Pollution now at chronic levels on our waterways

A spot of ice breaking before tackling the trout certainly didn't put off the regulars at Kippax Park's Lapwing Lake over the holiday period.
A spot of ice breaking before tackling the trout certainly didn't put off the regulars at Kippax Park's Lapwing Lake over the holiday period.
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Anglers are often referred to as the eyes and ears of our waterways, and not many of us have never witnessed or reported fish kills due to farm run off or chemical spills.

Results of a pilot monitoring scheme under the eyes of the EU Water Framework “Watch List” Directive have shown other less visible forms of pollution could be having a greater and long-lasting effect on all our lake and river systems.

Ice breaking at Kippax Park's Lapwing Lake.

Ice breaking at Kippax Park's Lapwing Lake.

Neonicotinoids used for years as spray insecticides on rapeseed and sugar beat crops have being directly singled out for the death of flying pollinators such as honey bees and the humble bumble, and look now to be the cause of a major decline in our waters’ insect life.

The report showed 88 per cent of monitored river sites were contaminated and eight were over chronic limits, including a site on the Yorkshire Ouse at Poppleton and alarmingly, Leeds’ own crayfish haven the tiny Wyke beck.

The powerful group of chemicals can be washed through top soil for years and are also used as veterinary pour ons and flea collars for domestic pets.

If these minute amounts released when washing or throwing a stick for your dog in the river can alter a whole water’s ecosystem, what will happen to the fish and bird life that depend on all forms of aquatic invertebrates and insects for survival when much higher doses are released during our now common floods?

I think the full reports to be released shortly will make for scary reading.

Stocking rainbow trout into commercial coarse fisheries has for a long time been a controversial subject, with most anglers split on the merits of what fishery bosses are trying to achieve.

Leeds and District’s Kippax Park looks to be proving a point from both a business and sporting point of view, with its recently rainbow-stocked Lapwing Lake out performing its “troutless” sister lake Osprey by over 50 to 1 in ticket revenue and match sales.

Results from a freezing Christmas holiday period have been remarkable with the 26-peg Lapwing producing much better weights than other popular venues around the country and 50lb trout weights have been commonplace even when fishing Eskimo style through holes in the ice.

Though bait fishing for rainbows doesn’t suit everyone, the figures can’t be disputed and a bite a chuck sport with just the most basic kit and a pint of maggots has had anglers returning for their daily fix even through the coldest of days.

All commercials need winter revenue and the extra ticket sales have more than paid for the trout stock and given the fishery a good financial boost for the coming year. If you’re in desperate need of getting your rod tugged within a Leeds postcode there can’t be many other winter fisheries as good. Finally, a happy and fishful new year to everyone!

Latest results

Christmas Cheer Kippax Park Lapwing: 1, A Barker 61-00; 2, S Raper 49-15; 3, LWillshaw 40-06; 4, M Turner 29-08.

Turner Open KP Lapwing: 1, L Willshaw 71-12; 2, P Clough 39-08; 3, T Gallifant 38-06.

KP Lapwing: 1, J Wake 68-09; 2, S Raper 68-07; 3, M Dukes 61-11; 4, L Willshaw 55-03.

Moor Monkton Pools: 1, D Wright 35-08; 2, A Gallant 29-12; 3, M Green 28-01; 4, A Carol 24-04; 5, L Myres 21-15.

Moor Monkton Pools Rover: 1, G Boardly 22-06; 2, G Watson 21-10; 3, G Rhodes 19-12; 4, T Hewson 19-08.

Mirfield AC Huddersfield Canals: 1, C Smith 12-03; 2, J Edwards 9-04; 3, E Green 8-04; 4, C Turbitt 7-01; 5, P Barron 6-08; 6, D White 6-07.

Aire & Calder Canal Open: 1, S Crossley 7-06; 2, A Benstead 7-04; 3, M High 6-12; 4, N Hirst 6-00; 5, P Barron 5-14.

Bob Co Yorkshire Winter League River Ouse: 1, S Newns 5-13; 2, J Jordan 4-08; 3, A Hampson 4-07; 4, D White 3-14; 5 D Armitage 3-11. Team Result 1 Mirfield AC 61pts; 2 Anglers World 56pts; 3 Barlby Village Stores 52pts.

Match Diary

Saturday

Kippax Park: Saturday Open, Lapwing or Osprey 07967000746.

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

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.

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.

Anglers World Winter Series: River Ouse/Ure, contact Stan Haigh 07542700743 or Dave Miles 07867680479.

Sunday

Leeds & Liverpool, Kirkstall: Contact Roger Movley 01132 772215.

Listerhills, Leeds & Liverpool Canal: Contact Eddie Harrison 07518721051.

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.

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

Monday

Woodlands over 50s: 30 Pegs, tickets £15, contact 01845 520110.

Langwith Lakes over 60s: 30 Pegs, tickets £10, contact 01904 431874.

Tollerton Ponds over 50s: tickets £16 contact 01347 838115.

Tuesday

Kippax Park Over 50s: Draw 10am, tickets £10, contact 07967000746.

Wednesday

Leeds & District: Moor Monkton Pools, Draw 10am, contact 07967000746.

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

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

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

Tollerton Ponds: Open match, all ages, contact 01347 838115.

Thursday

Poppleton Lakes: Thursday evening, draw car park 5pm, pools £11 contact Roger 01904 737279.