Winter Carp Lake Maintenance


I run a small 14 man syndicate on a 5 acre estate lake in Staffordshire and it’s approaching that time of year that I like to start to prepare for the forthcoming season.

Over the past weekend I’ve had work parties on the lake clearing snags, repairing stages and walkways and trimming back reeds. The remaining snags have now been fenced off to reduce the chances of tethering fish or causing extra stress to my fish.

My lake in its winter clothes

Each winter I go through a procedure of liming the lake which improves water quality and decreases the amount of silt on the lake bottom. Liming also increases the natural life in the lake as well as eliminating pests such as leaches and fish lice which were a problem before I took over the running of the lake.

We still get the occasional leach on the fish but in 2 years I have not seen a single louse. It can be seen that all the fish have benefited from this procedure both by the increase in weights and the vast improvement in their condition.

My liming takes place over the winter months when most of the natural life in the lake is dormant. If possible I will lime the whole of the lake over 2 separate occasions. The first half will be in December and the remaining half of the lake will be limed around 6 to 8 weeks later in January or February.

The method that I use is quite straight forward. The hydrated lime comes in 25 kilo bags and I calculate 4 bags per acre (an acre being 70 by 70 yards). So for my lake I will put in around 10 bags on the 1st liming and 10 on the 2nd liming.

The results pay off!

All that is needed is a boat and an electric motor and 2 persons. We both suit up with overalls, masks and goggles as the lime can burn your skin and cause major irritation to your eyes and throat.

We load the boat up with around 3 bags of hydrated lime at a time, cut the bag at one end and drive the boat in a straight line across the lake, returning in a parallel line, spreading the lime evenly as we go.

This best done with a light wind so that the lime cannot blow back in your face.

I draw an imaginary line halfway down the lake which is the cut off point for the 1st liming. The other half of the lake is limed on the 6 to 8 weeks later, just in time for the water to settle down for Spring.

Paul Cooper


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