The seemingly changing weather conditions, particularly the extended warm and dry periods from spring to Autumn, prompted the club to take a more proactive approach to improving the lake quality, with particular resources being devoted to the two lakes at Wolvey.
In nature, after lakes and ponds are first formed, they follow a process of succession of habitat. Ultimately, the lake becomes filled-in with silt, trees become established and it becomes land .Thus, in many lakes and fisheries deposition of organic matter in the mud is greater than the pace of decomposition. As a consequence, the mud becomes progressively deeper and the water shallower, allowing marginal plants to ‘walk’ into the lake. This reduces the amenity value of the pool.
Year-on-year accumulation of mud, due to insufficient recycling by microbes, results in steadily increasing demand for oxygen. Decomposition in the absence of oxygen (evident as black,’mousse-like’ mud smelling of rotten eggs) leads to the production of toxic substances, including hydrogen sulphide. It has been proved in aquaculture that this significantly reduces appetite in fish,and they will go off the feed and become stressed reducing their resistance to disease.
Black, acid, and toxic mud can be a ’time bomb’; in hot weather, the water can ’turn over’, mixing the mud with water and absorbing all of the oxygen. This can kill all of the fish and other aquatic animals.
Increasing accumulation of organic matter on the lake bed can kill off the friendly recycling microbes, and poison the area, making it a ‘no-go’ area for fish. Deep accumulations of mud can reduce the space available for fishing.
Taking advice from 'Spirex Aquatec' ( www.spirexaquatec.com ) based in Redditch, Worcestershire we selected Microchalk as our chosen application.
Microchalk is one of the Pond Healer Remedies that can reverse this process. It is a very high quality product, and is virtually pure calcium carbonate ground extremely finely. It is not ordinary ground chalk. The average particle size is 2.8 microns / less than 3 thousandths of 1 mm ! Consequently, it has a vast surface area, allowing it to dissolve more easily, and work more efficiently.
Microchalk is alkaline, and works by neutralising the acids in the mud, and providing a favourable environment for decomposing bacteria. Air entrained in the porous particles, delivers oxygen to the mud enabling aerobic bacteria to decompose organic matter. It is best applied between early winter and spring. It is mixed with the water and spread over the whole lake. Application of such products can yield spectacular results.
Fish and other aquatic animals produce toxic ammonia as a waste product. They depend on this to be recycled through to nitrate (‘nitrification’) for their well being and the balance of the ecosystem. The natural process of the nitrogen recycling by bacteria needs a ready supply of carbonate, and Microchalk provides this in abundance. Where carbonate has been previously exhausted, Microchalk ‘kick-starts’ nitrification back into action.
Having calculated that we would require 6 tons for both lakes at Wolvey, this was ordered and delivered in October 2011.
During early November the chalk was applied over 2 days. This was repeated in the Autumn of 2012.
Loading the boat with Chalk (10 bags at a time)
For a few years the club used bales of Barley Straw to combat algae.
The bales are loosely broken up and distributed in the margins of the lakes during early spring.
This has proved very successful, keeping the algae to a minimum, whilst being very cost effective.
25 bales is sufficient for both lakes at Wolvey.
Like most small fisheries, we have had our share of weed problems, affecting the ability to fish during the summer.
A chance meeting at a Game Fair by one of our committee members spotted a solution to our problem by a local company called Aquatic Solutions, based at Pailton, Nr Rugby, Warwickshire ( www.aquatic-solutions.co.uk. )
Aquatic Solutions can supply a very versatile amphibious weed cutter (plus removal) called a Truxor. They are able to cut and remove the weed from both lakes at Wolvey in one day.
Truxor Weed Cutter
WEED CONTROL with DYE
Since 2014 we have enjoyed great success controlling weed, by applying a Blue Dye (called Dyofix) to the lakes in early spring,
Dyofix Blue doesn’t actually kill weed but works as an inhibitor to halt or slow down the growth of algae and submerged weeds. The blue dye absorbs an amount of red light, thus reducing the efficiency of photosynthesis.
We continue to be amazed at how successful and cost effective a solution this is.
The dye can be purchased from www.dyofix.co.uk