Proposed Rule Change for Cobham
In late January 2021 a proposal to change the rules at Cobham for fish welfare reasons was pu to Members.
The Committee proposed that we limit Cobham to a ONE rod from the 1st April to the 31st October, then TWO rods from the 1st November to the 31st March, together with a maximum:
Line strength of 12lbs
Weight/lead of 2oz
Hook size 12.
Reasons for the proposal
The Top lake has suffered with dissolved oxygen (DO) problems over the last two years, resulting in many fish deaths.
In conjunction with the Environment Agency (EA), extensive water quality, siltation and other tests have been carried out. Siltation test results showed nothing of concern, however water quality tests showed Ammonia levels “through the roof”, and whilst natural fish waste is a major contributing factor, under water cameras showed large quantities of decaying uneaten bait.
The action of decaying uses a lot of oxygen in the process, and couple that with the leaf mould decaying on the bottom, the DO levels plummeted.
Thanks to a prompt response by the bailiffs, aerators were installed thus preventing another fish kill.
Despite the bait allowance in place, members are continuing to comment on the excessive amount of bait being introduced considering the size of the water.
Ongoing advice is being sought to improve the situation, such as installing reeds and other vegetation, but a substantial part of the remedy is in Members’ hands, so please use common sense and base your actions on the size of water you fish.
Voting closed on Friday 12th February at 8pm.
The results of the vote
The total number of votes cast: 98
Number agreeing to the proposal: 85 (86.73%)
Number disagreeing to the proposal: 13 (13.27%)
During the voting process Members were asked to submit any comments along with their vote. All the submitted comments are shown below, verbatim and anonymously, in the order they were submitted:
- Go back to the old bait limits
- Due to the size and the nature of the water, I feel One rod is enough
- I think 2 rods should be allowed but members to be trusted to limit amount of bait put into the lakes to be to a minimum
- The reduction of rods used is not going to reduce the problem, it’s the quantity of loose feed going in. Stricter bailiffing, solar aerators or dragging the bottom would be more sensible.
- This should be done for the benefits of stock that are getting very bad mouths too heavy, tackle being used by members, people spoding, etc. Too much bait being put in lake
- Would it be possible and realistic to identify the top 2 or 3 baits which causing the most pollution/oxygen loss and therefore specifically ban their use at Cobham?
- Get members to adhere to stricter baiting limits. Why limit hook size to size 12? Does not appear rationale to potential size of stock & would feel that a limitation of size 8 & above works better. Limiting members to one rod will also potentially put more pressure on other waters as members may chose not to fish Cobham
- On a small lake 1 rod is sufficient
- Small lake I see to much bait going in when I fish there I caught fish never put bait in
- I only ever use one rod and throw in very little freebies, I am against people that bait up with a kilo of ground bait, no need for it… It’s a great thing that the committee are doing to protect the fish.
- I only fish one rod anyway.
- Something needs to be done and this seems a good way forward.
- Well done and thanks for all the work you do.
- It would also be great to determine the quality of the fish that are left in the lake as last year many fish were ulcerated and fin damage. I would like to add an amendment that all fishermen carry ulcer medication like I do so to medicate when necessary. I know you probably could not make this mandatory but maybe mention that you would be obliged to carry some meds. Just a thought.
- I have been a member for 6 years and only fish for the carp on the top lake 2 rods one pva bag per bite and the other single bollie or drilled pellets. Freebies small bag pellets. Normally for around 4 hrs sessions.
- I agree that something needs to be done as the fish condition has gone down hill in the past couple of years. To be honest I fill that the top lake should of been de- silted before the bottom lake was drained for repaire. If your allowing two rods through the colder months the bait is not eaten as much and takes longer to brake down ? Personally I fill there should be more education on the unnecessary use of too much bait. I will be giving my membership serious thought for next year.
- Ban the use of boilies to many being thrown in they take ages to break down.
- Fish welfare will always come first.
- Also, i think 2oz is 2 large for such a small water. I’d like to see small barbless hooks, no fixed/semi fixed leads too as many fish are showing mouth damage.
- I dont see how fishing only one rod stops people putting in bait. More plants seem to be a better long term solution to ammonia reduction.
- I think a message sent to members regarding the situation and a reminder of the consequences of over baiting should be the initiall process. Also reminder to take unused bait home and not dumping in the lake(witnessed a number of time myself).Going to a one rod rule immediately seems to be penalising anglers that obide by the rules.
- I’m against too much ground bait being used as it causes far too many problems
- How about a limit on ground bait and loose feed.?
- Short term restriction for long term gain.
- Due to the small size of the top lake, I think we should revert the bait restrictions that were in place for years, back then I don’t recall this problem. Yes ever now and then we used pumps there to help with oxygenation, but even then it was only used a few days at a time. We were restricted to worms/maggots/bread etc. the problem we are having now is the lake has been fished a lot heavier now and way to much ground bait, and I think that is mainly but not only down to carp fishing. So yes maybe we should bring back the bait restriction that we had way back then.
- I whole heartedly agree with the proposal so as to protect the quality of fishing in coming years. Thank you for the detailed explanation of the issue, ongoing cause and committee proposal to address it. Keep up the great work.
- I am sure that some I have seen some anglers using more feed than the rules allow which cannot be good for water quality. Perhaps a period of no extra feed beyond that attached to the terminal tackle may need to be considered. Also, do we know what impact PVA bags/nets have on the water?
- Fish safety should always come first.
Frequent bailiff visits required at cobham to help enforce bait restriction rules. I have only been approached once by a bailiff in the last 3 years. When i first joined the club i was checked virtually every session.
- I do support your proposal and hopefully will do the job.
- Can the trees be cut back if being to close to the lake maybe help the decaying leaves problem and would dragging the lake be helpful to get the leaves out. The same problem in the bottom lake. It would be nice to have more reeds in the bottom and top lake. Regards
- I fully support the Committee’s proposal as we need to do all that we can to ensure that the fish have a safe environment. Thanks for all the work that the Committee members carry out in their various roles.
- I agree in most parts but why size 12 hooks? How does this help oxygenation? The only reason I can see is to put off carpers as invariably they’ll use bigger hooks.
- Have not been a member for long ,and not having fished this lake I agree with the proposal,for this lake and any TWAPS lake ,the fish come first
- In order to keep fishing measures must be taken.
- If things do not improve, bait limits might be required.
- The 2oz weight limit is excessive.
- Are we considering a long term solution? Reduction in swims. Prolonged aeration. Levels of ground sit. Thank you for looking after the issue.
- This is a good idea and with such a stocked small lake.
- I always use one rod and catch lots.
- The healthy balance of the water, and therefore the health of the fish must take priority. It is such a beautiful lake, we must take care of it !!!!!