siltex” but this is a job for the Autumn. In the meantime we will keep you posted of developments.29 May, 2017