Autumn Update

GameFair2014_07 (1)

Mike Duddy and Phil Clayton of Salford Friendly Anglers Society being presented with the Fred J Taylor Award by Mark Lloyd of the Angling Trust

It’s a while since we last gave a comprehensive update on club activities so here we go.

Headlines First
Our next fishing match is THIS SUNDAY the 28th Sept on the Old River in Irlam. Draw 9am at the Boathouse Pub car park, fish 10 til 3 £5 all in.
Our next meeting is on the 22nd October, 7.30pm at the Kings Arms Salford – The EA are attending – and the main topic of the evening is to help devise a new fisheries plan for the Irwell. Everyone is welcome to attend and have their say.
We were presented with the Fred J Taylor Award at this summers CLA Gamefair The UKs highest award for angling conservation.
We have held direct talks with United Utilites regarding sewage, and sewage litter in the Irwell
We have held a meeting with the EA regarding fish stocks in the Irwell, and the large numbers of pollution incidents that have taken place in recent years and the lack of prosecutions obtained by the EA

Matches – And Restocking Fund.

Our match season didn’t get off to the best of starts – with a number of events being rescheduled or cancelled for various domestic and health reasons.
Once the match season actually got underway – we found that many anglers had made commitments elsewhere with other clubs/events so turnout has been low. In light of the low turnout – we have reduced peg fees from £10 to £5 per match to encourage people to take part. The £5 match fee will remain for the foreseeable future.
Our matches on the Rochdale Canal have now finished. All future matches will be held on the Old River in Irlam – which appears to have finally turned the corner as a fishery (more of this below in our venues roundup).
This winter – we will be purchasing more 6inch carp – which will be stocked in our secret stock pond with the plan to grow them on to re-stock Salford Quays. We will also be purchasing more 6 inch tench for the ongoing re-stocking of the Old River In Irlam.

To the best of our knowledge the EA will be stocking a further 10,000 roach and dace into the Irwell again this winter (the 4th year in a row – so now you know where some of your rod licence money is spent). Hopefully we will be invited to photograph the fish going in.
If you would like to make a donation to our restocking fund – you can do so by sending a cheque made out to salfordfriendlyanglers and send it to Salford Friendly Anglers, The Innovation Forum, Frederick Rd, Salford, M6 6FP
Or electronically via paypal – send a gift to
Thanks !
Waters Update
Irwell – has fished very well all summer despite the pollution incident at Tescos in Haslingden in June. The lower river has fished very well, and produced some amazing carp, bream and chub, along with some big bags of roach from the city centre reaches. One “lucky” angler caught one of our elusive Irwell Barbell with a spectacular specimen of 13lb 8oz – a new river record.
Upstream of Littleton Rd weir – the fishing has been patchy to say the least. Many anglers have been put off fishing due to the diesel spill but those who have stuck it our have been rewarded with good bags of chub which seem to dominate the upper river these days (where have all the roach and perch gone ????) – the Burrs Park area has produced some great nets of fish.

Drinkwater Park Lake – Has fished well for carp and tench all summer. Carp to 20lb and tench to 6lb have been caught on usual carp / boilie tactics – and also to the method using smaller hook baits.
Not many angler have been fishing for the silvers – and as a result- not many of the crucians have been caught. Though yours truly has had half a dozen on bread flake to 10 oz.
The blanket weed has proved to be a problem again this summer despite the work parties in the Spring to add bales of Barley Straw, and water levels have dropped 18 inches or so (just like summer 2013). This makes fishing difficult in late summer.

We are currently in talks with the forestry commission to see what can be done to maintain a better water supply to the lake, and in talks with UU to improve the sewer network in the area to prevent sewage leaching into the lake and over nutrifying the water (which is the cause of the current algae bloom)
We have acquired 4 tons of Siltex (granulated lime) and we intend to dress the lake at a rate of 2 tons per acre this winter. Siltex acts by oxygenating the top layers of silt, helping it to break down faster. By applying siltex to the lake over coming winters – we hope to remove up to 18 inches of silt from the bottom of the lake. In places the silt is over 3ft thick – so please don’t worry that the fish will have nowhere to over winter. The siltex will also have the added effect of raising the PH of the water and increasing its calcic content. This in turn is beneficial for invertebrates and small crustaceans – there fore increasing the amount of natural food in the lake. A win for us, and for the fish.

Waterdale – has produced carp to 15lb+ and tench to 4lb+ this summer – in addition to having a healthy population of roach, perch, rudd, skimmers and Pike.
Its heavily weeded – and we intend to keep it this way. We have raked out some accessible pegs twice this summer. However the majority of the lake is thick with weed so either rake out a swim for yourself if you want to fish elsewhere on the lake – or use surface tactics for the carp (which can be deadly)
We have plans to build some permanent pegs on Waterdale in 2015

Kingfisher – still a roach or rudd a chuck for those using balanced tackle. The average size of fish has increased since we thinned out the fish stocks back in 2011.

Prison Pond – Is currently closed to fishing – as United Utilities have the whole area fenced off while they construct a new road to one of their sewage pumping stations. Once the area is reopened in spring 2015 we intend to construct a new pathway around the lake and 10 permenant pegs.

As access to the lake will have been improved by the new United Utilities road – we intend to transform this lake into a new junior / adult coaching venue. We have been approached by a number of groups is Salford asking for fishing coaching – so its about time we got our facilities in order and start getting people into angling.

Salford Quays – Carp and Pike to 30lb, Bream and Tench to 8lb, Perch to 3lb+, big roach and rudd. What more can you want ???
Fishing the Quays isn’t easy. It can be challenging for a variety of reasons. However, get your baiting and tactics right and you have the chance of the fish of a lifetime.
Hopefully the first batch of our growing on carp will be moved from their current growing on pond into the Quays in late summer 2015.

Old River Irwell in Irlam – It’s a lake not a river !!! Which is now recovering rapidly from the pollution incident in 2008 which very nearly wiped the place out. The average size of roach/rudd is steadily increasing, the tench we stocked in 2012 are now beginning to show with fish up to 2lb. The skimmers are fizzing and bubbling all over the lake – and the fish refuges and floating islands seem to be deterring the Cormorants from landing. Match weights are still low – but I feel as though its only a matter of time before a thinking angler discovers the bait/tactics that are going to get a net full of bream and tench.
If you’re a pike angler – then the Old River a venue that you shouldn’t ignore this winter. There are some cracking fish in the Old River – you might get a very big surprise.

So – still reading ??
Back to club stuff – Pollution News

We held a meeting with United Utilities earlier this summer regarding the large amounts of sewage litter entering the Irwell at various locations in Bury, and also in Lower Broughton. The meeting was most illuminating. We raised an issue, and UU gave us a direct answer on each topic we raised.
1. Polluted water leaching into the river from the Hinds Lane Landfill site in Bury – An illegal landfill site which covers UUs inspection chamber for the sewage system in the area. Covering to a depth of 10m in places means that UU cant access their sewage assets. UU are in negotiation with land owners and Bury Council to remediate the site – which could cost £250k+ just to get access to inspection chambers – let alone clear the site. This location is ongoing.
2. Sewage Overflows behind the Derby High School in Bury, and near Bury Bridge have been kicking out large amounts of sewage litter during peak flow periods – resulting in contaminated river banks further downstream. UU have installed flow monitors and cameras to monitor these pipes to ensure that they don’t breach regulations and to help create a better understanding of how they are operating within the local sewer system – with a view to increasing main sewer capacity and making the over flows redundant in the future.
3. Blocked up grills on the discharge pipes of sewage overflows show that something isn’t right within the system. Our members have reported dirty screens/grills at various locations on the river in Bury and Bolton areas – leading to improved and more frequent maintenance of UU sewage pumping assets.
4. Where there have been large build ups of sewage litter on the bank – UU have sent clear up teams out to remediate the river bank. This has taken place at Eric Owens in Bury, and also behind the Racecourse Hotel in Salford.
5. UU have been in contact with us regarding the mapping and future upgrading of the sewage network in the area surrounding Drinkwater Park Lake. The lake has been polluted several times over the last 30 years from sewage over flow events in the surrounding area. UU are in the process of mapping the “unadopted sewers” in the area, with a view to preventing sewage from leaking into Drinkwater Park Lake again in the future. The most recent significant sewage leak into Drinkwater Park Lake was as recent as 2012 – and we have concerns that the algae bloom which has affected the lake for the last two summers has been caused by sewage leachate causing an over nitrification of the water. Hopefully this work will be conducted over winter 2014/15 and the historic problems solved.

If you come across any sort of pollution incident on the Irwell or our lake please report it immediately to the EA via their incident hotline on 0800 807060 – and ask for them to give you follow up information about your report.

We have also held meetings with the Environment Agency about a number of issues. Most notably the lack of prosecutions that they have made in comparison to the large number of serious pollution incidents which have taken place in recent years on the Irwell system.
We catalogued a series of known high profile/high damage incidents and asked for progress updates on the prosecutions. Nearly all our inquiries have been met with the stock response of “we cant discuss that incident because of on going legal proceedings.
Well that’s great – it means that the following cases are being pursued properly:

  1. The pollution of Bradshaw Brook upstream of Jumbles Res
  2. The pollution of the River Irwell from the split sewage pipe at Ringley
  3. The Pollution of the River Irwell from the sewage pumping station at Singing Clough Brook
  4. The pollution of the River Roch from an Oil Company in Bury
  5. The Pollution of the River Irwell from a petrol station is Haslingden

Now if these are the recent cases which are being perused but haven’t come to court yet – what about the older cases which occurred years ago and should be coming to court this year ??? The silence from the EA legal team is deafening.

We have been granted an annual audience/update with the EA Pollution team, and will from now on be keeping a register of events and their prosecution outcomes. Maybe we can have an annual pollution incident report at our AGM

However – the EA did take the opportunity to explain to us how they categorise, and investigate pollution incidents. And the time frames in which they will attend depending on the severity of the pollution event. This was most enlightening – and I will write more on the subject in the future.

At our meeting with the EA we hoped to discuss the overall levels of fish populations on the River Irwell – but sadly we got timed out. We did however agree to work together to form a fisheries plan for the Irwell and its tribs.
We would like your input and view on this plan, and it will be up for general discussion at our next club meeting.

We appear to have a situation where the lower river has excellent fish populations, but the middle and upper river doesn’t.

  • Are all the fish being washed over the weirs, and then not able to migrate back upstream ?
  • Are the constant pollution events wiping out the fry each year ?
  • Is there are general lack of habitat in the river ?
  • A lack of spawning material or suitable spawning sites?
  • A lack of food in the river for the fish?
  • A lack of places for fish to take refuge during floods ?
  • What can we do about it ?
  • What do you think ??

Please come and discuss these issues with us at our next meeting which will be held on the 22nd October at 7.30pm. The Kings Arms, Bloom St, Salford M3 6AN (great real ale pub)