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Anglers will watch dredging carfefully

PUBLISHED: 15:56 27 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:52 30 June 2010

Angling by Roy Webster



LIVE cells of the fish killer algae prymnesium parvum are ever present in limited numbers in the Thurne headwaters.

It is a chemical cocktail of polluting phosphate and saline that nourishes this organism to bloom explosively before releasing a deadly toxin when it dies off.

Angling by Roy Webster

LIVE cells of the fish killer algae prymnesium parvum are ever present in limited numbers in the Thurne headwaters.

It is a chemical cocktail of polluting phosphate and saline that nourishes this organism to bloom explosively before releasing a deadly toxin when it dies off.

These are the fundamental facts included in the scientific papers produced during and since the devastating outbreak of the killer bug in the late 1960s.

And that is why local anglers remained concerned that the current dredging operation on Heigham Sounds remains a risky proposition.

The informed opinion is that the possible threat emanates from residual phosphates in the silt being disturbed by the excavator.

This chemical, if it exists, originates from the flocks of gulls that foraged on Martham tip during the day and roosted on and fertilised the nearby waters at night.

However, the other essential ingredient, saline, may also be locked in the bottom mud, just as it was in the 1960s when the Hickling Broad navigation channel was dredged, leading to the greatest natural fish disaster ever recorded in the Thurne Valley.

If no phosphate or saline is disturbed by the dredging work, then the algae is not expected to bloom to lethal levels.

Even so, with test dredging having commenced, anglers will be observing developments with more than a passing interest despite comforting assurances from the Broads Authority that water quality is being monitored daily.

Local pike anglers opposed the dredging scheme from the start but they were over-ruled. They may be reassured by the Environment Agency pledge that if prymnesium levels rise then the work will be halted immediately.

Summer beach fishing is in full swing with quality bass headed by a wonderful 14lb specimen from north Norfolk bringing out the anglers.

Smoothound are also showing in sporting numbers with the heaviest last week reported at 20lb from a beach north of Great Yarmouth.

On the big carp scene, Steve Leisi, of Acle, banked a bumper brace - a mirror of 32lb and a common of 27lb from the Kingfisher syndicate water and Caister's Chris Birdman landed a mirror of 21lb 3oz.

Hall Farm, Burgh Castle, was in sparkling form, especially for Gorleston's Steve Aldous, who winched out 30 carp to 16lb.

Gorleston rods Lee Partridge (18 fish to 18lb 12oz) and Herbie Patz (17 to 18lb 2oz) also hit the jackpot as did Yarmouth's Darell Qualters (15 to 19lb) and Ashley Harrison (8 to 18lb).

Local match results.

Martham (Barford): S Mudge 106lb; R Boyce 92lb 4oz; S Rouse 84lb. Sportsmans (Colton): K Hodgins 81lb 12oz; P Ginger 61lb 9oz; M Bunn 41lb 12oz. Lacons (Burgh Castle): Debbie Hewitt 35lb 8oz; A Zagdan 18lb; B Hancock 15lb 3oz. Stalham (Barford Mill): D Jones 81lb 10oz; M Charlewood 80lb 15oz; R Austrin 77lb 7oz. Tackle X Change Sea League (Gorleston Bend): M Gooch (Low) 1lb 3oz; R Wilson (Low) 14oz; S Farrow (Dere) 14oz.

Freshwater fixtures.

Marsh Trail lakes Open Saturday, May 29 Lake A. Draw 9am, fish 10am to 4pm, £15 per head all-in fee, optional gold/silver/bronze peg standing over £230, for booking/details contact John on 01502 586284 or 07766 697873.

Freshwater results

Marsh Trail Lake Open Lake A: 1 Nigel Knights (DAD) 17lb 8oz, 2 Peter Dade 17lb 2oz, 3 Ian Cochrane 15lb 15oz.

Gorleston Tackle Centre

Match at Breydon Water. Results: 1 C Legget 3lb 14.5oz, 2 P Tovell 3lb 1.5oz, 3 M Gooch 12oz. Two 2lb bass, all the rest eels.

Next match Monday night at Haven Bridge.

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