Sunday, July 29, 2007

All change for pike anglers on Thirlmere

One of the North West’s largest fisheries has recently come under new management following United Utilities decision to lease the fishing rights on Thirlmere Reservoir in Cumbria.

Thirlmere will now be managed by the local club, Windermere, Ambleside and District Angling Association (WADAA) but day permits will continue to be readily available for visiting anglers.

While anglers must now pay to fish what was a free fishery, the association believes the fishery will improve as a result of tighter control.

“Thirlmere is unique as a wild fishery and one of the few remaining large lakes in England where the water quality is holding its own”, says Neil Birkinshaw, WADAA’s Association Manager.

“In particular we are keen to ensure that the existing stock of wild brown trout is protected from previous levels of exploitation and that the fishery has the opportunity to develop its undoubted potential as a premier natural trout water.

"A sensible bag limit and restricted methods will help us to achieve that – as will a responsible approach from anglers who visit the fishery”.

Thirlmere, which is three miles long and up to 160ft deep in places, contains brown trout, ferox, pike and perch. Pike tend to be numerous, but on the small side.

Day permits are £8.00 for trout fishing or £6.00 for pike and perch with age concessions. Juniors under 12 can fish for free with an adult permit holder.

Visitors may launch their own boats from Armboth car park but engines, including electric motors, are not permitted. Both trout and coarse permits also cover fishing on a number of other WADAA fisheries in the area.

Thirlmere is a large and very scenic lake alongside the A591 between Grasmere and Keswick. Helvellyn towers over the eastern shore while to the west conifer plantations dominate the fells.

It supplies most of Manchester's water – with the result that water levels can drop dramatically over a dry summer.

However at normal levels the lake is a spectacular wild fishery and for most of the year quiet and undisturbed.

More details on Thirlmere can be found here.