Braybrooke Community Nature and Fishing Club net Jean’s pond

November 18, 2016 at 7:18 pm

It’s not often you get anglers complaining, that they have too many fish in their pond, but that’s what happened at the recently formed Braybrooke Community Fishing Club, the members calling in the Environment Agency to destock some of the thousands of small roach and rudd populating their Jean’s pond. On my doorstep, I had not been aware of the water, only five minutes drive from my home, until invited to fish last month, when I had caught a mixed bag of fish, topped off by a four pound plus tench. I had no complaints of my catch.


Invited down to watch the EA net the pond, I arrived to find agency worker Stuart persuading fish to leave the safety of a lily bed, before the net was drawn to the bank, revealing hundreds of their target small rudd and roach.


A raft of autumn leaves had hampered the netting operation, the first session resulting in plenty of leaves, but no fish, the second more successful, although there were a large number of quality fish in the net, many being returned to the water. Dropping the lead weighted mesh in a circle from a boat each time, most of the near surface area of the pond was covered and the Environment Agency men were satisfied with their efforts, after four hauls.


One of the reasons for the destocking, was the lack of natural predators apart from a few perch, the members having no knowledge of any pike in the pond for years, but the surprise of the morning was…..a pike.


Where there is one pike, there must be more, the morning’s work providing only a brief snapshot of the pond stock. No tench, or crucian carp, of which there are many, came to light, but an estimated thousand small silver fish were put in the water tank ready for transportation to one of the other Bracknell council controlled ponds. Members will debate the need for the netting, but preparing for the morning, community workers with grappling hooks dragged a wide selection of detritus from the water, sunken logs, a dozen cycles, children’s scooters and shopping trolleys piling up on the banks before they were done. This once neglected gem is getting ready to shine again.

Less than a year into this community project, the club is going from strength to strength, attracting novice and returning anglers to the sport, while providing families the opportunity to meet with their neighbours, to take part in a variety of nature inspired events, which have included birds of prey, reptiles and bat walks. In an increasingly inward looking world of mobile phones, it is a pleasure to see bright eyed young children taking a keen interest in their surroundings.