Tag Archives: fishing

St George Park Lake Update

New homes found for St George Park Lake Fish.

Update Friday 19th February

Click here

20160209_124724Update Tuesday 9th February

Further investigations are being carried out this week in the area where the path around the lake has subsided. We will post a further update once these are complete.

Update Friday 29th January

Work to relocate the fish from the lake has been completed.

Further structural surveys of the lake walls will be undertaken next week before the lake is refilled.

It will not be necessary to drain the lake any further.

Update Tuesday 26th January

  • Bristol City Council started work to remove the fish from St George Park Lake today.
  • All healthy fish will be relocated to a range of sites around Bristol.
  • The Environment Agency and fishery experts will decide which fish go to which site.
  • At the same time the lake will be drained so that the walls can be inspected and all rubbish removed.
  • Some selective tree felling will also be undertaken on the island to reduce the risk of trees falling into the lake and damaging the edge of the island.
  • The lake will be allowed to start to refill once the inspections and rubbish removal are complete. There will be fencing in place around the lake until water levels return to close to normal.
  • The swans have been taken to a swan sanctuary to be looked after while the work is in progress and will be returned once the fencing has been removed.
  • Bristol City Council has committed to work with the St George Neighbourhood Partnership and the Friends of St George Park to carry out repairs to the walls and rejuvenate the lake as part of a long-term plan to improve its condition for all wildlife.
  • Once any structural work and environmental improvements have been completed it is intended to reintroduce some fish to the lake.

swansUpdate 19th January:

Over recent weeks Bristol Parks have been continuing discussions with the Environment Agency and their expert consultants on options for the fish in St George Park Lake.

A Bristol City Council spokesman has today (Jan 19th) issued the following statement:

“Following the decision late last year to remove all the fish from St George Park lake we have received offers to relocate fish and these have been explored with our advisors.”

“The outcome is that we now have waters in and around Bristol that we can move fish to. However this can only happen if they are deemed to be healthy enough that they will not pose a risk to existing fish stocks when moved.”

“We know from the health check we commissioned that many of the fish are not healthy enough to be relocated. However, if a fish is healthy enough to be moved we will try and do so.”

“We are working with the Environment Agency now to ensure that all site permits and registrations are in place to carry out the work. The removal will take place before the end of February which is the start of bird nesting and the fish spawning season.”

“The council fully supports the longer term ambition of both the Neighbourhood Partnership and the Friends of St George Park to gradually improve the lake for the benefit of park users and wildlife.”

Rob Acton-Campbell, Chair of the Neighbourhood Partnership adds:

“Members of the Neighbourhood Partnership made it clear at the meeting in December that the preference would be for fish to be relocated, but agreed to accept the recommendations in the report as presented. I am pleased that further work by Bristol Parks and the Environment Agency has identified sites which will be able to receive healthy fish from the lake and that they will now be relocated. I would like to thank those who have helped by suggesting sites.”

“I am also pleased with the Council’s committment to support the aims of the Friends of St George Park and the Partnership to improve the lake for wildlife. Following the removal of the fish and an inspection of the walls of the lake to establish the extent of repair work needed we will arrange a meeting to put together a plan to rejuvenate the lake, taking the report from the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge as a starting point.”

“Following a constructive meeting I had last week with the Angling Trust and Bristol Parks I am pleased that the Angling Trust will be part of the discussions about the lake’s future and that they accept that the actions now proposed to relocate healthy fish are justified.”

A statement issued by the Angling Trust can be seen here.

Note – as the fish will soon be removed, no further fishing permits will be issued for St George Park. Fishing permits are still required for Eastville Park.

Read our earlier report on the issue here.


St George Park Lake

Latest update on this issue – 26 Jan 2016 >>


swansThe St George Neighbourhood Partnership supports the aims of the Friends of St George Park to improve the lake in the Park for wildlife. Surveys by the group have consistently shown that this aim is also supported by park users.

Fish stock levels in the lake are very high. This, combined with the impact fishing bait has on the lake ecology, means the water quality has been poor with the lake suffering regular summer algal blooms.

Back in 2011 the group commissioned a report from the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge into the environmental condition of the lake. This report noted that the high fish densities had led to the lake’s ecological status being severely impoverished, with no aquatic vegetation and minimal invertebrate diversity. The report made a number of recommendations to improve the lake, including de-silting and creating shallow areas for bankside, marginal and aquatic planting.

The Neighbourhood Partnership and Friends of St George Park group are also concerned that over a prolonged period of time fishing at the lake has been causing harm to wildlife – mainly through hooks and line being swallowed by birds that visit and breed on the lake. Since 2012, Swan Rescue have been called seventeen times to rescue swans and cygnets that have been injured. On most occasions the injured swan has needed to be removed from the lake and relocated. Other wild birds have also been found by Parks staff killed by fishing line. There have also been reports of antisocial behaviour in the park caused by anglers.

Report from 2012 on the problems caused by fishing >>

It has proved hard to persuade anglers to fish in certain areas only and to not fish out of close season. With the support of the Partnership a permit scheme was introduced at the beginning of 2014 to try and regulate fishing but has not ultimately prevented harm to wildlife.

The Council has recently undertaken a ‘health check’ on fish in the lake, and concluded “The fish stock is of poor health with evidence of parasites with heavy loads and bacterial infection”.

A further issue is that in one area the side of the lake is collapsing, the lake may therefore need to be drained to carry out repairs.

At its meeting on Wednesday 16 December the members of St George Neighbourhood Partnership received a report from Bristol City Council’s Area Manager for Parks concerning fishing in St George Park. The Partnership members also heard from representatives of the ‘Friends of St George Park’ group. Having considered all the options and being aware of the actions taken over the past few years, the Neighbourhood Partnership voted to support the recommendation from the Council that all fish be removed from the lake.

What is proposed?

– Removing all the fish from St George Park lake and euthanizing them.

– This would be done humanely using an ‘overdose’ of anaesthetic.

– The practicalities are yet to be decided and the Council will liaise with its consultant and the Environment Agency in the coming weeks.

– The action will take place in January/February. However, we may be doing some work to repair the lake perimeter and if this means the lake needs to be drained it may be sensible to combine the two activities.

Are there alternatives?

– An alternative approach was put to the NP and it decided against this and went with officer’s recommendation. The option was to move some specimen fish to Eastville Park lake, retain a small fish stock in St George and euthanize the remainder. However, the problem of injury to wildlife is greater at Eastvile Park and it was not thought sensible to encourage more fishing there by moving specimen fish.

– The consultants that carried out a health check on the fish stock at St George have confirmed that there are high parasite loadings in the fish. This makes it difficult to move the fish to another water as we would essentially be moving the problem elsewhere – introducing a health risk to the host fish stock for example.

– It would be possible to improve the health of the fish but this would require an intermediate or new host site with good water quality where they could be kept, at lower densities for a significant time before being moved again. This is a very unlikely and costly solution that is not recommended by the consultants the Council have used.

– The consultancy carrying out the health check felt that euthanizing was the best approach. However, the Council will welcome and investigate offers to re-home the fish.

The Future

Following the removal of the fish the Partnership and Friends group will move forward with their project to introduce plant life to the lake and take other measures to improve its quality and ecology. In the long term it will be possible to introduce a new fish stock to the lake providing this is managed well.


Please see update issued 26 January 2016 >>



Mayor’s Visit to St George

photo selection

George Ferguson CBE, Mayor of Bristol, visited various places within St George on Friday 30 October at the invitation of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership.

His visit to St George NP area started at the junction of Lyppiatt Road and Church Road, where he discussed with local residents the concerns they have about heavy goods vehicles using Lyppiatt Road, inconsiderate parking and speeding cars.


His next stop was in Gladstone Street where he learnt of plans to improve this small park area.


From there he moved on to Meadow Vale Community Centre in Speedwell where he learnt of plans for a new community building for the area.


He also saw a mural painted by young people the day before on a concrete wall at the edge of the adjacent park. The painting project was organised by Young Bristol using Green Capital 2015 funding to brighten up the park.

At Dundridge Park the Mayor saw at first hand the deteriorating condition of ‘The Pavilion’ which is used as changing facilities for football matches.


A representative of a local Community Speed Watch scheme met the Mayor on Crews Hole Road where traffic speed and volume was discussed.  The Mayor was also shown the plans that have been produced to improve cycling provision and road safety on this route.


The centre piece for the St George area is a large Victorian park; St George Park.  Here the Mayor met with members of the Friends of St George Park, where they discussed the ongoing issues being caused by fishing in the park and the impact this was having on birds using the park lake.


The final stop on the Mayor’s tour of St George was to the library in St George Park where the Mayor discussed the services provided at the library and the potential to make the library more of a community hub.  At the library, there was also the opportunity to meet with members of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership where a variety of issues affecting the St George Neighbourhood Partnership area was discussed.


Rob Acton-Campbell, Chair of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership, commented “It was useful to be able to show George some of the issues of concern to residents in the St George NP area.  Many of these issues have been ongoing for some time, and we hope that by the Mayor seeing the issues himself it will help to bring them to a resolution.”

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, explained: “It is always useful to me to be able witness on the ground some of the local concerns and aspirations. Members of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership and others were able to voice their concerns about an extensive range of issues in the St George area, including transport, parks, playgrounds and libraries. I have taken full note and shall do all I can to enable the Council to address the issues where practically possible in stringent times.”

Following the vist, Mayor George Fergusson sent a letter of thanks to the Neighbourhood Partnership Chair which was read out at the NP meeting on 16th December.
Letter from Mayor George Fergusson
Schedule of action points

The Mayor’s visit to the St George Neighbourhood Partnership area was part of a series of visits to each of the 14 Neighbourhood Partnership areas in the city.


View Photo Gallery – Photos by Frances Gard



Fishing Permits for St George Park

Eastville Park Lake and St George Park Lake Fishing Permit Scheme

Information on proposals for St George Park Lake and relocation of the fish can be found here.

As the fish are now being removed no further permits will be issued for St George Park. Permits will still be required for fishing at Eastville Park.

UPDATE:  Permits are no longer issued for St George Park

In an effort to preserve the environment at the two park lakes in East Bristol, Bristol City Council and its partner agencies are implementing a permit scheme for fishing. A permit scheme should help to protect wildlife and make fishing more pleasurable and sustainable at both Eastville Park and St George Park. This is for an initial trial period of one year.

The fishing permit scheme started on 1st March 2014.

There will be a small administration cost of £3.00 (£1.00 under 16yrs old) for the permit application to be processed and issued. Any angler applying for a permit will need to supply a passport sized photograph and proof of address and current Environmental Agency rod licence.

1. All Anglers aged 12 years or over must be in possession of both a Bristol City Council permit and an Environment Agency National Rod Licence, purchasable from any main Post Office.
2. Anglers may only fish from angling stations where they are provided or from areas otherwise designated.
3. Fishing at night (between the hours of dusk and dawn) on all park lakes is prohibited.
4. No fishing during closed season 15th March to 15th June.
5. Anglers are restricted to the use of 2 x Rods or Poles per person.
6. All litter and fishing line to be placed in the rubbish bins in the park or taken home and NOT in the lake.
7. Except by prior consent, tents and bivouacs are prohibited within the park and lake area.
8. Floating bait is prohibited as birds can be attracted to it and get caught up in hooks and line.

Any person found fishing at either lake without a permit will be asked to leave the park immediately and may be subject to having their right to enter the park rescinded by Bristol City Council as the landowner. Further breaches of the permit scheme, either by failing to get a permit or by failing to follow the code of conduct may then be subject to restraining injunctive action under a court order.
Bristol City Council reserves the right to withdraw permission to fish at all or part of the lakes due to Health & Safety issues or for operational and maintenance reasons at any time and for any period. If this is necessary, signs will be displayed explaining the reasons and fishermen must abide by these.

Bristol City Council Permits are available from:
Bristol City Council Parks, Brunel House, St George Road, Bristol BS1 5UY – 0117 922 2000

Parks hotline number 0117 922 3719

| Download further information |

Blue Green Algae, St George Park



The park lake waters have recently tested positive by the Environment Agency for high levels of potentially toxic Blue Green algae
  • These algae may cause illness in humans and animals, including pets.
  • Keep away from the waters edge
  • Keep pets away from the waters edge
  • Do not touch scum, either in the water or on the edge
  • No fishing

Further information is available from
– Bristol Parks (daytime) 0117 9223719
– Environment Agency (out of hours) 0800 807060

Anglers: Please do not fish at the lake while the warning signs are in place. Handling fish from the lake could cause illness.

An information sheet from the Environment Agency can be seen here:
Environment Agency – Blue Green Algae info 2013

Download a poster: Blue Algae WARNING

Consultation on Byelaws for Parks

park-genericBristol City Council and Safer Bristol are consulting on potential new byelaws for parks and green spaces across Bristol.

Byelaws are local laws which are made by a statutory body, such as a local authority, under an enabling power established by an Act of Parliament. Bristol City Council, in partnership with local communities and agencies such as the police want everyone in the city to be able to use and enjoy our parks and green spaces.

In 2012 residents and parks users raised concerns about fishing at night and camping in a couple of parks in Bristol. These issues can be covered by byelaws but rather than develop byelaws for these specific issues it was felt to be more useful to look at the range of issues that byelaws could cover. Over the last 2 years the Council has looked at police and council data of reported anti social activities in parks and green spaces. Byelaws would help these things to be tackled and help keep our parks and green spaces safe and enjoyable for all.

Background information on the consultation is available here
The online consultation form is available here, or you can request a paper copy of the consultation by calling Rajdeep Kaur on 0117 914 2230.
Further information is available here.

Extract from the Byelaws published in 1910:


St George Lake Fishing – More Information

Update: 13 April 2013
Unfortunately, not everyone is taking notice of the temporary suspension of fishing.

As reported last week Bristol City Council are introducing a temporary temporary suspension of fishing in St George Park next week. The Council press release can be seen here.

The temporary suspension of fishing is for the traditional fishing ‘close season’. The close season used to apply to all coarse fishing in the UK but now only applies nationally to rivers and streams. However, many landowners still keep fishing lakes closed during that period.

swansThe restriction has been introduced at St George to protect wildlife and particularly birds from injury. However careful fishermen are, fishing lines sometimes get caught in trees or underwater obstructions and can easily cause injury to birds, especially during the Spring when birds are looking for material to build nests and when chicks hatch. Unfortunately some fishermen also leave fishing line lying about. The suspension of fishing will give Bristol Parks a chance to clear the lake and also prevent more line being left during the nesting season.

There is also a permanent no fishing area around the island, this is because of the risk of line getting caught on the trees on the island and also because fishing gear can easily block the path here.

Everyone appreciates that some people enjoy fishing at St George Park and there have been lots of discussions at the Environment Sub-Group as to how this can be allowed to continue while protecting wildlife and allowing others to enjoy walking round the lake and watching the wildlife.

In the long term the Friends of St George Park are working to enhance the lake for wildlife. In 2011 they commissioned a report on the lake from the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust in Slimbridge and this year some tests are being carried out to find the depth of the silt and whether it is contaminated.

The effects of angling waste on wildlife was first brought to the Partnership’s attention in 2010, through a report produced by the Friends of St George Park – The real cost of angling at Bristol City Council Parks. This year it was further highlighted by the death of swan in Eastville Park

Fishing to be temporarily suspended in St George Park

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.

Environment Sub-Group Wed 27 Feb

The next meeting of the St George Environment Sub-Group is on Wed 27th February, 7pm at Summerhill Methodist Church.

The agenda for the meeting can be seen here: StGEnvAgenda270213

The sub-group discusses issues relating to all aspects of the environment in St George including green spaces, street cleaning and recycling. The meeting is open to all residents of St George with an interest in improving their environment.

We make recomendaTroopers Hill Field Pathtions on the spending of two pots of money  – the first is ‘Section 106′ – this is money paid by developers building in St George and designated for spending on parks and green spaces. Over the past 18 months over £90,000 has been allocated to projects in St George by the local Councillors following recomendations by the sub-group. Projects include bins and benches in Rodney Road playing field; a new path in Troopers Hill Field (see photo) and several separate projects in St George Park, including the ‘MUGA’ described in a separate posting. If you have ideas for projects in your local green space please come and join us.

The second pot of money is the ‘Clean & Green Fund’. This is a small fund allocated to the Neighbourship Partnership to improve the appearance of the area. One of the projects we have allocated this money to is the planting of street trees to replace tree stumps which have been left when trees have had to be felled in the past. TreeBristol pay half of the cost of each replacement tree that the Neighbourhood Partnership funds. So far 7 street trees have been planted in St George using Clean & Green money. If you have ideas for other uses for this fund please let us know or come to the meeting.

As you can see from the agenda other issues for discussion include rules for fishing at St George Park and tree planting plans for parks.

If you would like to know more about the sub-group or if you can’t make the meeting but would like your views on the issues to be discussed to be considered, please email the current Environment Sub-Group champion at rob@troopers-hill.org.uk

Fishing in St George Park

At its last few meetings the sub-group has considered the issues around fishing at St George Park Lake. This issue was also discussed at the June 2011 Partnership meeting.

Injuries to birds in the park caused by fishing line and other fishing litter has been raised at Neighbourhood Forum meetings as a priority to be addressed and concerns have also been raised about anti-social behaviour by some fishermen. In the AGSP consultation during 2010 ‘Ban fishing on the historic boating lake’ was considered to be important or very important by 66% of those who responded.

At the June 2011 Partnership meeting it was agreed that something needs to be done and that the current situation is unacceptable.

An officer from Bristol Parks Neighbourhood Engagement Team has produced a report looking at all the options and this was considered at the sub-group meeting on 13th October 2011. It was agreed that further information / clarification was required on some issues. An update report was given to the January meeting and the sub-group then held a further meeting on 16th February 2012 to agree a recomendation to the March 2012 Neighbourhood Partnership meeting which can be seen via the link below. The Neighbourhood Partnership unanimously supported this recomendation.

Report & Proposal agreed at 13 March 2012 Neighbourhood Partnership meeting

The report to the October 2011 meeting and the list of actions agreed can be seen here:

Report and agreed actions sub-group meeting 13 October 2011

One of the actions was to consult with anglers in the park, this was done through the Consultation pages of the BCC website and also through Bristol Parks talking directly to those using the lake. Only a small number of anglers were spoken to as part of the consultation but they gave some valuable feedback.

Friends of St George Park produced a response to the report and also reported an incident in October where a pigeon got caught in fishing line.

Friends of St George Park response to fishing report

Report on progress of cygnets – August 2012

Report on swan rescue 26 Jan 2012

Report on pigeon rescue October 2011

For an earlier meeting, members of the Friends of St George Park prepared a report on the issue of fishing that can be downloaded from the link below.

Report – adverse effects of angling in St George Park June 2011 (pdf 7Mb)

Friends of St George Park have also commissioned a report from Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (Consulting) Ltd into the ecological status of the lake with recommendations as to its further management which can be seen here:

Report – Recommendations for Ecological Enhancement June 2011