Fishing lake designated a special site

ENGLISH Nature is to go ahead with the designation of a fishing lake as a "protected" wildlife site of national importance – despite concerns from anglers.

ENGLISH Nature is to go ahead with the designation of a fishing lake as a "protected" wildlife site of national importance – despite concerns from anglers.

It will mean that a colony of cormorants - blamed for the depletion in trout stocks and subject of a recent scaring campaign - will be protected from disturbance in the future.

The move to designate Loom Pit Lake, between Trimley St Mary and Levington, as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) comes in the wake of a bitter row between members of the Suffolk Flyfishers Club and conservationists.

The latter are keen for the cormorants – which comprise Suffolk's only known breeding colony – to be left in peace.


You may also want to watch:


However, flyfishers have become increasingly concerned about the depletion in stocks of trout and are blaming the cormorants.

A campaign of trying to scare the birds with the sound of gunshots and fireworks led to heated exchanges between conservationists and anglers earlier this year.

Most Read

The proposed designation of the lake as a SSSI by English Nature, the Government's wildlife agency, will outlaw any disturbance of the birds and any changes to the lake environment judged detrimental to nature conservation.

The agency has offered to meet fishing club officials to discuss ways of protecting fish stocks.

It is understood that the proposals will include the construction of "refuges" around the perimeter of the lake where fish can escape attacks by the cormorants.

Iain Blinkworth, the club's vice-chairman, said members remained pessimistic about the future of fishing at the lake.

"We have always said we could accept a certain number of cormorants but the population has already got out of control and looks set to increase.

"If the SSSI designation is confirmed then we will have to seek approval for any kind of management work," he said.

John Jackson, a conservation officer for English Nature in Suffolk, said the SSSI designation would be notified within the next few days.

"We know the fishing club has concerns and we will be trying to find a way forward. Money will be available from English Nature to help protect the fish but we need to first find out what the best strategy would be," he said.

Mr Jackson said a meeting at the lake in May would be attended by English Nature's fisheries adviser and its birds specialist.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus