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A personal overview/review of the club.
Farnham Angling society is one of the South East's largest fishing clubs boasting 15 lakes and over 7 miles of river fishing. The society owns two of these waters, Mill lane and Badsot Lea.
Perhaps best know for the carp fishing there are a number of venues on offer from prolific runs waters, e.g. Badshot Lea and Lodge Pond to the very tricky Mill Lane and River Valley.
Current notable waters for carp are:
Stillwater Back and Front
Badshot Lea Big Pond
Frensham Small and Great Ponds
Management Style and other issues
The club is run by a committee and constitutional issues debated at a yearly AGM and also employs a permanent fishery manager.
Mill Lane has perhaps become the societies premier big fish venue although the club's handling of the water has also been much debated amoungst the more serious specimin anglers over the years. Chiefly heavy development of the banks to offer a more open open swims and the conversion of the dairy point into an island. For anglers who remembered the overgrown and quiet water Mill once was this was a sad adjustment to make. However on the plus side the water is staging a good recovery from it's haircut and whilst will never be the same place again, as for any busy club water, it is still a great venue.
For the minor controversy though the fish have largely continued to grow with the two biggest mirrors, Tafs and Whiskers, both topping 40lbs at the right time of year. This has of course caused Mill to become extremely busy and pressured.
The society also controls fishing on the famous Frensham ponds, which came to the fore during the 70s and 80s due to their stocks of original Leney stocked fish. Sadly most of these died during a fish kill in 1986. The likely cause for this has been linked to a stocking, as is so common on so many waters.
Fish disease has also sadly hit a number of waters over the years, primarily affecting the more heavily stocked waters, notably Tarn pond (Cutt Mill) suffering a near total loss of stocks in 2004 and Badshot Lea is currently closed (Sept 09) due to suspected KHV. As expected these were higher stock venues and sadly this is a risk amplified on such waters. Therefore it is of course ever important to do everything possible to minimise risk of disease spread in the area. Well dried and disinfected nets perhaps being the most important step in prevention of disease spread.
The Society has very much taken the approach of creating waters specifically targeted towards certain types of angler. Controversial is the decision to designate River Valley as a pike venue and stock regularly. Sadly given dead pike are often found on the venue, and the pike's existence as the top predator naturally lends itself to a natural level of stock, I personally have trouble reconciling this as a sensible approach to fishery management.
All in all it is a society which still offers a good range of fishing and the usual problems posed by any popular angling club to the more serious big carp angler. Chiefly the desires of the more traditionalist specimen angler, looking for low stock, challenging and quiet waters, are slightly at odds with the club's desire to expand membership and popularity of waters. Whether this is a bad thing or just reflects the changes seen in modern angling is a much debated issue on the banks and one that has affected most fishery providors over the years.
For a more official word and rundown see: http://www.farnhamanglingsociety.com
Last Edited by: erikb on the 07 September 2009