One of the nation’s finest silverfish waters is set to lose its legendary reputation after plans were revealed to fill the venue with thousands of ‘stockie carp’.
Anglers used to flock from far and wide to Northlands Park in Essex to target the huge shoals of bream and roach, but this all changed after the venue’s previous leaseholder - Mick Toomer - was forced to remove his stocks when local council officials refused to renew his lease.
Locals had hoped the new owners of Northlands would adopt a similar stocking policy to Mick, but those expectations have been dashed after it was announced 6,000 small carp would shortly be introduced.
The venue’s new boss Bob Burrows said: “The lake will be split into two, with one side holding specimen carp to 30lb and the other holding small stockies. Turning the venue into a commercial fishery represents a big change of direction, but it will give the kids somewhere to catch ‘a fish a chuck’ in a nice environment. Mick did a brilliant job over the 16 years he ran the place, but I believe I can make the lakes even better.” The news has been met with disgust by many venue regulars, who fear the other two waters on the lease, Gloucester Park and Lake Meadow, will suffer a similar fate.
Angler Chris Pike, who used to visit Northlands frequently, feels there is already a glut of ‘commercial carp puddles’ in the area.
He said: “Mick did a great job creating top silverfish waters and I think the new owners should follow suit. There is already a good head of bigger carp stocked in Gloucester Park and Lake Meadow, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they get rammed full of stockies too.” Chris’s views were echoed by fellow regular Danny Fletcher: “Since Mick left, the place has gone to pot. There is dog mess everywhere, kids lighting fires, and it’s out of hand again. I can’t think of a venue anywhere near here capable of such big bags of quality roach and bream - it’s a crying shame.” After learning of the fishery’s change of focus, Mick Toomer said:
“Northlands produced bream bags to 200lb, with 100lb bags a regular occurrence. Stocking small carp is the cheap option, and it is a real shame to turn something with the potential to be the best mixed fishery in the land into a carp-only water. Surely there are enough of them already?”