Abbey Lake covers an area of roughly 3.6 acres. Every spring fish are removed from the lake to reduce the numbers as there is no other means of escape for them. In 2018 it was estimated that there was between 3,000 and 4,000 lbs of fish in the lake, and it was hoped to reduce that by around 1,000 lbs to promote a healthy population.
Common and Mirror Carp are the predominant species within the lake, and when left unchecked these populations tend to increase steadily due to favourable breeding conditions and few natural predators, e.g. otters, cormorants. Once the population gets too large it is a temptation for illegal fishing but moreover it becomes unsustainable in the shallow lake, causing health problems for the fish, food shortages, depleted oxygen levels (particularly in the summer months) and sadly results in numbers of fish dying off, which is both unsightly and malodorous.
Images of some of the fish that have been seen in Abbey Fields Lake can be seen if you click here This will open in a new tab.
Fish removal Friday 16 Feb 2018
Local students wade in to help WDC
On Friday 16th February, 2018, 1st and 2nd year Countryside Management students from Moreton Morrell College came to Abbey Fields to remove some of the fish from Abbey Lake under the direction of Fisheries Manager John Wall, and supervised by Heather Hopkinson (Lecturer in Environmental Biology) and Anthony Simmons (Leamington Angling Association).
The fish were carefully removed by Seine netting, and transported to John Wall Fisheries, Melton Mowbray, in 1 m3 tanks. Once there, the fish are to be sorted, health-checked, fed and prepared for distribution to restock ponds, lakes and pools in the area.
This year, surface ice was problematic for the first two casts, and required removal by hand before the fish could be transferred from the net to the transportation tubs.
Submerged wooden features and bank vegetation stubble caused some issues with safe footing and net retrieval.
A surprising number of visitors took interest in proceedings and we fielded questions whenever possible, in order to let everyone know what was going on.
Please click on the images for larger versions.
Photographs by Adam Beresford-Browne
Fish Removal activities in previous years: