Sport on the up as Gloucester Park receives 15,000 roach

A year after taking control of the fishing at Gloucester Park, Bob Burrows is well on the way to restoring the venue to its former glory after a stocking of 15,000 roach.

The seven-acre Essex water was once a magnet for silverfish anglers, who flocked from all over the country to get a taste of the phenomenal sport on offer. Roach and skimmer bags of over 50lb were once a common occurrence – until the majority of these were removed and sold by the previous fishery manager Mick Toomer when Basildon Council refused to renew his contract in March 2009.

But now new owner Bob, who runs Basildon Angling Centre, has decided to restock – and he’s convinced it’s a move that will prove popular with anglers.

“I have a lot of people coming into the shop under the assumption that there are no fish left in the lake,” Bob told Angling Times.

“This simply isn’t true. Mick only owned the roach and bream, so all the carp, tench, chub and barbel stayed in there.

“The new roach have already started to show in pleasure and match bags and I think in time the fishing will be as good as it used to be, if not better.

“Hopefully I will be able to replace the bream later this year or in early 2011,” he added.

Bob is also in charge of the fishing at Northlands Park and Lake Meadows, and work is being undertaken at these waters too.

“There used to be a lot of trouble between some of the people coming out of the pub at night and the anglers fishing an area of Northlands Park. To prevent this I have separated the Café Lake and Road Lake.

“Café Lake has been stocked with more than 1,000 small carp ranging from 1lb to 3lb, plus crucians and tench, and it is now a run as a day-only pleasure venue.

“Road Lake, which is further away from the floodlit path, is now our specimen carp water and has been stocked with 40 carp between 14lb and 18lb. Since the roach and bream were removed from Lake Meadows the carp have thrived and the water has already produced specimens to 28lb.”

Basildon Council’s Manager of Parks and Ground Maintenance, Hugh Reynolds, is also delighted with how the first year under Bob’s control has gone.

“The fishing remains as popular as ever,” he said. “We have improved the cleanliness of the lakes and will continue to look at ways to improve the quality of the lakes for the future.”