Young anglers to be provided with lessons in effort to cut down anti-social behaviour

Dunmow Doctors Pond at sunset

Dunmow Doctors Pond at sunset - Credit: Archant

Dunmow town councillors have vowed to take steps to fix Doctors Pond, after a former competitive angler bemoaned its current condition.

During a meeting of Dunmow Town Council's downs and commons committee on Thursday, it was agreed that young people fishing at the pond should be taught how to fish responsibly and care for the surrounding area.

Speaking at the meeting, a member of the public said: "The condition of the pond is not good, it's very alkaline and very blue. The problem is the debris and the amount of bread which goes in there for the birds. I have been a fisher all my life, I have represented the country at numerous competitions.

"At the moment the kids are really not coping. I have seen numerous fish of eight or 10 pounds, which are not the sort of fish kids can catch. A lot of people are fishing without due care, leaving lines, rubbish everywhere. That has got to stop."

He said that a lot of elderly people who enjoyed the pond area were now too frightened to go there, because of the anti-social behaviour of others.

Councillor Peter Noble said oxygen needed to be pumped into the pond, and suggested putting money aside in next year's budget, while Councillor Carol James pointed out that fisheries used to remove the bigger fish from the pond, asking, "where was the last time they were here?"

Ahead of the meeting, options were put forward by Cllr Noble, which included banning all fishing at the pond or teaching the young people how to fish properly.

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Councillor Amanda Brown said: "I would rather stop the fishing altogether because of it being such a small area. The fish I think are probably stressed by being put out then back in again. But I also like the idea of actually having some tuition for the youngsters."

Cllr Noble said: "My view is we get some training sessions done for the kids, try to get them environmentally aware and they will catch a few fish and hopefully they will police themselves."

He added that the Dunmow Piscatorial Society would be "quite happy" to run the training and also said there should be signs, stipulating what equipment was required to fish, to address the lack of rules currently.

Speaking after the meeting, deputy town clerk Jackie Dean said the council would arrange for pond maintenance and de-stocking "if it's needed".

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