Angling: Otter fence nets in fish during high flood levels

Knotford fishery bailiff Lee Garrad at the Otter fence and carp-friendly flood defence.
Knotford fishery bailiff Lee Garrad at the Otter fence and carp-friendly flood defence.
Have your say

Angling clubs and their uninsurable and only asset, fish, have found an unlikely ally in protecting carp – worth up to and over £1,000 each – from the recent flood devastation.

Situated in the flood planes of Poole-in-Wharfedale and connected to the River Wharfe, Knotford Lagoon, owned outright by Leeds DASA, suffered massive losses of specimen carp to otter predation.

At a cost of over £20,000, the subsequent otter fence has recently more than covered its costs in not only saving the carp by keeping the otters out, but also keeping the fish safe inside its boundaries and not washed into the nearby river as the floodwaters recede.

As an angler I never imagined thanking an otter for anything, but Mother Nature has strange ways of paying us back.

Following last week’s look at what members can expect from local fishing clubs, here’s another two to consider.

York DAA is another of the area’s older associations with miles of rivers, canals and still waters. Top venues cover most areas of the Ouse below Linton weir with Benningborough Park and the famous Red house/Killingbeck sections providing some of the best bream and barbel fishing the river has to offer,.

Match and pleasure catches approaching 100lb are reported every season with bream up to 7lb not uncommon. Barbel to double figures are possible from all the well-known pegs with the roots at Benningborough Hall a good starter, followed by the big tree at Redhouse and rough field at Killingbeck all producing fish of this calibre in the past season.

For those wanting to be alone, the club has a couple of gems with the River Seven at Brawby and the Rye around Newsham Bridge providing some lovely old -ashioned centre-pin swims.

The Nidd, below Knaresborough, also comes under the rarely-fished banner but can give some great dace, chub and grayling fishing without seeing another angler on the bank.

Members’ favourite, Laybourne Lakes, keeps the area’s commercial anglers happy with their 100-peg, three-lake venue producing the usual big-carp weights during the summer months.

Other venues include Derwent sections from Kirkham downstream to Sutton, the Nidd at Tockwith, Skip Bridge and Moor Monkton with the Ouse around Bishopthorpe Palace and Acaster providing good roach and skimmer sport for the winter die-hards.

Membership costs: full senior £43, OAP and disabled £26, junior £12, Laybourne permit £10.

Wakefield AA is looking to promote angling around the Wakefield area.

The club welcomes anglers from around Yorkshire. Its junior section holds national acclaim and is always at hand to recruit and coach newcomers. Winter classroom-based teach-ins at their well-equipped Flanshaw Dam clubhouse provide the introduction before moving to its own waters in the spring and summer. With over four miles of the local River Calder available, its anglers have some brilliant roach, dace and bream fishing just a few minutes drive from the city centre.

Short lengths of the nearby River Dearn add something extra for those wanting to fish with a roving approach.

I would have to put Newmillerdam lake near to the top of any stillwater list with massive catches of bream and roach falling to both feeder and float during the summer. The match record for the water still stands at 50 bream for 106lb, though pleasure catches over 50lb are common. In the winter months, pike to over 20lb, become active around the boathouse.

Nostell Priory top lake gives specialist or specimen anglers good chances in stunning scenery of a big Yorkshire fish.

Carp to over 40lb – the ‘big un’ – tench over 10lb, bream approaching the same in the warmer months and pike over 20lb are banked regularly after the first frosts.

Any one of these fish would be worth the adult membership of £32 (OAP £17.50, junior £5).



BSR Winter League, Kippax Park: 1, John Wake 90-01; 2, Sean Rodgers 46-12; 3, Mick Green 40-04; 4, Barry Rodgers 38-00; 5, Adrian Broomhead 34-06; League to date: 1, S Rodgers 16 pts; 2, A Rymer 17pts; 3, S Raper 19pts; 4, N Rymer/D Wright 20pts.

Turner Open, Kippax Lapwing: 1, John Brogden 66-11; 2, Tony Lawson 30-12; 3, Dave Scholes 30-05; 4, Andy Crampton 27-04.

Kippax, Tuesday Open: 1, S Mazza 64-06; 2, M Turner 54-08; 3, F Rancis 43-12.

Leeds & District, Moor Monkton Pools: 1, John Cosgrove 61-06; 2, Graham Broadley 61-03; 3, Garry Miller 59-10.

Woodlands, Thirsk: 1, M Pearson, Bag em Baits 97-12; 2, P Jones, Woodlands 59-07; 3, I Exley, Diawa Dons 43-08; 4, K Pentland, Woodlands 39-09; 5, C Pentland, Woodlands 35-07.

Oaks at Sessay: 1, C Hall, Neo Baits 54-11; 2, M Bailey, Garbolino 54-11; 3, A Stock, Colmic 41-00.

Mirfield AC, Christmas Cheer, Mirfield Canals: 1, I Dawson, Tri-Cast 11-03; 2, K Henegan, Tri-Cast 8-00; 3, N Chaffer, Willy Worms 5-08; 4, P Dwyer, Rochdale 4-07.

Bait-Tech Canal Championships. Thorne: 1, L Wright, Matrix 18-00; 2, M Godfrey, PFM 15-10; 3, A Scotthorne, Drennan 15-06; 4, T Scholey, PFM 14-08; 5, P Slack, Sensas 13-14; 6, A Wells, Leicester 13-10.

Bait-Tech Pro, Canal Championships, Stainforth & Keadby: 1, C Hughes, Sensas 32-04; 2, M Godfrey, PFM 28-04; 3, T Scholey, PFM 25-12; 4, S Ashby, Sensas 17-08; 5, J Carass, MFM 17-04; 6, B Hawks, Sensas 16-10.

Mirfield AC, Canal & River Series, Final Round: 1, Stan Haigh, Anglers World 10-04; 2, Steve Webster, Tri-Cast 8-15; 3, Pete Barron, Tackle-2-U 8-13; 4, Martin Highe, Mirfield 8-03; 5, Ian Bowman, Barnsley Blacks 8-02; Final league: 1, I Bowman 93pts; 2, P Barron 91pts; 3, M Wood 88pts.

Rodley Barge, Brafferton F1 Lake: 1, R Ward 34-08; 2, W Barber 25-00; 3, J Harvey 21-08.

Fryston AC Winter League (Viking Fox): 1, R Evans 24-06; 2, S Varley 22-09; 3, S Lupton 18-13.

Morley Nelson AC (Viking Deer): 1, K Butler 49-05; 2, I Ingle 39-08; 3, G Lancaster 33-08.

Angel Lakes, Open Lookout: 1, M Craig 38-15; 2, R Emery 36-10; 3, D Pearson 29-01. Big Waters AC Bowes: 1, M Gardner 14-06; 2, S Knowles 10-10; 3, B Evans 10-03. Pole-only Lookout: 1, R Laing 22; 2, D Pearson 12-09; 3, J Foster 8-10. Wednesday Open Bowes: 1, J Dryden 46-16; 2, J Foster 24-04; 3, D Fox 22-04.

Match Diary


Kippax Park: BSR Winter League, details contact Sean 07814454271.

Poppleton: Saturday Open, pools £15. Draw cafe 10am, contact Roger 01904737279.

Aire & Calder: Pollington, £15 all in, contact Kelvin 07779991483.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscars draw 8.30, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 Pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 Pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 Pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874

Kippax Park: 27 Pegs, tickets £20, contact 07967000746.

Moorfields Farm: 54 Pegs, tickets £16, contact 07710817150.

Fleets Dam: 50 Pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Birkwood Farm: 60 Pegs, tickets £16, contact 01132 80609.

Viking, Hawk Pond: 30 Pegs, tickets £16, contact 01405 860764.

Tollerton Ponds: Open Match all ages, (Kingfisher 20 pegs, Coot 18 pegs, Heron 32 pegs) contact 01347 838115.

Listerhills AA, Leeds/Liverpool Rodley: £12 all in contact Eddie 07984597328.


Bradford No 1 AA: 10th January, Cowthorpe River Nidd, Contact Simon 01274 571175.

Woodlands: 72 Pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 Pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 Pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Oak Tree Leisure: 50 Pegs, tickets £15, contact 01347 810686.

Leeds DASA: Moor Monkton Pools, contact 07967000746.

Poppleton: Sunday Open 50 Pegs draw 11am Cafe, contact 07425 146677.


Woodlands over-50s: 30 Pegs, tickets Kippax Park: 27 Pegs, tickets £12, contact 07967000746.