What a fantastic year it has been at Llyn Brenig. The mild winter encouraged the fish on the farm to grow to unprecedented weights.
We started stocking in March 2016 with fish over 3lbs, which continued right up until August, when the cohort was finally exhausted and we dropped down to the more usual stockies. It created conditions ripe for some huge bags!
Pictured here, the scales showing what became a regular occurrence; a bag of 6 fish over 22lb. However, the honour of both biggest bag and biggest fish went to Mr John Davies, on the 24th July. Using a di3 booby, he landed a 7lb rainbow trout, which made his total bag weight for that day a staggering 31lb.
What’s been really impressive this year though is the quality of the fish, with an inspection by our vet in February causing him to comment that they were the best he had seen on his rounds in Wales and the Midlands.
Our fish farmers Jack Finney and Stefano Rocca continue to roll out improvements to the techniques and management on the fish farm.
This year, we invested in a new fish elevator. It’s a giant corkscrew, for moving and grading the young fish. We know of no-one else in Wales (possibly even in the UK) using this technology. It handles the fish very gently, allowing the whole process to be much less stressful for them, with knock-on improvements to the quality of the stock.
Other notable improvements include the expanded fishing shop. This has been a popular change, allowing us to give a much better service. In 2017, we intend to increase the amount of stock and choice, to include even more of the things you need for a day out on the water at Brenig
winter, like last, we have remained open to both pike and trout
fishermen, something that has proved to be popular. The winter has
been quite mild to date, which normally means poor pike fishing.
Unexpectedly, there have been some very large ones caught, such as
the 22lb fish pictured here. We
will remain open for fishing until the end of February, when the lake
will shut for 2 weeks to allow for a re-stock. Normal fishing will
resume on 11th
March 2017 and we look forward to seeing you all then.
We will of course be hosting an array of fishing competitions throughout the year, including the WSTAA senior trials, WSTAA disabled trials, the Scierra Pairs, the IFFA Disabled International, the IFFA Youth International, the Llanilar Classic, the Anglian Water Welsh Final and the Brenig Fur and Feather.
In addition to the competitions above, we have two new and very exciting dates for the diary. On the 29th April 2017 and the 23rd September 2017 we will be holding the Brenig Monster Mash. This is an exclusive opportunity to fish the normally out-of-bounds area near the fish farm. This has the potential for some really huge fish to be caught, and who knows, maybe even a record fish?
2017 will also see the introduction of a new price structure. There are inevitably some increases on the way due to fall in the value of sterling. However, we have been able to resurrect the old Brenig and Alwen Season ticket, which will be cheaper than the full season rover ticket. And we are also putting an emphasis on encouraging more juniors to fish, with a much more competitive price for their season ticket than previously.
In other news, the Brenig Osprey project is making great strides forward. With five artificial nest platforms now at Brenig, the sight of an Osprey is becoming ever more familiar. Pictured is one seen in March 2016. A pair did hang around in the area for the whole year, raising hopes for a future breeding pair.
October also saw us hosting the World Rally GB, an event which is growing from strength to strength with each year, now it is back in North Wales. The kinder weather this year saw Brenig hosting an estimated 4000 spectators, and the new route allowed visitors to safely get close to the star drivers as they made their way across the dam to the next sector. Time already to get the next one in your diary, the 29th of Oct 2017, when the site will of course, be temporarily shut for fishing.
Those of you with children or grand-children will be interested to hear that there is a new Adventure Playground coming soon, with lots more to do that our old one. But on top of this, we also hope to be opening a soft play area in the old exhibition space for younger kids. So finally there will something for them to do here when it’s raining.
That wraps up our newsletter for the year and we look forward to giving you a warm welcome here at Llyn Brenig in 2017.
Nick Kite - Area Lands Manager, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water