February Update


Our next meeting is 7.30pm, Tuesday the 25th February 2014 at the Kings Arms, Salford.

Everyone welcome.

Here is a roundup of some of the work we did on our waters during 2013, and what we hope to achieve in 2014.

Drinkwater Park Lake:

Was restocked during winter 2012/13 with 2000 Crucian Carp. They were noticeably absent from anglers catches in the early summer months, but started to appear as the year went on. Many anglers were asking where they had disappeared to, but you don’t catch small crucians on double sweetcorn, or single maggot on a size 14 hook. Anglers using light tackle for silver caught them steadily throughout the summer.

During the hot weather in July/August – the water levels dropped considerably (someone also blocked up the inlet stream from Rainsough which didn’t help matters). With water levels 12-18 inches down on an already shallow lake the water became super heated and blanket algae took over the entire surface of the bottom end of the lake.

We held numerous work parties to try to clear the blanket weed, but in the end the cold weather killed most of it off, rather than us anglers trying to drag it out by hand.

If it seems as though the blanket weed is going to make a comeback in 2014 then we will treat the lake with barley straw which apparently prevents blanket weed from forming

Ian Goodwin very kindly organised some junior angling coaching sessions on Drinkwater Park Lake during the school summer holidays which were well attended by the local “youth”. Hopefully these sessions will be repeated during the summer of 2014.



The carp population on Waterdale has been slowly reducing in recent years. A combination of poor handling, and fish theft have left the lake a shadow of its former glories. To combat this, and as a part of a long term strategy, we have restocked the lake with a couple of hundred 8” mirror carp. We will wait a year or two to see how they fare, and then repeat the stocking if we see it is necessary to do so.


Has benefitted from having 10,000 stunted fish netted out and put in Drinkwater Park in 2012. Its still a bite a chuck for anglers using light and sensitive tackle – however the average size of fish has nearly doubled since there is less competition for food.

As the spawning habitat is so good in Kingfisher, we anticipate that we will need to crop fish every couple of years in order to stop stunting occurring again.

It was noted during the netting that the pike population in Kingfisher is exceeding healthy. It should be considering the amount of food available to them.

The Forestry Commission have told us that they intend to drain Kingfisher, and de-silt in Winter 2014/15 – not 100% confirmed with the date, but it is most definitely on the schedule of forthcoming works.  If it does go ahead, we will net the lake and transfer fish to Drinkies. If they have earth moving plant down there, we will also ask them to clear the reeds in the top stock pond, as its so overgrown now, that its in danger of completely silting up.

Prison Pond

Great mixed fishery – don’t expect anything big – but there’s plenty of fish in there to keep you occupied.

The Old River In Irlam

2013 was a busy year on the Old River. During the winter of 12/13 we restocked 3600 skimmer bream into the Old River. This was in addition to the 200 “rescue” bream we received from a venue in Cheshire, and the 1,500 mini tench and bream we were given by the EA.

During a mid winter work party – we opened up some of the overgrown pegs, and replaced many of the rotten timbers (this work is ongoing). John Polding – an Old River Superhero has repeatedly cleared out the blockages in the over flow from the Old River, resulting in a much more stable water level. When it rains the water now flows down the outlet channel, along with the water from Irlam Moss, towards the Ship Canal – rather than backing up into the Old River.

Spring 2013 saw a large number of cormorants munching our newly stocked fish. So with the help of the EA and a couple of very well attended work parties we constructed 16 fish refuges (anti cormorant cages) and 16 floating islands to sit over the top of each cage.

We will hold another work party this spring (23rd March) to re-plant the floating islands, to right the floating island that is half sunk, and to replace rotten timbers on three pegs. Notice of the work party will be sent out via email, and also listed on the clubs website.

We have just ordered 1,000 6 inch Golden Rudd for the Old River in Irlam which will be arriving in March 2014 (hopefully they will settle and breed this summer) – and we have also been promised 40 or 50 “breeding sized” tench for the Old River by the EA. Our restocking program for this lake is ongoing . Its going to take a number of years to get The Old River back to its former glories.

Salford Quays

There have been reports of some good Pike and Carp coming out. The population of silver fish has been decimated by cormorants – we have no intention to try to restock silvers into this venue – as waste of money. However – we intend to stock more carp – as they seem to be able to evade our feathered friends better.

River Irwell

The lower river fished very badly throughout the summer of 2014. Noticeably less fish being caught. A scientific survey was undertaken into water quality by United Utilities after the pollution incident on the opening day of the fishing season. We are still awaiting the results.

Salford Friendly now have the “Intex” stretch of the Irwell above Dumers Lane in Radcliffe. This is directly upstream of the old “Halls” toffee factory where we already have the fishing lease. We hope to announce another section of river in the coming weeks in the Radcliffe area. Just waiting for the red seal of approval on a lease. All of these new river beats have been offered to Salford Friendly on peppercorn rents, in exchange for us keeping the river banks clean and tidy – a fair exchange.

We continue to scout out unwanted/unloved sections of Manchester rivers, and hope to add to our portfolio of running water in coming years.

The maps have been updated on our club website – see www.salfordfriendlyanglers.co.uk


Restocking Fund

After buying Rudd for the Old River and carp for Waterdale, our restocking fund is now down to its bare bones.

If you would like to make a donation to the restocking fund, please send a cheque made payable to Salford Friendly Anglers, to the Innovation Forum, Frederick Rd, Salford, M6 6FP – or come to our next meeting on the 25th Feb at the Kings Arms. You can also donate via paypal by sending a gift to admin@salfordfriendlyanglers.co.uk

We intend to hold a series of matches in the summer of 2014 specifically to raise funds to buy more fish.

Our waters will never match the stocking density of a commercial or heavily funded club venue. However, our priority remains to provide free fishing at a venue where you won’t struggle to get bites.

The matches will be held at the Old River (OR) and the Rochdale Canal (RC) in Chadderton on the following dates:

11th May Old River

1st June Rochdale Canal

15th June Old River

29th June Rochdale Canal

13th July Old River

27th July Rochdale Canal

10th August Old River

24th August Rochdale Canal

14th Sept Old River

28th Sept Rochdale Canal

Draw will be at 9am – fish 10 til 3pm – £10 all in (£5 to restocking fund £5 to prizes)

Irwell Water Quality

In addition to providing free angling on local venues, our society is committed to working together with the EA and United Utilities to ensure that water quality on the River Irwell continues to improve.

Over the wet winter months, the lack of capacity within the sewage systems of North Manchester has been highlighted by the large amount of sewage litter washing up on the river banks, discharged by over flowing sewage pipes.

We have made numerous reports to the environment agency, and to United Utilities about this issue, and UU have conducted “clean ups” along the worst affected stretches of river.

We continue to press for improvements to stop these events from happening in the first place – but at least the clean ups by UU show that they are now beginning to take these events seriously and that the public expect better.

UU spent £14m on sewage upgrades in our region since 2010, we expect this level of spending to continue in the future.

Thanks for reading.

Please come along to our next club meeting on the 25th Feb at the Kings Arms – water quality will be high up on the agenda.


Mike Duddy



Speak Your Mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.