Top Quality French Carp Fishing
NEW Lake Record caught on 26th. April 2017 at 76lb 15oz
and 14 different 60lb plus carp And 2 known 70lb plus carp.
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Chapter Five -
As our first season neared its end we had all the necessary arrangements for the vidange in place. We knew that we needed to reduce the total biomass so the only way was to completely empty the lake and take out all the unwanted fish. Being our first season we had been far from full and our season ended in early October 2002.
On Sunday 7th I cracked open the sluice gate and gradually let the water begin to run out through the fish trap. By Sunday 13th the lake had been reduced to about one acre of shallow water and soft mud.
My daughter Sharon and her family had arrived on the Saturday and we all stood on the dam wall peering into the murky water and wondering how many and what size fish we would find once the remainder of the water was removed.
At 7.30 am on Monday 14th the local pisiculturist Monsieur Denderes and his motley crew arrived to oversee the final stage. His first act was to complain that there was far too much water left and to rectify this he fully opened the gate. Immediately a mini tidal wave gurgled through the gate and down the stream leading to the village.
To say that the lake emptied fast would be an understatement. It was pretty much akin to pulling the plug from a bath.
Within minutes there were huge numbers of carp and catfish spread across the mud and literally thousands of small fish of numerous species rammed against the grills of the fish traps. Purely by luck we were already in our chest waders and had positioned large bins around the lake edge to hold the fish. As fast as we could, and armed with landing nets, we gently pulled fish off the mud and into the bins.
It rapidly became obvious that there were far more fish than I had ever dreamed possible. The bins, which were planned to only hold the carp which we wanted to keep, were totally inadequate. Our plan had been to weigh, check and photograph every fish to be kept to produce a full stock inventory.
That plan went out of the window within seconds of starting and we would have to concentrate solely on moving the fish. It was obvious that, to try and contain, in bins, the enormous amount of carp that we were faced with and, frankly, totally unprepared for, would have resulted in vast numbers of fatalities.
We abandoned all thoughts of the inventory and put all our efforts into moving the fish from the tanks and into the holding pools as fast as possible.
With the help of a twenty five ton Poclain 360 digger we had dug the holding pools into the bed of the Eastern Arm of the lake. I had dropped the water level of the main lake and then marked out the shape of the pool that I wanted dug. We then took out one metre of clay and used the spoil to raise the banks around the pool and this had also allowed us to get rid of areas of marsh.
The “design criteria” had also included the fact that, as the lake refilled, the fish would be able to swim back out without needing to be handled again. However the positioning of these pools did mean that the distance from the fish trap at the dam wall to the pools was about 600 metres. There was no possible way that we could carry individual fish that distance all day.
The fatalities would not have been just fish.