Blog

Leconfield Wildlife

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Fallow deer grazing on fallen chestnuts (NR)

The featured image at the top of the post shows five bucks feeding amongst the crops and was taken by Andrew Thompson (AT).

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Common Blue Damsel adult (NR)

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Male Mandarin duck (AT)

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Little Owl (AT)

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Common Blue Damsel nymph from Little Springs (NR)

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Honey bee in a wild rose beside the river (NR)

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Alder Fly at Keepers Bridge (NR)

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Mayfly – Male Spinner (NR)

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Mayfly – Female Dun (NR)

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Sussex cattle, they are ‘wild’ when I’m fishing ! (NR)

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Hover Fly (NR)

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Shrimps and Olive nymphs from a river kick sample (NR)

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Fallow bucks (NR)

23 March

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In view of the continuing worry about the Coronavirus, COVID-19 and the danger of club members touching multiple surfaces causing contamination, we have taken the decision to close all the fishing huts and also the catch return boxes. The lakes and ponds will remain open at present and we ask that you comply with the government guidelines regarding social distancing.

Please will all members record the following catch information and send this to the Estate Office via email to  lfc@leconfield.net.

  • Name and membership number
  • Confirmation of the pond/rivers visited
  • Date visited
  • A record of guests taken
  • Number of fish taken
  • Number of fish returned
  • Weight
  • Any Comments

 

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Lakes – since opening day members visited the lakes on 62 occasions and caught 161 trout. Fish were caught from every lake, the best fish weighing 12lb from Lower Figgs.

Of the 161 fish caught, 134 were returned including 2 wild fish from Little Bognor. Several fish over 3lbs were caught at Little Springs. Popular flies were GRHE, PTN and Black nymphs. Blue Flash Damsels were also successful.

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The Estate Office will communicate with members by email during the next few months.

David Taylor has created a club WhatsApp Group in order to share fishing tips, catch info and more. If you wish to join the group please contact David on mail@dataylor.co.uk or on 07535 679879 and he will add you to the Group.

 

February News

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The winter maintenance work on the lakes has revealed the depths of Little Springs, it is a lot deeper than I thought !

Great Springs and Lower  Figgs have also been drained so that the winter frosts kill the weed at its roots. The lakes are all filling up, the torrential rain over the weekend and the rain forecast for next weekend, should ensure that the lakes are full and allow plenty of time for the water to clear.

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The river is in flood and last years debris has been washed away. The contours of the river bed will have changed and the trout will have different lies.

The season opens on the river on Friday 3 April in accordance with the bylaws. The lakes open on Saturday 14 March.

Please ensure that you have the appropriate licence. You can buy a licence at the Post Office or online at the address below . . .

https://get-fishing-licence.service.gov.uk/buy/licence-length

 

 

Catch and Release

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A catch and release trial was introduced  on the lakes at Little Bognor at the start of the 2018 season. It was very popular with the members and the trial was extended to the other lakes at the start of the 2019 season.

Catch and release provides members with very flexible fishing. Members have the option of keeping brown or rainbow trout for dinner or the pleasure of seeing a fish swim away from the landing net.

The catch return on stocking for the lakes last season was 132%. I was a record year on the lakes despite the extreme weather. Catch and release will continue on the lakes during the 2020 season and the rules will remain the same. Catch and release will also continue on the river.

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Catch and Release Rules

If you wish to return trout to the lakes, barbless or de-barbed hooks are mandatory. Wild brown trout must be returned to the lakes at Little Bognor. If you intend to retain your fish, barbed hooks are permitted.

When fishing the river barbless or de-barbed hooks are compulsory in order to protect the wild brown trout, sea trout smolts and returning adult sea trout.

The spring fed lakes at Little Bognor and the river are suited to catch and release as they are cool throughout the summer. However, catch and release will be suspended if there are fish deaths due to high water temperature or poor fish handling.

Occasionally the fish become difficult to catch but regular stocking will ensure that there are always fresh fish available.

None of the rainbow lakes are spring fed to the same extent as Little Bognor. The water temperature at the bottom of Great Springs reached 25 degrees at the height of last summer. Catch and release throughout the season is therefore not an option on the rainbow lakes. Catch and release will be allowed on the rainbow lakes only at the start of the season and again at the end of the season if the conditions are right. The dates will be circulated to members by email and on the website. Notices will also be displayed in the fishing huts. The flies on sale at Great Springs will be barbless.

 

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Fish Handling

After hooking a trout play it out quickly and use a landing net with a fine knotless mesh. If possible do not touch the fish, barbless hooks normally drop out once the line is slack. If necessary, use forceps to remove hooks. 

If you must handle the fish, use wet hands. Release it from the landing net. That will enable you to nurse the fish until it can maintain an upright position and swim out of the net unaided. It might take a few minutes for the fish to fully recover. Do not return exhausted or bleeding fish, they may swim away but will die later.

Use a landing net with a long handle so that you can easily reach the water. A pan shaped net prevents the fish from tangling in the mesh, to remain upright and to swim away over the rim of the net.

Don’t take a photo of a trout if you intend to return it. It should be released without delay.

The Wild Trout Trust gives advice on catch and release . . .

https://www.wildtrout.org/content/catch-and-release

 

News

Annual General Meeting

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Dear Member

We are pleased to confirm that the speaker for this year’s AGM on Thursday 12th March has now been confirmed as David Mearns, author of “The Shipwreck Hunter” who will be speaking about wreck salvage at sea after the formal proceedings.

The AGM and speech will now be held Lodsworth Village Hall, where there should be plenty of parking, starting from 18:30.  There will be no charge for attending the evening.

Thank you to those members who have already renewed their subscriptions to the club and confirmed that they will be attending on Thursday 12th March. If you do wish to attend, please kindly fill in the relevant section on your renewal form so that we have an understanding of expected numbers in advance.

The next club event will be the Spring BBQ which the committee intend to hold at the Springs lakes on Sunday 10th May.  Members will be charged £15.00 per person to contribute towards the catering costs for this event. If you would like to also pay for this event when renewing, please do include the charges with your return and make a note on your renewal form.

Do contact the Estate Office for any further information on either event.

Charles Granlund

 

Close Season Members Lunch

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The Stag Inn, Kirdford Road, Balls Cross, Petworth GU28 9JP

The lunch yesterday at the Black Horse was a great success, nineteen members enjoyed the food and drink and conversation flowed. The next lunch has been booked for 1:00pm on Wednesday 26 February at the Stag Inn, Balls Cross. This will be the last lunch before the new season starts so please make room in your diary. David will contact members nearer the date with menu options.

Winter Maintenance

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Lakes

The lower lake at Little Bognor needs maintenance on the retaining wall near the outflow which is subsiding. The water level will be lowered and the work may continue through the winter into the spring.

The water level in Great Springs, Little Springs and Lower Figgs will be reduced during the winter for maintenance and to combat the weed growth.

Some members have expressed interest in all year fishing; such essential lake maintenance, along with other Estate activities, means that all year fishing isn’t possible.

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River

Four benches were placed beside the river at the start of the 2019 season, one for each beat. The Estate wish to keep the landscape along the river as natural as possible and to discourage the public from accessing the river, so there are no plans to increase this number.

Adverse weather conditions have hampered the completion of improvements to the 2017 riffle, but this work will be completed as soon as possible.

2 December

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The season ended last Saturday and this magnificent 8lb+ rainbow was one of the last fish of the season.

Members visited the lakes on 28 occasions and caught 7 trout, 3 of which were returned.

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The website will be updated several times during the winter months to keep members informed about the work that is being carried out on the lakes and river.

News items, details of the Annual General Meeting and social occasions will be published on the website and members will be notified by email.

Close Season Members Lunch – The next Close Season Members Lunch will be held at The Black Horse, Byworth on Tuesday 21 January at 1:00pm.
In order to manage the booking, members are requested to email David Taylor at mail@dataylor.co.uk or on 07535 679879 if they wish to attend. Please let David know if you subsequently need to cancel your booking.
David has also created a Club WhatsApp Group in order to share fishing tips, catch info, social events and more. If you wish to join, please contact David and he will add you to the Group.