Whither the Willows in Downham Market

17:05 20 November 2014

A cracking rudd from The Willows.

A cracking rudd from The Willows.


It was surprising what was hidden under the surface when they removed the fish from the Willows.

When the pump started running, they found more water than they bargained for, for starters.

But what had club officials smiling, when they pulled a net through the little brick pit on the edge of Downham Market, was the quality of its roach and rudd.

Fin perfect, hand-sized beauties sparkled amid the weed and debris. Despite poor oxygen levels, the lake also turned out to be a haven for pure crucians - as well as the odd goldfish, which presumably outgrew their bowls after the Mart.

While the lake looked in a sorry state, as the fish were ferried off to Springside and the water drained down, King’s Lynn AA has ambitions for the place.

Chairman Kelvin Allen hopes the water can be dredged of the silt which saps oxygen from the water, before being turned into a kids’ and beginners’ lake.

Re-stocked with more silvers, it would tick all the boxes. Within walking distance of the town centre, not to mention the new estate of family homes springing up nearby, a vibrant fishery would provide a great natural resource for future generations of anglers to learn the thrill of watching a float go under.

All it needs is some joined-up thinking, with the powers that be heeding the club’s expertise when it comes to running fisheries, along with some grant funding for improvements.

While smaller than Tottenhill, the little pit on the edge of the A10 village is a shining example of how a fishery can bring life to the urban fringe.

Plenty are hoping some rain will bring life to our drains and rivers, with some of the former being at their lowest levels in donkey’s years. Pike remain few and far between, with a twenty from the Relief Channel the only decent sample I’ve heard of.

Queen’s Lake and the Ken Hill creek at Snettisham will close for the winter from Monday. But Bear Lake will remain open because of the numbers fishing the venue in the mild weather.

Lynn AA are offering discounted permits from December 1, with a rivers only ticket on offer for £20 or an all waters book for £30.

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