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The monthly newsletter of Ixworth Angling Club

Heron News The monthly newsletter of Ixworth Angling Club Welcome to the June to November 2008 issue of Heron News which will also shortly appear on our web site www.ixworthangling.co.uk. For a variety of reasons monthly issues since May have not been possible to produce, but hopefully it will now be possible to as they say” resume normal circumstances” On the plus side this issue contains an awful lot of information to hopefully get you all up to speed as to what has been going on over the past 6 months. This is also a useful point to mention to all new members that we welcome any articles you might like to send to us for inclusion in future issues of Heron News. You can write or Email these to myself or drop any notes through my letter box. Feel free to include any pictures of any special fish you have caught as we can now publish these on our web site as well. Many Thanks
Peter Hunwick
Chairman
Tel 01359-232038,
Email : hunwick@peterhunwick.fsnet.co.uk

The Annual Christmas Charity Match Sunday 14th December 2008
As usual the peg draw will be held in the Village Hall car Park at 10AM sharp, fishing will be from 11AM to 3PM. Entry fee is £5 for Adults and Guests, £3 for juniors and Senior Citizens. There will be an optional Pool, entry £2 This year we will be raising monies for the Prostrate Cancer Charity and the Breast Cancer Research Charity. As usual after the match all members and guests taking part will meet together at the Greyhound for a Buffet Lunch. All members, partners and friends are most welcome to join us. We must reiterate that you do have to have taken part in the match, and it would be great to see a good turnout. The Buffet Lunch is free of charge; you just have to pay for your own drinks. We will be holding a Raffle to help raise as much money as possible for the Prostrate Cancer Charity and the Breast Cancer Research Charity. We know it is a lot to ask on top of taking part in the match or sponsoring another member fishing efforts, but we would be extremely grateful to anyone who would like to donate a raffle prize. Members wishing to take part should book their place with Andrew Crane as soon as possible. Please use the official sponsor forms included at the end of this issue if you decide to seek sponsors for your efforts in the match. This will be the 15th year we have held this match and for the benefit of all our new members we would like to point out that this is a match we fish regardless of what the weather throws at us on the day. Some folk probably think this confirms all anglers are mad, but we like to think that taking part in a charity match that has already raised well over £7000 for a wide range of charities, local charities and good causes is more than worth any discomfort that is felt on the day. It has to be said that not everyone taking place always catches fish or even one fish, but on the plus side there is always the thought of the hot food to look forward to after the match. Please join us if you can.

The Red Signal Crayfish problem
The professional crayfish trappers from Sussex trapped and removed just under 900kg of crayfish over a 5 week period using up to hundred traps. In number terms the weight converts to at least 26,000 red signal crayfish removed from the Booty’s Hole to Ixworth Mill stretches, plus the Micklemere stretch. In addition to this number Doug and Angie Burrows have removed in excess of a further 5000 using traps owned by the club.
Next year the crayfish trappers will be back and it is expected that they will trap and remove a similar number to that achieved this year. Will we ever eradicate these pests completely? The honest answer is probably No, but we are advised that once the trapping programme reaches the stage when the crayfish caught are only around 4 inches ( 100 mm approx ) in overall length ( from tip of claws to end of tail ) the size and numbers should be such that natural predation by Pike, Perch and Chub will take over and keep numbers low. Finally on a plus point it is worth noting out that there is increasing evidence of our stocks of Perch getting noticeably larger. Numerous Perch over a pound have already been reported as caught this season, and fish between 8 ounces and a pound are effectively now a common event. It is also more than reasonable to assume that our larger Chub in the three to four pound range will now be even larger, and those known to be over five pounds, even larger still. As to our large Pike my guess is that we now have more than just a very few fish around the twenty pound mark. Information supplied by the Fisheries section of the EA shows that even a Pike of around ten pounds in weight can happily much its way through 15 to 20 crayfish in a 24 hour feeding period.

“Friendly” match against a team from Camvac (now to be known as the “Camvac Cruisers”)
The first leg of two leg match took place at the Nunneries Fishery in Thetford on Sunday 21st September. Coarse Lakes B and C were fished, both containing huge numbers of small Roach and Rudd plus some large Bream slabs up to 10 pounds plus.
The members of the Ixworth AC team were Andrew Crane, Derek Curr, Doug Burrows, Angie Burrows and Peter Hunwick. The Camvac Cruisers team of five were widely expected to win this first leg on their home ground, but on the day things did not work out as they had planned. The Ixworth AC team won the match with a combined weight some nine pounds greater than that mustered by the Camvac Cruisers. In the spirit of fairness it was decided that both matches would be scored on a point’s basis, 10 for highest weight angler, and then 9 for next best and so on. This meant that the Ixworth AC team gained 29 points, the Camvac Cruisers 25 points. The second leg took place along the Commister Lane Match stretch, but gin clear water conditions made catching any fish at all very difficult. At the close of play a member of the Camvac Cruisers team weighed in a winning weight of just over three and a half pounds, and in weight terms significantly greater than anyone else who actually caught during the match. Fortunately members of our team took second, third, fourth and fifth places which resulted in a final points win of 90 versus 54. It is planned to hold this friendly match again next year, and if all goes to plan we may fish another friendly match against the Camvac Cruisers during January 2009. Once a date is finalised it will be announced in the next issue of Heron News.

Current junior membership level
We have 51 members in total, but only 10 of these are junior members. Clearly we would like to see more youngsters joining the club, and to be in a position to hold matches exclusively for junior members on a regular basis. To this end Angie Burrows (Junior Members Representative) does a sterling job trying to encourage all our junior members by contacting them personally to organize matches for them. In addition Angie also offers advice and tips as to the tackle and rig set ups required to catch fish from the river. So far this season there has only been one junior match held and sadly only three youngsters actually turned up and fished the match. None the less Angie is still very keen to help our junior members in any way she can so please contact her for details or any assistance you require if you are just starting fishing for the first time. To speak to Angie please phone : 01359-250008

Pike matches
At our AGM in April it was suggested that we hold two matches during the season, one late summer, the other during the winter months. The proposal was to make the late summer match a lures only match, the winter match lures and dead baits. Well somehow the first match did not get organised, but there is still time left this season for a winter match. So if you are interested in the club organising such a match please contact our Match Secretary Andrew Crane as soon as possible (tel 01284-787174) or contact us via our web site. With sufficient interest this match could be fished using all four stretches of the river we are allowed to fish, and I am personally convinced members will be surprised at the number of large Pike that we have, and would not be at all surprised to find one over 20 pounds being caught

Removal of overhanging tree branches, or fallen trees
There are two places located between Ixworth Mill and Hempyard Bridge and upstream to Booty’s Hole where trees are partially blocking the river and causing debris to pile up and restrict the water flow. In theory such instances should be dealt with by the EA Drainage team, but in reality it could mean a very long wait for action to be taken. We need helpers to man the club boat and assist two members of the club who are fully trained and experienced with the use of chain saws they possess. With the Christmas Charity Match coming up it would be great to see the offending tree limbs cut off and removed at the earliest opportunity. If you would like to help us please contact myself as soon as possible. Tel 01359-232038 Many Thanks
Peter Hunwick
Chairman

The entrance to the Booty’s Hole stretch and the deliberately blocked of entrance to the Commister lane stretch, both within the Hempyard Bridge area Clearly there is a minority of people who get some pleasure from pulling down barbed wire and fence posts aimed at preventing access to the Commister Lane stretch at the Hempyard Bridge end. Some months ago we purchased more barbed wire and repaired effectively the work of this minority who seem to think fences are put there just to be damaged so that they can gain access to the Commister Lane stretch. Fair comment we no longer have signs in place stating this stretch is for access only by members of the Ixworth Angling Club, but perhaps those concerned do not realise that the club has bought and installed several signs in the past only to find them vandalised or thrown in the river. Anyway there is no excuse at the Roundhouse end, but sadly even here it seems some folk either cannot read or choose to ignore the signs on the grounds it does not apply to them as a non-member of the club. It is a very similar situation with the entrance gate to Booty’s Hole. However there is a gate that can be unlocked for access to the stretch by members, but again it seems a minority of people are not prepared to accept this situation. There solution is to pull down the barbed wire and make an opening. To rectify (again) the damage done the club plans to replace the damaged barbed wire and/or fence posts at the earliest opportunity. Again any member able to assist in the repairs should contact me or the club via our web site. Upon completion any member wishing to gain access to the Booty’s Hole stretch will be able to do so by purchasing a spare key from myself. Please give me a call if you wish to have a key so that we can take steps to purchase a suitable number in the weeks and months to come. It is planned to raise this issue of vandalism again with our local Police Community Support Officer and hopefully they will be able to assist us in preventing further damage and costly repairs.

Trapping of Red Signal Crayfish by others
We have been advised that there are a number of people in the area who have been placing traps in the river to catch crayfish for themselves and/or sale to others. Not a problem is probably the first thought coming into your mind, more people, more traps, more crayfish removed. Well this is actually not the case and it is a cause of great concern to the Environment Agency, hence you must obtain a licence to do so. As members should already know, the club applied for and was granted a licence (renewable annually) to use up to 100 approved traps. Here the onus is on approved traps and we had to verify in writing that the traps to be used met very specific shape and size criteria, especially with regard to mesh size used. This is not a case of the EA being awkward, simply a case of trying to prevent people using traps that could easily trap an otter with fatal consequences, or result in the trapping of the now very rare water vole. It is also a condition of being issued with a licence (and numbered and dated tags) that the users check their traps on a daily basis and record the number of crayfish removed. Not a lot to ask when you consider there is no charge for being issued with a licence, but you will not be issued with a licence without firstly gaining the written consent in advance of the landowner concerned. With this in mind please let us know if you come across traps without EA dated tags numbers attached so action can be taken.

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·  Feb - Oct 08 Newsletter

·  Dec - Jan 08 Newsletter

·  Oct - Nov 07 Newsletter