No return for fish removed from Chasewater during Dam repairs

Chasewater. Pic: Manic Preachings

Chasewater. Pic: Manic Preachings

Anglers have been told that the fish removed from Chasewater while the Dam is repaired will not return.

As work continues to drain water from the reservoir, the fish are set to be handed over to British Waterways who will take ownership of them.

But Lichfield District Council say that not enough income is generated from angling licences each year to make mass restocking of Chasewater viable once the water level is returned to normal.

A spokesperson for the Council said:

“Once the water levels and the ecology of the reservoir are back to acceptable levels, we could theoretically consider restocking the pools with new fish, but as we only make less than £500 from angling licenses a year, we won’t have available monies to do this. The lake’s Special Scientific Interest status would also restrict how we could restock the reservoir, and no alien species or trout would be allowed back.

“Therefore, we will be allowing the reservoir to restock with fish life naturally from the streams that feed the reservoir, as part of the refilling operation. Whilst we recognise this may be a disappointing outcome for local anglers, we know it is the most ecologically sound approach.”

The Council said the fish would need to find new homes after admitting it did not have any alternative locations for them.

The spokesperson continued:

“Whilst it sounds simple to suggest that we keep the fish we take out of the reservoir, and then put them back in when the works are completed, unfortunatley this isn’t a practical solution. The Council has no available water bodies to temporarily rehome the fish.”

No decision has yet been made on where the fish from Chasewater will be relocated to.

Work is set to begin on the process of removing them in the next few weeks.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

24 Comments

  1. Steve

    1st March, 2010 at 11:41 am

    It’s a real shame that Chasewater won’t be restocked. Some of my early childhood memories of Chasewater were of people catching pike after pike on the pier.

  2. ade

    1st March, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    it will be a great loss from the water!! BUT I DO KNOW OF A GREAT SYNDICATE where these large carp could be rehomed looked after and treated with respect by some great andlers!!

  3. stephen windsor

    1st March, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    This will be a great disapointment to every angler to find out that the fish will not be returned..I have fished in this lake for the past 40 years catching mainly pike to double figures, and chub and perch up to 4 pounds losing monsters on the way..The works on the dam is alleged to cost between 3.5 to 5 million big ones, surely the cost of storing and returning these fish back to there home wont even cost the paperwork. The grebes and cormorants , northern divers and other wildlife will also be sadly missed…..steve w..

  4. J Jukebox

    2nd March, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Hi all, If its ok I would like to direct those of you that are interested in the fish in Chasewater to the Lichfield Council Chasewater Dam blog. It can be found here http://www2.lichfielddc.gov.uk/chasewaterdam/2010/02/24/will-the-fish-be-put-back-into-chasewater/#comments or on the LDC website. Hope thats ok as someone has put a link to here on there :-) It would take to long to repost everything from there but if you are interested then have a look at some questions that are being asked about the welfare of the wildlife. thanks J

  5. Paul Malpass

    22nd March, 2010 at 7:54 am

    It’s terrible that they aren’t going to restock it and to say they only make £500 a year on angling is probably true but why dont you improve the facilitys for anglers? I mean there is no safety for fishing on your own, you let yobs ride motorbikes around the lake etc. Back in the 1990’s the fishing was top class. You could catch 1lb roach ten a penny off the pier. Before your float had even settled you had got a bite. Why dont you repair the pier while the water is down and only allow anglers who have brought a day ticket to go on there? Mind you it wont matter now as there wont be any fish to catch. It will never be the same again, a great great shame :(

  6. J Jukebox

    22nd March, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    The be all and end all is that it aint fluffy and cuddly so stuff it !!! Its a terrible waste and blindingly obvious that Lichfield District Council could,nt give a monkeys about what happens to the fish in here. The operation to net it will cost around £10,000 and the financial value of the fish removed will far outweigh this cost. The estimated 100,000 small fish that died would cost a fishery owner up to £50,000 to purchase and dont forget that there are still 30 – 40 thousand adult fish still in Chasewater with upto 400 specimen fish. A specimen carp that weighs around 30lb can alone command a fee up to £6000 on the market so when you do the maths it would appear that Lichfield Council are in effect giving your money (the Lichfield taxpayer) away. The money raised if the operation was run by LDC could be used on other areas that require money within Lichfield but it would seem that your council are more intent on giving these fish away and washing their hands of the problem. I’ll tell you one thing though Walsall and Cannock councils must be smiling their heads off right now as their gift to Lichfield Council is now going to cost up to £5 million pounds (which looks like it will have to borrow) and I bet you that in coming years the Lichfield taxpayer will be facing increasing rises in tax to cover the costs !!!!?!!! And what are the plans for the future for Chasewater?? No fish which in turn will lead to less birds ! Still yobs over there on motorbikes and youths in the summer setting fire to areas of the park. I would’nt at all be surprised if there are houses built, by where the track used to be !!, because Chasewater will struggle to find any other sources of income. Unless of course you fancy catching the train past the silt covered landscape and maybe if your lucky you may see some little tearaways on an old moped racing up the side of you !! RIP CHASEWATER x

  7. stephen windsor

    22nd March, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    I totally agree with paul regarding the fishing on this great lake…If the council made big improvements to the pier and restocked the lake with prime fish and charged accordingly, Put  fishing pegs along parts of the shore, I am sure this would make a good angling venue and attract anglers from everywhere… There are a lot of lakes prob not of this size which caters for fishermen and is still a good haven for wildlife..

  8. m sparrow

    12th September, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    the spokesman says he has no where to put the fish  and true it would be difficult to rehouse them and return them but i know there are plenty of carp fisheries up and coming not least to say of a lake  in birmingham that was recently cleaned but not restocked that could house some  surley this would be better than letting them die  even if there not returned  at least they wouldnt be left to die and when u consider that some of these fish could be 20 ,30 years old or more and could cost thousands  then this would surley be a better end for them 

  9. m sparrow

    12th September, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    another idea for restocking the lake   Lichfield council says it only takes about 500 pounds in licences but that in itself shows at least 500 people use it  for fishing  small carp of say 3inches  cost pennies and im sure a wider appeal may even get some  fish farms to donate some but im also sure there are other waters that may be being drained  and therefore  have a similar problem of rehousing there stock so not only would you be helping  other councils fishing bodies etc  but would  also be restocking the lake benefiting all  and at little cost  it seems to me the easy answer is for the council to  just shrug it off yet with the right sort of input and communication  it could be the best thing ever for the development of the lake and Lichfield as a top fishery perhaps  and what about the environment agency  perhaps someone could comment on there input in all this  or  have they shrugged there shoulders too

  10. AntiWaste

    13th September, 2010 at 12:12 am

    M Sparrow

    Your problem is you are thinking logically .
    Is it sensible to link logic and council in the same post?

    Which wastes the most money – a free article in the local press asking for a home for the fish – or letting them die and later buying new stock?

  11. BrownhillsBob

    13th September, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Oh, hell, here we go again…

    I hate to let facts interrupt a good whinge, but I feel I ought to point a few things out.

    The majority of fish have now been removed, with the few remaining to be caught when the water level is lower.

    The fish rescue was undertaken by British Waterways free of charge in return for being allowed to redistribute the fish caught.

    When they dragged Chasewater, the fish stocks were found to be far lower than anticipated. Population described as ‘sparse’ by operatives, which explains why hardly anyone fished there.

    There are no plans to restock the lake with fish, rather to allow it to restock naturally, so the fish removal and restock will cost council tax payer nothing, Mr. Taxpayer.

    The fishermen have been repeatedly challenged to come up with a decent business case for restocking, which they have consistently failed to do. 

    Last I heard, they were planning to restock the reservoir themselves if they could only win the lottery. Three numbers should cover it.

    Best wishes

    Bob

  12. Paul Malpass

    13th September, 2010 at 9:51 am

    So are the fish still in there? I thought they had netted them all?

  13. BrownhillsBob

    13th September, 2010 at 11:31 am

    No, because of obstructions and debris at the bottom of the lake they were unable to catch all of the fish. The few that remain are monitored and will be caught when the water level is further reduced as the works prepare to work on the outlet bore.

    I suppose it’s easier to catch a small number of remaining fish in a smaller body of water.

    Best wishes 

    Bob

  14. Freddy

    14th September, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    I remember hearing stories when I was a kid about an enormous pike in Chasewater, which like the Loch Ness monster didn’t exist. It’s still sad in a way for it to be a proven fact that it doesn’t exist.

  15. BrownhillsBob

    14th September, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I believe there were some quite sizable pike, but nothing record breaking.

    It is sad to see legends disproved – like the ones about sunken boats, cars etc. most are folklore.

    I do know the steamboat has a basis in fact.

    Best wishes

    Bob

  16. J Jukebox

    16th September, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    Bob you are talking out of your arris mate. The netting was only done to a small fraction of the water with shallow nets and only a small amount of fish were caught !! How do i know this ?? Because I had eyes on the whole operation and and know this for a FACT! The pool still has a good head of fish in there ( put a sonar across it on a good few occasions) and the plans WERE to catch the rest of the fish when the water level has been further lowered and to make the further netting easier to carry out. All you have done since day one is go onto the LDC blog and commend them over their stirling efforts when it is clear to see to everyone else that the whole operation has been a shambles and LDC have no interest in the fish whatsover. Myself and Chappo invited you to meet and discuss what could be achieved with a view to approaching your beloved council and you shirked the invitation as you claimed you had received some abuse from an angler. We have exhausted every available option thet we could think of and each and every time we were rebuffed by LDC hiding behind SSSI status and claiming local waters were not sufficient for the fish. These options ranged from the swag to the slurry pit to Stowey to just putting the fish into the local canal network for locals to continue to fish for but LDC seemed more content in washing their hands of the situation !! If you want to post FACTS mate then at least make sure that they are correct!!!! And if you think this just has implications for local anglers then think again because if they are planning to allow a 256 acre venue to restock naturally from two small waterways then it not only affects anglers but will lead to a massive decrease in waterfowl and birds that visit the area and in effect have a knock on effect on all the wildlife in their as fish are the bottom of the foodchain for many feathered species. What you have in effect then is a large barren piece of water devoid of any notable wildlife which in turn makes a mockery of it being classed as a nature reserve !! And lets not forget about the local sailing community either whom still pay rent and subs etc for the water and the work was supposed to be finished by now and the water refilling but due to LDC’s slack handling of the operation and the fact that they did’nt even have the money to do the job before they started draining the water. All I can say is stand up and applaud A certain member of the council who scaremongered people into believing that the dam was about to burst and wash away everything betweeen here and Tamworth in the impending biblical floods when the FACT and REALITY is that Chasewater is a natural earth dam that is meant to leak water !! I,m sure you aware of the all the other problems Bob as you frequent the LDC blog and love giving us anglers a hard time and praising the council for actually putting up a blog and taking upto 2 weeks to publish posts and rarly answer questions.I would think that this was a bare minimum for a council to provide to its taxpayers would you not? Only thing is though I would expect answers quicker and more attention to actually posting comments (something this blog seems to have very little trouble doing though ;-)) The be all and end all is that LDC dont have the money for the repairs,hell they aint even gonna repair the pier whilst the water is low. Chasewaters future looks very bleak indeed and it will not be the place we all once knew it as…… just a very bland barren landscape for many years to come…!

  17. J Jukebox

    16th September, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Not many big pike!!!!!!!!!!! I know of 2 twenties and a fish pushing 30 caught by a pike angler earlier in the year. If Ldc DONT want to make money from anglers ( and we spend a masssive amount of money on tackle,baits,day tickets etc as the UK’s biggest leisure pastime) then fine… we’ll put it into another councils pocket like Warwickshires who have the lovely fishing complex called Kingsbury waterpark that caters for boaters and rc enthusiasts,wildlife enthusiasts etc and many many other visitors. This is a prime example of how a venue can cater for everyone and have prime concerns about its wildlife whilst still taking thousands of pounds every weekend to visitors whom will actually pay to enter a well run, pretty, friendly and well managed park that caters for everyone and whom all coexist side by side quite happily. If only all councils public parks and reserves could be run in a way that benefits its local constituants and can attract visitors from a wide area then we would.nt be having this conversation, we would be commending them on their fantastic achievements in supplying their tax paying residents with a jewel in the crown site !!! Instead we get a once glorious site transformed to ruin for many a year to come yet. Cheers JJ

  18. BrownhillsBob

    17th September, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Heh, The angling camp is still as angry as ever.

    The fact is that BW were shocked at how little fish were in there. “Sparsely populated’ is their words, not mine. Your bounty of carp and other riches simply never materialised.

    I received a number of somewhat comical threats from your group, including one who claimed to be going to sue me for defamation, because his wife was a ‘lawer’. I’m still waiting.

    I’ve never accepted your bluster and I still don’t.

    Your publicity blitz also never appeared.

    LDC aren’t interested in fishing at Chasewater. Quite correct, there’s no money in it on that site and it couldn’t possibly pay for itself. Yeah, there’s better commercial facilities, so use them. Tara a bit. 

    The earth dam isn’t natural, it’s man made. Badly man made.

    Best wishes

    Bob

  19. J Jukebox

    17th September, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    You really need to do your research fella, as you are well aware the fish survey team indicated a substantial amount of fish in there and Marc Lloyd of the Angling Trust said there could be up to 14 tonnes (IIRC) of fish in there and you call that sparsely populated ??? What planet are you on Bob. You obviously know sweet FA about fish and their habitats so why dont you do what you do best fella and take some photos of frogs or blog about a walk or bike ride you have done ?? As for the media frenzy it was reported in the Angling Times and the Anglers Mail (NATIONAL angling publications) and also by the Chase Post, Chronicle,Express and Star etc etc and an Epetition was formed with over 500 signatures stating that the council were doing the wrong thing !!!! What more do you want ????? The National dailys????? Get real pal, We highlighted a problem and made some noise and got a netting operation to be done when no one questioned the fish welfare !! Have yourself a look at the official Chasewater dam blog and you will see that about 90 % of the posts and threads are about the fish in there and no one seems to care about the other topics on there!!!! DONT THAT TELL YOU SOMETHING BOB?????????? You are obviously anti angling and take every chance to stir things up and throw false facts about. I also believe that your so called threats are non existant as none were ever seen by anyone and it was before we really started making a noise about the fish welfare?? I just think you are a top grade wind up merchant who has a severe intolerance of anglers and angling but that is plain to see to anyone whom reads your useless posts.. What have YOU done Bob apart from wind anglers up and side with LDC who are clearly wrong in what they are doing with no care or regard for the fish in there or anglers as a whole? This is plain obvious to see by anyone whom has been involved in the campaign or who reads the blog. I dont see many people bar yourself having a pop at us anglers fella and what we tried to achieve but I,ve seen plenty of support for what we are doing and have done up to now from a lot of people – anglers and non anglers alike.. Nice to see also how you tar all anglers with the same brush becuase you (MAY ) have had an unpleasant incident with an individual or two. Great ethos that mate lets just tar all communities with the same brush eh because one or two let the rest down. The fish survey team claimed it had a good healthy population at the time of the hydro survey and the netting team netted about a 20th of the water with nets about 3 metres deep in 5 – 6 metres of water. THEY AINT GOING TO CATCH A LOT WITH THAT METHOD BOB WAKE UP !!!!!!!!!!! You will see what is in there when the rest of the water is taken off and the netting continues and you will eat your words bob you can believe me. If it goes public with what is in there at the moment then you have a problem with people removing fish for their own fisheries(which is against the law) The NAC (National Anguila Club) the CCG ( Catfish Conservation Group) and also others have got involved including 2 very high profile names in the carp fishing world who wanted to rehouse the stock. On that basis there cant be much in their can there because Brownhills Bob says so!. God your comical fella…. Finally just as an example last year 2 catfish were caught from Chasewater and both were over 50lb and I,ve spoken to the captors and seen the photographs to substantiate this so know it to be FACT ! Anglers can be a secretive bunch though and like to keep hidden jewels under their hats so that glory hunters and poachers dont invade the water and anyone who reads this and is an angler will know just what I mean by this. Oh and be careful when you quote people as we have had help from within B/W and LDC and we deal in FACTS not nonsense hearsay.Anyway…….. with no disrespect….. you bore me Bob…. we offered you a meeting to discuss with you and show you what we knew and were trying to achieve but you declined that and just stirred things up so this will be my last ever post that addresses you as I,ve got better things to be doing with my time than dealing with ill informed, poorly educated individuals like yourself.
    ps thankyou to this blog for posting my comments in a prompt and effective manor and running a well set up and informative blog. Just a pity the council cant do such a thing to inform its constituents. Take care all JJ

  20. Steve

    17th September, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    First class rant Mr Jukebox, but really, have you never heard about paragraphs? It make your rant a little more readable.

    I thunk LDC is right, and will have assessed the risk and benefit of the work they have done. Why would the ordinary council tax payer and resident care about a hobby? If it was a decent revenue stream, LDC would be on it like a shot. It isn’t.

    Good luck with your hobby, I’m glad you enjoy it.

  21. BrownhillsBob

    17th September, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    …and Mr. Jukebox wonders why I didn’t meet him.

    Mad as a fish. Literally.

    Best wishes

    Bob

  22. Freddy

    17th September, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    I like you jukebox. I’m on your side. There is a giant pike and only the haters say there isn’t.

    I guarantee that when they complete the netting they won’t find it but there will be sightings of black helicopters. We know the truth mate.

  23. Rich

    23rd December, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Im an angler and I obviously agree with you JJ but on an un-biast view, I really have to 2nd what Juke box said before about the food chain. There really has to be a mix of wild life here as everywhere else does for all species to survive, Its a MUST. 1 thing you really CANT mess with is wild life because you will see a decline in all species. Lets face it, people come to chasewater because there isnt another place like it for miles and miles! As for Bob, unfortunately your personal idea for anglers to use other comercial fisheries is just not right. Chase water should be restocked just as soon as possible not just for us anglers but mainly for the wildlife. To leave the lake empty would create a massive downwards spiral. No fish = no birds, no birds = no other wildlife and that equals no beauty, no uniqueness and no need for people to come and experience this. There are so many horrible places in the world so why turn this into 1 of them when with not much more effort or money we could restock this lake and return it to beauty inside and out. As for licence fee’s as an angler I’d be happy to contribute more if this were the only way for restocking take place as im sure all local anglers would and perhaps many other anglers further afield (but this should never be necessary). Where else could you go to catch cats to 50lb? pike upto 30lb? maybe more and perhaps carp (no1 has mentioned carp but surely a lake this size would hold) lets face it, stating no names but anyone who thinks that this lake was understocked to start with is silly to think this. I personly dont know but going by JJ above these nets were never going to catch a large amount of fish, more to the point, these monsters feed a hell of a lot off the bottom especially catfish. I would take great pleasure in putting a voice towards getting this lake restocked for a variety of important reasons, as it would be an allround benifit to everyone whos ever enjoyed visiting for whatever reason and doing so in the future! I hope the right people read this so they can understand the importance of the situation. This is my 1st visit and 1st post on this website but I will be checking back reguly to keep updated.

    Many thanks for reading and Merry Christmas all Rich.

  24. BrownhillsBob

    25th January, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    So go on then, do tell. Who nicked all the fish?

    Best wishes

    Bob\