Our Level 3 Sub Diploma Fish management group headed over to Godalming Angling Society‘s Johnsons Lake in order to carry out a stock survey operation. The aim was to find some of the smaller tench and silver fish species that inhabit the lake as the club wanted to carry out some scale sampling in order to ascertain the ages of the fish in the lake and how well they are growing.

The first sweep of the net proved very successful in catching the wrong thing though – tonnes of silt – which took every ounce of strength from the group and club helpers to get the net in!

A change of net, to one slightly shallower and with lighter leads, quickly followed, and on the second sweep around 40 lovely tench to 8lbs were caught along with some very large crucians to 4lbs. The next two sweeps produced a few more tench but it was then time for a change of attack and the team headed out with the electric fishing equipment around the lakes margins and snags.

The first ‘lap’ of the lake was uneventful until the boat entered a bay that had a lot of snag trees and then, all of a sudden, fish started popping up everywhere. Amongst them were some stunning carp to 22lbs and a few smaller tench.

By the end of the day, the group had caught some 15 carp, 60 tench and about 10 crucians. One of the students described it as his best day at the College so far but made him realise that netting is extremely hard work and it isn’t always the case that you will catch what you want easily!

A big thanks to the club for allowing us to come to the fishery and for supplying a warm lunch too!

All in all, it was a great day with lots of lessons learned about fish capture methods and some very tired students after a 13 hour day.

Viv Shears – Lecturer