Monday, July 14, 2008

EXCLUSIVE: New life for 70s hotspot

Thirty or more years ago, it was one of the country's top pike waters, delivering large numbers of fish to over 20lbs.

Once frequented by the likes of Neville Fickling, Barrie Rickards and Bill Chillingworth, pike packed on weight as coarse fish populations colonised the Great Ouse Relief Channel and predator anglers flocked to fish it.

In more recent years, the 'channel - which runs from Denver Sluice to King's Lynn - has fallen from favour with pikers, while scientists believe harsh winter run-offs and fluctuating water levels around spawning time haven't done predators or their prey fish any favours.

For nearly a decade, water from the Ouse system has been run off through the Relief Channel because the sluices at Denver, from where the river once flowed into the tidal Ouse, have been silted up.

Now officials are set to reveal that work is going ahead to restore the sluices. The EA's plans for the Relief Channel are set to be revaled to anglers at a workshop at Denver later this week.