We first had the lake netted in Oct 2006 to remove the bulk of the silverfish when nearly a ton & a half were removed. We repeated the operation in March 2010 & over half a ton were removed along with many small cats & pike. It also helps to keep down the numbers of any small carp as these can also be taken out at the same time.
Removing as many small fish as possible helps to keep the dissolved oxygen levels good as having too many fish will deplete oxygen levels particularly in the hot weather.
Leaving nuisance fish in means that any food such as pellet we are putting in to feed the carp is also being eaten by the roach etc & other small fish… this worries me that perhaps the carp may not be getting enough food. Removing as many nuisance fish as possible means that any natural food in the lake, & food we put in, will only mostly be eaten by the carp. We have found that in doing this our carp growth weights have greatly increased.
The cost of netting varies of course depending on lake size & shape, but some of the cost can be offset against what we are paid for any roach the fish farmer purchases from us for live bait.
I enjoy helping & walking behind the net as although it is a long day & hard work I find it very interesting & it gives me a good chance to check over some of the carp that do not escape the net.
I would strongly recommend anyone thinking of helping out in the water to buy a dry-suit. I bought a cheap second hand one from Ebay for £35 as the first time we netted I wore my waders which ended up filling with water… very cold especially in October!
This year it actually took longer than expected as many deep holes were found on the bottom of the lake in addition to the ones we already knew of. One very large one in particular had to have another net run through it as it was so deep! As well as many silver fish & catfish, 30+ carp were also netted from this one hole alone!
Beware though… if it is a wet day, or the ground is already quite wet, then do expect to have very messy muddy ground in places afterwards!
A word of warning to anyone thinking of stocking catfish. Do try to get only males as having a mixture will mean that as they reach maturity quite early & can lay anything up to 50,000 eggs per pound of body weight… you could end up with far too many small cats as we have learnt, although most are now gone thankfully!
Larry, Les Genets.