Council press release issued today:
Local anglers angling to catch their next big fish are being asked to hold off for a while and respect the temporary closure of two local lakes in Eastville Park and St George Park. The closures coincide the nationally recognised ‘closed season’ from Tuesday, March 19 to Saturday, June 15.
The temporary suspension of fishing will enable council staff to clear away discarded rubbish, debris and abandoned fishing lines in and around the lakes. This build up of discarded waste is known to cause harm and suffering to wildlife, particularly to young waterfowl, born in the springtime.
“There have been a number of incidents where swans and their cygnets, ducklings and other wildlife have been tangled up in fishing lines or have eaten discarded fishing-related items,” says Jamie Roberts, parks manager. “And as a result these beautiful creatures have become injured and distressed, and in some cases endured hours of suffering and
“Temporarily closing the lakes at this time and carrying out a thorough clean up is the just the first step. Work is already underway, but it will take sometime to really clean up, so we ask anglers to respect the temporary closure.
“We know that many people like to fish, so we also want to work with local anglers to encourage a more responsible approach and a greater respect and awareness for all wildlife and the natural environment.”
Councillor Gus Hoyt, Bristol’s cabinet member for environment and neighbourhoods, says;
“Discarded fishing lines and rubbish left by anglers threaten wildlife and isn’t an issue unique to Bristol. We are looking at a range of options – including the development of a more robust code of conduct for those who want to fish in our lakes and will be looking to implement this when the season reopens in June.
“Our parks are there for everyone to enjoy and to provide a safe place for wildlife to flourish, by working together we can ensure our parks will continue to enrich our communities.”
To support the temporary closure of the two lakes, the local Neighbourhood Working Project have agreed to carry out patrols of the lakes.
The lakes in Eastville Park and St George Park are technically, ‘still waters’ and are therefore not officially subject to the ‘closed season’. The temporary suspension of fishing will not only allow for a clean up, it will also protect young wildlife being reared this spring.