Weed Spraying Not Only Kills Weed!


I have been an angler since the age of four. I, like it or not was forced into holding a rod and reel by my father and told I would be a match angler. I have always been grateful to him as I still love every minute.

At the age of 29 I bought my first cruiser. It wasn’t much of a thing, just two berths plus a gas hob where you could fry your bacon and make a cup of tea. These days my wife and I own a 35ft Ocean cruiser.

Years ago when I lived on the Great Ouse we had gone up the social scale somewhat and had elevated to a 26ft Freeman 4 berth job. The boat was moored adjacent to our cottage and often on a summers evening we would travel down stream for a pint in the Old Mill which stood on the bank of the river.

Every Wednesday evening in the summer the angling club of which I was chairman held a match. Most of these guys were very good mates while I was out fishing with them or going about club business. As I chugged very slowly by them on my journey to the pub they just put their heads down and not one would acknowledge my presence.

So where is all this going you may ask. I,ll tell you. In my opinion there is room for all on our waterways and providing anglers and boaters have respect for one another peace and harmony should reign. Having said that on a higher level authorities such as Waterways Ireland and the Inland Fisheries Board should work in tandem. By doing so both anglers and boaters should be kept happy enough.


Imagine my dismay whilst on one of my regular forays around to see what is worth fishing and what is not I drove alongside the acres lake canal and found moored in the basin by the lock at Hartley Bridge a weed spraying pontoon which had obviously been at work on the canal. The Acres Lake canal is or was from an angling point of view a little gem, full of roach, hybrids and bream. I travelled up it last year in my boat and it is also pretty spectacular in places from a scenic point of view. All of it had a wide channel down the middle plenty wide enough for a ‘gurt’ big boat like mine. So why spray the place with bloody weed killer. I could and will ask the question where else is this infernal machine also being deployed. Unless I am mistaken, as yet there has not been invented any weed killing substance that does not reap havoc amongst the resident fish population.

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