For the final angling report this season it is good to glance back at the year and assess how the sport has been. The weather, on the whole, has been incredibly kind with lengthy settled, milder spells and few storms to disrupt conditions. Water levels were lower than last season but this didn’t affect the sport with the exception of the North Lake, which is shallower and therefore warms up more quickly.
In total 23,000 fish were stocked, mainly rainbow trout with a proportion of blues and 1,500 brown trout thanks to our own Blithfield Brown Trout Fund. These brownies, which must all be released if caught, will hopefully thrive in the rich feeding conditions here and grow on to become the leviathans of the future. Our stocking policy is based on a combination of factors and is carried out on a weekly basis throughout the season.
Catch returns submitted this year reveal a greater degree of catch and release angling – this certainly appears to be a growing trend at many waters – with a total so far of 13,265 fish declared caught and released. The kill total declared is currently 6,918 fish – this is just 30.07% of the total stocked fish but it is important to remember that there is also a resident head of fish in addition to those stocked during the season.
So on reflection the 2017 season has been an excellent one. Rod averages remained fairly consistent except for August when water temperatures over 20˚C saw a halt to hatches and active insect life and fish retreated to deeper, cooler water. As we near the Season close the sport has remained fairly buoyant with good returns from boats and banks. Mild autumnal weather has ensured fish stay higher in the water and they were eager to take dry flies right up until the start of November. Now fry feeding is their intention as nature once again takes its course and insect life becomes minimal.
The reservoir will close to visitors and syndicate anglers on Friday 17th November and to Season Permit Holders on Friday 24th November. We would like to thank everyone for visiting us this year, whether on four hour or day permits, as Syndicate members, as Pro Rata permit holders or as Season Permit holders. We have enjoyed meeting you and sharing information and stories with you and we do hope to see you all in 2018. We re-open to Season Permit holders on 8th March and to all other anglers on 15th March 2018.
So, from all of us here at Blithfield to all of you, we wish you a very happy and safe winter and we look forward to seeing you next year.
The current rod average is 2.21
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