News letter for September 2021

Dear Members,

With the season now well under way I would like to start by saying on behalf of the CDAS Committee, a big welcome to its new members and a welcome back to its renewing members, and to thank you all for your understanding of the need to delay the opening this year by a short period due to late spawning activity combined with poor water oxygen levels. Many fisheries, including our own experienced a massive oxygen crash in early June but thankfully due to having sufficient aerators available and due diligence by the Committee, what could have been a very serious problem was overcome without any fish losses and we were able to open only just over a week later than usual. As we only lost a very small number of existing members this season, many of you will have enjoyed the extra fishing available earlier in the year as we did not observe an official close season in 2021 and it is hoped that you are now all availing yourselves of every opportunity to use the complex as we are fully open again.

Below is some important information that affects you all so please spare a few minutes to read through to the end.

It should need no reminder but the dip tanks remain in operation this season and every member is required to fully immerse ALL of their nets, cradles, slings etc. on each occasion they use the complex. A quick dunk of anything is not sufficient and neither is dipping equipment still in its cover as this does not guarantee that the Virkon which is used to kill any potential disease present on your gear has completely soaked every item. It is appreciated that this practice is not popular with some of you but is absolutely mandatory and any member failing to comply will almost certainly lose their ticket so please do not take that chance.

It has already been necessary to exclude a member who felt it was OK to leave his rubbish in his swim at the end of a session. The complex has no official rubbish collection and as such we must ask all of you to take your litter away. Leaving your rubbish in a swim or around the complex is not only a problem for the Committee, but also encourages rats and other vermin which also involves management and control. The Committee are grateful to the majority of our members who do take away all of their rubbish at the end of the day but there is still a small core who do not and to those members I again ask that you please do not leave discarded items for others to deal with. Your Membership Book asks that you all take away any rubbish, including any you find that is not your own, but if everyone leaves their own swims clear of rubbish, then nobody should have to pick up after anyone else.

It has also been necessary to serve a strong sanction on a member who was found smoking an illegal substance on the premises and all members are reminded that the use of any form of drugs or excessive alcohol are not permitted. We have a large number of adjoining owners who regularly report activity on the complex which causes them concern and we have a duty of care to ensure that neighbors and members should not be adversely affected by the actions of other members. Anyone found on the complex in possession of either illegal substances or excessive alcohol, will be asked to leave and a strong sanction will be served.

Unpleasant as it is for me to have to write this paragraph, we seem yet again to have a very small minority of members who do not know what a toilet is and avail themselves of areas of the complex to not only empty their bladders, which is bad enough, but also their bowels which is absolutely not acceptable. Again, and as with the rubbish the vast majority of members use the facilities supplied with due regard for those who keep them clean and the Committee extend their thanks to you all. It is essential that we try to eradicate anyone on the membership who is currently using any or all areas of the complex as a toilet and it is clear that at present the person/people concerned are eluding our bailiffing team. If any member has any information that might help the Committee to pinpoint those responsible for this disgusting act, please come forward albeit in strict confidence. If this situation becomes a health and safety issue, there is a chance that the complex may need to close for a period of time which will affect all of you and this seems highly unfair on the majority of you so it really is in everybody's interests to try to catch the culprit(s) and deal with them accordingly.

Some of our newer members have been found using an unhooking mat which does not conform with the basic requirements as set out in your Membership Books. Photographs of the incorrect and correct types of equipment have been posted on the Facebook page and Website but if any member, new or old, is not sure on the specification then please ask a member of the bailiffing team or one of the Committee members who will be pleased to provide you with guidance on this. High sided cradles are now required for all types of angling and members will be asked to leave the complex if found without this essential piece of equipment.

It has been brought to the attention of the Committee that a member is moving small fish with damaged mouths from Long Lake into Whyke. This practice is not in any way permissible and when this member is pinpointed, a strong sanction will be served on them. Only the Fishery Manager or a representative appointed by him can move any fish around the complex. Moving small fish from Long Lake into Whyke is completely negating all the work that has been done over the past 2 years since we experienced large fish losses, to try to bring Whyke Lake back to its former glory. Furthermore, carp anglers on Whyke tend to use heavier tackle than anglers on Long Lake and these smaller fish, when caught by a carp angler and through no fault of their own, are being further damaged as a result. No blame is attached to the carp anglers on Whyke Lake as these small fish should not be present but it is imperative that fish are not moved between the lakes at any time by any member.

Many of you will already know that the complex suffers from very shallow water and subsequently weed is often a problem as the warmer weather arrives. Earlier this year, several fish became tethered due to becoming caught in patches of weed and despite requests, especially on Churchyard Lake, for members to avoid the heavily weeded areas. The vast amount of line which has been removed from trees and within the water bears testimony to the fact that this problem needs to be addressed. I am therefore asked to inform you all that barbless or crushed barb hooks will be the only acceptable type of hook to be used on the entire complex with effect from the 2022 season and this will become part of the rules and byelaws in your books. While this change will not result in any sanctions to members for the remainder of this season if they are found still using barbed hooks on those areas of the complex where it is currently acceptable, it is hoped that by drawing your attention to this now, as many of you as possible will stop using barbed hooks as quickly as you can and this will hopefully mean that fish which are caught and end up in the weeded areas will have a better chance of breaking free and less anglers will need to "pull for a break" and leave their broken lines strewn around the lakes.

Every year our Membership Secretary is under extreme pressure to turn around all the renewals and process the new applications in time for the start of the season. This has been discussed by the Committee and it has been decided to bring forward the cut off date for confirmed renewals from 30th April to 31st March annually. This has no financial effect on members as their renewals will still cover the full season but it will give our Membership Secretary an additional period of time to deal with the high volume of administration involved. Further details on this will be supplied nearer the time but for those members who like to put aside funds in readiness for their annual renewal, this advance warning should hopefully assist you.

Many of you will already know from the website and the Facebook page that spodding has now been allowed to re-commence with the strict proviso that the maximum bait limit of 2kg is still observed. If it becomes apparent that members are spodding large volumes of bait which can quickly upset the water quality and cause major problems, the Committee will have to again suspend spodding and also the use of bait poles which are also capable of depositing large volumes of bait into specific areas. If everyone acts responsibly on this then it is hoped that spodding can continue to be an option for you all without further interruption.

Many of you have been asking about guest tickets and the Committee has now decided to reintroduce this facility in a limited capacity. 24-hour tickets will currently still not be available but members can acquire up to 3-day guest tickets between now and the end of the season. This restriction will enable members to have an equal opportunity to bring a friend along for a day's fishing on 3 separate occasions while maintaining a sensible number of overall people on site at any one time. Guest tickets are again on sale by SAS, Aldwick Angling and Arun Angling and will be priced at £15.00 per ticket for seniors and £7.50 per ticket for junior and pensioners. Members will need to produce their Membership Book, the EA License number and full details of their guest and the appropriate fee when making each purchase in the usual way.

Our committee member, Kevin White, who many of you will already know, has kindly offered to undertake a couple of carp teach-in sessions for any angler who feels some advice would be useful. These sessions will be completely free of charge and are intended to give both the less and more experienced carp angler some guidance on best practices to increase their chances of catching fish, rig set ups and bait presentation. My own husband who has been coarse fishing for more years than I care to remember, recently spent a couple of hours with Kevin on the bankside and almost instantly had not only significantly more bites but managed to connect with the majority of his takes as well. If you are interested to attend a carp teach-in, please, in the first instance email Kevin to Carp Teach-in with your membership details and when he has a sufficient number of attendees, he will organize a time and date to suit.

With no AGM earlier this year due to the Covid pandemic, the Committee are mindful that any new member from last season and this, may not yet have had an opportunity to meet them and they have therefore decided to have a "meet the Committee" morning at the complex on Saturday 25th September between the hours of 9.30 and 1.00. Anyone who would like to ask any questions about the complex, the fishing or indeed how the Committee works are invited to pop along for a tea/coffee and a chat and to enable members to put names to faces and hopefully gain a better understanding of how the Committee make and implement the decisions which form part of your Membership every year. All members, new and old are invited to come along and the Committee very much hope to see many of you there.

All that remains is to hope you all enjoy a fantastic season ahead and don't forget to keep popping your photos up on the group Facebook page as other members definitely enjoy seeing them or send them on to our website administrator who can then put together a montage of the best catches as the season progresses.

Kind Regards
Carole Baker