The Green Heart of Poringland


Water Quality Remains Good – posted 1 June 2020

Despite an exceptionally warm and dry May, the water quality at Poringland Lakes remains good.

Weekly tests conducted by John Hodgson, supported by his small team of monitors (Phil Ginn and Justin Randall), show dissolved oxygen currently remain good, better than 10 mg/L despite  the rise in water temperature to around 17.5°C.

“We plan to continue monitor water quality on a weekly basis” said John, anxious not to repeat last year’s experience when scores of skimmer bream were lost as DO levels plummeted.

John went on to say “Should the temperature rise for a protracted period, we will increase the frequency of testing.  We are able to introduce the aerators at short notice should they be required.”

“Last year we had to call in the Environment Agency then to help us out but we are better aware and equipped this time round” said John.  “We have bought a state-of-the-art DO meter costing £600 and have a small band of committed volunteers, all happy to carry out monitoring on a regular basis.” 

Day Ticket Justification – posted 29 May 2020

Although a few visiting anglers have expressed their disappointment that Poringland Lakes are not allowing day tickets at present, it appears the new policy is proving the right decision.

The requirement that pegs must now be 15 metres apart has dramatically reduced capacity to just 20 pegs. In order to reduce pressure and accommodate as many of the 100 season ticket holders as possible, day tickets are not available at present.

It is understood from a reliable source, that another local complex has been Inundated with day ticket visitors, so much so that it is rumoured that anglers were unable to get into the car parks.

“It was a tough decision not to allow day tickets” said PCFLA chairman John Overton.

“Potentially it will cost the Association a lot of money, probably in excess of £2,000 a year but it is the right thing to do. Not only does it ensure that our local regulars can find a peg but it also safeguards everyone by not overcrowding the banks.”

Big Fish Bonanza – posted 24 May 2020

It’s been a great 24 hours for big fish specialists at Poringland Lakes.

The lakes’ newest and biggest fish, suitably named ‘Lockdown’, has been caught for the very first time. The honour went to well known local rod, Ben Greenfield, who tempted the stunning common on a 16mm Tutti Fruitti pop up boile.  It weighed in at a healthy 21lb 10oz.

It was just reward for dedicated Ben who spent a couple of hours on a warm May afternoon just observing the water and plotting fish movements.  It was time well spent as Ben returned, rod in hand, in the early evening and banked the giant carp at 7.15pm.

Meanwhile new season ticket holder Mark Way was also celebrating after banking old favourite Appleslice.  Fishing under the guidance of good friend Jonny Causton, Mark was thrilled to capture the distinctive mirror carp which weighed in at 16lb 4oz.  Although it has lost a little weight over the winter, the celebrity fish remains in tip-top condition.

Local angler, Justin Randall, notched ten pristine, hard fighting carp from Duffield including two handsome doubles.  Meanwhile, another local, Peter Reuben returned to the lakes after a 12 month sabbatical and caught five carp between six and eight pounds - all of which suggests the lakes are fishing their socks off after the lockdown closure.

Rules on Children’s Fishing Relaxed posted 22 May 2020

The trustees have amended the rules on children's fishing.

Under the recently introduced coronavirus rules and in order to prevent overcrowding on the bank, under-16s were not allowed to fish for fear that they would wander off unsupervised and impact social distancing.

However, following representations from season ticket holders, this regulation has been relaxed.  The revised rules are:

·      Season ticket holders can have one child under-16 fish with them

·      They must fish from the same peg

·      They must not wander round the site but stay with the parent at that peg

·      Any deviation from these additional rules will mean that the child cannot fish again until the restrictive measures are eased

It is emphasised that this concession applies to season ticket holders only.  Casual fishing, with or without children, is still not allowed.

Season Tickets Sold Out – posted 18 May 2020

The decision to restrict fishing to season ticket holders only, at least for the time being, has seen day ticket regulars rushing to convert to season tickets, so much so that all 100 places allocated by the trustees are now taken.

With more requests in the pipeline, a waiting list has been started. When the extended season ends on 30 June, it may be possible to accommodate more anglers, should existing season ticket holders decide not to renew.

Dream Start – posted 17 May 2020

The long awaited re-opening of Poringland Lakes got off to a dream start.

After being mothballed for the best part of two months, several anglers made an early morning start and it proved a master stroke.  The sun had hardly risen above the horizon before accomplished angler Matt Charlton banked the lakes’ celebrity fish Appleslice weighing in at 16lb 5oz.

Not be outdone, Jonny Causton, fishing on the opposite bank, caught a pristine 13lb 4oz common.  Another early starter, Danny Morley had a field day bagging half a dozen good sized carp as well as 22 hard fighting tench around the two pound mark.

With the number of pegs restricted to 20 to adhere to government guidelines and day tickets no longer available at present, fears that the lakes would be overrun by anglers this weekend proved groundless. Less than 50% of the pegs were occupied this weekend, suggesting that many older anglers are still observing lockdown.

The trustees will be closely monitoring the situation in the coming weeks in the hope that it will soon be possible to accommodate all those hoping to fish.

Anglers are reminded to observe social-distancing rules and to only fish from designated pegs marked with a blue stake.

The additional rules and regulations can be viewed in full by clicking on the Fishing Rules page.

Appleslice Weighed in at 17lb 8oz – posted 7 February 2020

Lakes specimen hunter Jonny Causton really hit the jackpot earlier today when he caught the lakes’ celebrity fish weighing in at a healthy 17lb 8oz.

It is the first time the distinctive mirror, nicknamed Appleslice, has been caught for a while and it appears she has put on some weight during the winter.

Known for his angling experimentation, Jonny tried a new method, using a chod rig baited with a pop-up boilies, a new tactic which clearly paid dividends.  Now Jonny has set his sights on capturing the ‘Big Common’ which was recently stocked into the lake at a remarkable 22lb plus.

The capture of Appleslice comes within days another notable capture.  Just last week Norwich-based Colin Dade weighed in a 18lb 8oz common from Duffield.

Surprise Catch – posted 24 January 2020

Veteran angler Brian Gladden got quite a surprise when he fished Noble yesterday.

In addition to his usual haul of silvers and decent sized carp, Brian caught a gudgeon!

“I don’t know how that got in the lake” exclaimed a bemused Brian.  “I know it wasn’t purposely stocked but it may have come in with the recent restocking.”

It will be interesting to see if other anglers catch the surprise fish – or more!!

Fish Stocks Boosted – posted 10 January 2020

Earlier today Poringland Lakes took delivery of over 350 fish with a further 100 plus promised for later in the year.

Regular suppliers, Framlingham Fisheries restocked the lakes with bream, perch and carp including a 22lb specimen common and two other mid-doubles.  None of the  bigger carp have ever been caught before so the race is on to see who will be the first to capture the big common.

Earlier in the year, the venue fell victim to otters which threatened to decimate the entire fishery but thanks to swift action by the trustees, volunteers and a sizeable grant from a local charity, the Association installed otter-proof fencing around the three fishing lakes.

To compound matters, one of the hottest summers on record also took its toll.  Decreased oxygen resulted in the loss of several small bream but thankfully, with help from the Environment Agency and a bevy of volunteers, aerators were quickly employed and losses were minimised.

 “At the AGM early this year, we announced plans to re-stock the lakes” explained lead trustee Jonny Causton.  “However matters conspired against us, especially the otter incursion.  We didn’t want to re-stock while the threat of otters was looming over us.  Despite reports around the village that otters are still decimating garden ponds, our otter fence seems to be proving a strong deterrent – so the time is now right to do the re-stocking.”

The new intake reflects the lakes ethos of being a quality mixed fishery, catering for leisure and specimen anglers alike.

A further stock of 100 plus tench has been ordered with delivery expected in the Spring.

National Glory for Colin Hinsley

Colin pictured with team captain Kevin Howler and the magnificent  Water Industry trophy

Upper Stoke angler Colin Hinsley has carved out something of a reputation for himself on the local fishing scene.  Already this year, Colin has won both the Glenn Duffield and Irene Gudgeon trophies at Poringland Lakes but has now eclipsed even these achievements by winning in a prestigious national competition.

Fishing for the five-man Anglian Water team, Colin helped steer his team to victory in the National Water Industry championship held on the Trent at Holme Pierpoint.  16 teams from all over the country contested the coveted event including those from Severn and Trent Water, Yorkshire Water, Wessex Water and the much fancied team from the Canal and River Trust.

Bright sunshine and a strong easterly wind made conditions difficult for all 80 contestants but Colin, in his inimitable style, managed to catch a mixed bag of chub, dace, perch and roach, weighing in at 2.6 kilos (just shy of 6lb)  - good enough to give him fourth place in his section and earn his team overall victory.

Many congratulations Colin!

Best Day’s Fishing Ever

A visiting angler enjoyed what he described as his best day's fishing ever.

Making just his second visit to Poringland Lakes, Daniel Thorpe decided to fish Gudgeon and what a great choice it turned to be.

Fishing bread on a float dotted down with 4bb shot, Daniel caught 12 pristine carp ranging from 5lb upwards.  But that's not all. He also caught both Appleslice, weighing in at just under 17lbs, and Tango in a truly amazing session.

"What a day" said the risk assessor from Norwich.  "This is an awesome little lake. Just brilliant!"

Lakes Re-open after Oxygen Crash 

Poringland Lakes have reopened following the recent oxygen crash which killed several fish.

The five day closure came on the advice of Environment Agency fishery experts who recommended that the lakes be rested to allow fish stocks to fully recover.

Experts from the Environment Agency had visited the lakes to assess the water quality following the recent oxygen crash which resulted in the lost of a number of fish, mainly skimmers and small roach as well as several bream.  Thankfully no carp were lost and the casualties were restricted to Gudgeon lake.

After taking numerous readings including temperature and dissolved oxygen levels, EA’s Steve Lane and Jeff Compton congratulated volunteers on taking swift action to limit the losses by utilising portable aerators and circulatory pumps.

Although oxygen levels in all three lakes were satisfactory, the EA stressed the need to carefully monitor the situation in the coming days.  Not only could oxygen levels vary greatly in the current weather but there is also signs of algae bloom in Duffield and Gudgeon which can be equally damaging to fish.

The EA made a number of recommendations including constant monitoring of O2 levels and water temperature, continued use of the aerators, transferring weed (which is not Canadian pondweed) from the crucian carp conservation pond into Duffield and Gudgeon to equal out algae bloom and restricting the use of the borehole pump as DO levels from the underground water table are considerably less than that already in the lake.

The experts also cautioned about the use of blue dye, especially in Noble, as this will suppress weed growth, creating problems with rotting vegetation and de-oxygenating the water.

The Environment Agency also recommended closing the lakes until Monday 5 August to allow conditions to settle down and allow sufficient time for clearly stressed fish to fully recover.

“The Association is really grateful to the EA and to Steve Lane and Jeff Compton for acting so quickly, visiting the lakes, taking readings and advising us on the best way forward.  Thanks too to Mark Casto and John Hodgson, both of whom have experience in water testing, for attending at short notice and to all those volunteers who acted so quickly over the past 24 hours to set up the aeration and ultimately protect the fish stocks” said chairman John Overton.

“It is regrettable that we had to close the lakes but given the circumstances, we had very little choice.” 

New Bailiffs Appointed

Poringland Lakes have appointed two new bailiffs.  Local resident Brian London and Liam Crowley (pictured above) have joined the team, taking the total number to ten.

“We are really grateful for the support of our volunteer bailiffs” said Association chairman John Overton.  “Not only do they collect day fees but they also keep an eye on the site and make sure the fishing rules are observed.”

The full team is Peter Carman, Jonny Causton, Liam Crowley, Mike Dicks, David Garrod, John Hodgson, Brian London, Danny Morley, Mick Morley and Ray Noble.  

Matt’s Celebrity Double

Poringland Lakes’ two celebrity fish have been both caught within the space of an hour – by the same angler!


Making his only his second visit to the lakes, new season ticket holder, Matt Charlton banked Appleslice at 16lb 12oz, then captured Tango which weighed in at 12lb 13oz.  Both fish, taken on luncheon meat, were independently witnessed and weighed.

It is believed to be the first time the two fish have been landed in the same session.  Both fish were in pristine condition.  

Not only have they survived the recent otter attacks but have wintered well.

Charlton’s remarkable double will send shock waves through the match fishing community as Matt is set to make his debut in next month’s winter league series.  On this form, the Poringland resident must be fancied to scoop the Glenn Memorial cup, the traditional new season opener.

Weed Control

Despite temperatures edging just above freezing point, volunteers spent several hours cutting back marginal weed in Duffield and transporting the vegetation to the bonfire site.

The work, spearheaded by Mick Morley and Michael Graver, should really improve fishing and make bankside pegs more accessible.

Fish Welfare Plea

Poringland Lakes prides itself on the quality of its fish stocks, most of which are in excellent condition.

In order to maintain healthy fish stocks, visiting anglers are being encouraged to carry fish welfare kits to treat wounds and any other sores fish may have.

"All our fish are in tip-top condition" explained bailiff Mick Morley. "Largely due to the care our anglers take in carefully playing, landing and unhooking fish.

"Inevitability a small number of fish sustain wounds, especially during the spawning season, so we are asking anglers to carry fish care products such as antiseptic spray or gel, to patch up any wounds fish may have. This will ensure that the fish survive to fight another day."

Fish care kits, which only cost a few pounds, are widely available in all tackle shops including PW Angling at Long John Hill.! 

Crisis Adverted 

A potential crisis at Poringland Lakes has been adverted thanks to swift action by a small group of volunteers. 

Water tests showed a dramatic drop in dissolved oxygen levels, brought about by the current prolonged spell of hot weather, which threatened fish stocks. 

A response team was quickly assembled and they pumped pure oxygen into all three lakes as well as deploying a recirculatory water pump. 

"All three lakes were dangerously low on dissolved oxygen" explained Mick Morley.  "The lowest reading was in Duffield which registered just 1.73 which is considered critical.  Gudgeon and Noble were also well down with readings of 2.3 and 2.4 respectively." 

Adequate dissolved oxygen is necessary for good water quality.  As dissolved oxygen levels in water drop below 5.0 mg/l, aquatic life is put under stress. The lower the concentration, the greater the stress. Oxygen levels that remain below 1-2 mg/l for a few hours can result in large fish kills.

The Association has recently received substantial grants from the Angling Trust and South Norfolk Council towards a permanent electricity supply and aeration system. 

Project manager Paul Bonham confirmed that the project programme would be accelerated following the dramatic drop in DO levels.

Appleslice Banked at 17lb 14oz

Poringland Lakes’ celebrity fish, Appleslice, has been banked for the first time in weeks.  Weighing a healthy 17lb 14oz, the fish appeared in good health and according to its captor Jonny Causton, was “fighting fit”. 

Jonny picks up the story. 

“I had a very good day on the lakes today.  I started on Noble with a little baby carp which was quickly followed by a 4lb carp.  The wind built up and it was cold so I moved to Duffield around noon.  After not getting a bite for an hour I needed to change something on my method feeder so switched from an 8mm spicy sausage meat pellet to crab which did the trick. 

“First cast and two minutes later I netted a 6lb 2oz carp. Next cast, same spot and within minutes rod pulled of the rests and finished halfway in the water.  I managed to snatch it and 20 minutes later, in what was a new PB, Appleslice was on the bank weighing 17lb 14oz.  It was a memorable fight on 8lb line. 

“I must thank fellow fisherman Graham Ward for helping land the fish and verifying the weight.  What a day!” 

In fact regular day ticket visitor Graham may well have been into Appleslice earlier in the day.  Fishing float fished maggot on relatively light gear, Graham hooked what he described as a ”monster” which took him all over the lake before shedding the hook in a reedbed.

Great Return After Fifteen Years 

Making his first visit to Poringland Lakes for 15 years, a Thorpe angler has hit the jackpot, by catching the lakes’ celebrity fish, Appleslice.

Hardly recognising the place since his last visit, Dave Stillwell caught the mirror carp using a method feeder loaded with pellet on a size 16 hook. 

“It put up a tremendous fight” said Dave.  “It was in wonderful condition although it looked a bit thinner than the pics I’ve seen previously on the website.  The fish must be well over 25 years old” he added. 

Angling Trust level two coach, Mark Casto witnessed the catch and confirmed that the fish weighed in at just over 17 pounds. 

However there are emerging suggestions that Appleslice’s reign as the biggest carp in the lakes may soon be over.  Several anglers have reported losing mid-doubles in both Noble and Gudgeon.  With all the stock continuously gaining weight, Appleslice may soon be knocked off his perch!

Surface Fishing Ban Imposed

An immediate ban on surface fishing has been imposed at Poringland Lakes.

Trustees took this unanimous decision after several reports of damage to fish had been reported.

Explaining the change, head bailiff said “Being both a conservation site as well as a fishing venue, fish welfare is one of the Association’s top priorities. 

“We have noticed damage to fish mouths in recent weeks which the bailiffs put down to an increase in surface fishing.  There have also been instances when wildfowl have picked up surface baits which could end up with a tethered bird.     

“We realise this method is popular but we have to put fish welfare first” added Ray.

Personal Best on First Visit 

Chris Inger’s debut visit to Poringland Lakes resulted in a memorable day and a personal best carp.  

Chris only moved to the village recently and wasn’t aware of the lakes existence until he took up residency.  Paying his first visit to the water, his first fish was a pristine 12lb carp, a PB.  Chris continued to land a further carp of around 4lb, along with a nice silver bream and lost another good carp at the net.  

Another very happy first time angler to the lakes!y.

Day Ticket Delight 

Poringland Lakes’ ‘celebrity’ fish has been caught again. 

Day ticket visitor, Dave Stewart from Lakenham, smashed his personal best by landing ‘Appleslice’ which topped the scales at 16lb 4ozs.  The capture and weighing was witnessed by accomplished carp angler and part-time bailiff Ryan Westgarth. 

Beaming from ear to ear, a delighted Dave said “It was only my second visit to Poringland.  I had blanked all day.  It was around three o’clock and I was just about to pack up when the rod spun round and I knew immediately I was into a big fish.  It took me all over the lake.  It was so strong but after a real struggle, I managed to bank it.  It was so exciting.  It’s such an impressive fish and was in wonderful condition.”

Fishing the Glenn Duffield memorial lake, the fish fell to spicy sausage on a standard zig-rig.

17lb Carp Landed

Lakes' season ticket holder Neil Edwards is celebrating a PB after he landed a stunning 17lb mirror carp this afternoon.

The fish, known as Apple Slice because of its evenly spaced scales, put up a valiant fight before succumbing to the net.  Clearly delighted, an exhausted Neil took stock before resuming a memorable day's fishing.

That was unbelievable" said Neil.  "The fish was so strong. I was so relieved to get it in the net."

The weigh-in was witnessed by head bailiff Ray Noble who verified the 17lb capture.

"It looks at if Apple Slice has put on some weight over the winter, probably because of the increased the food source" said Ray.

First for Norfolk

Poringland Lakes has become the first fishery in Norfolk to be listed on the prestigious Angling Trust website.

The village venue has been listed ahead of some of the country's most famous fisheries including Barford and Taswood Lakes.

"We are delighted to be the first" said head bailiff Ray Noble. "We hope that the website entry will see more anglers, including those from away, visit Poringland" he added.

The Angling Trust website can be viewed on www.anglingtrust.net.  Select "Find a Fishery" to view the Poringland Lakes entry.

Association Joins Angling Trust

Poringland Conservation and Fishing Lakes Association have become members of the Angling Trust.

The Angling Trust is the representative body for all coarse, sea and game anglers in England.  It was formed from an historic merger of six angling and conservation organisations in January 2009 with the aim of lobbying government, campaigning on environmental and angling issues and developing the sport from grass roots to elite level.

The Trust also incorporates Fish Legal wish uses the law to fight pollution and other damage to fisheries on behalf of its member clubs and fisheries.

“Our membership of the Angling Trust is something which is long overdue” said head bailiff Ray Noble who was instrumental in contacting the Angling Trust.

“Affiliation will bring a host of benefits including a free listing on the Trust’s website including a link to www.poringlandlakes.co.uk which hopefully will see more anglers visiting Poringland Lakes; advice on funding for angling projects; free expert factsheets on fishery management, angling and legal issues and discounted savings on civil liability insurance.            

“In return we will offer Trust members a 10% discount of all season and day ticket purchases” said Ray.  “Hopefully this will encourage more anglers to visit Poringland Lakes” he added.

Day Tickets Now A Fiver 

Now that the lakes have been fully re-stocked with an additional 2,000 fish, the committee has agreed to increase the day ticket charge to £5 per day with effect from 1 January 2015. 

“This still represents tremendous value” said Association chairman Dave Gudgeon.  “We have recently invested £2,500 in new fish which should provide excellent sport for our regular and visiting anglers.”