Birch is the main lake on the Old Mill complex stretching to around 8 acres in size. Originally around 4.5 acres in size the ‘old‘ part of the lake was dug in spring 2011 before being extended in the autumn of 2012. Birch was originally stocked with 80 fish in 2011/12 and these were hand picked from over 1500 fish on-site spread across the two stock ponds and Willow. These fish had been growing on for between 3 and 6 years on-site before their introduction into Birch. These 80 fish ranged in size from 10lb up to 30lb and averaged around 21lb. In their new home these fish have not looked back, with the average size of the fish getting to 26lb by the end of 2012 with a total of 12 different fish breaking the 30lb barrier in the first year!
The Autumn of 2014 saw Birch do its first 40lb+ fish! During the spring of 2014 3 different fish were banked at 37lb+: Big Common, Power’s and Big Paul’s. We expected that one of these 3 fish would be the first to break through the 40lb+ barrier and yet it turned out that this was not going to be the case when Mitre Delta was banked at 40lb 6oz in November 2014, after a stint of 15 months without capture since August 2013 at 31lb+! To date (winter 16/17) there have been a total 8 different fish banked at 40lb+, ranging from 40lb+ to 51lb! We fully anticipate this number to increase in the spring with a few capable of being through 40lb with their next visit to the bank.
In total their have been 46 different fish confirmed at 30lb+ (winter 17/18), 7 of these confirmed at 40lb+ and a further 11 fish confirmed at between 36lb-39lb, giving a total of 18 different fish at 36lb and above! With the majority of the remaining stock between 27lb and 29lb (stockies excluded), including a total of 10 different fish that were 29lb+ during their last visit to the bank we expect that the 30lb+ count will increase greatly over the coming few years. Projecting ahead to the the winter of 18/19 we could expect around 60 different fish to be 30lb+ with around 1 in 4 of those 60 going 40lb+!
In addition to the large fish we have stocked, Birch has also seen 5 different batches of baby stockies added. These ranged from ounces to 4/5lb going in and to date are coming out at between 14lb and 27lb in weight; we fully expect the best of these to be getting close to breaking through 30lb in 2018! Some of these are absolute belters and are set to become some of the most sought after fish in Lincolnshire in the years to come!