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Sunday, 27 May 2012

Oats Royd Ponds

I was having a chat with two fisherman yesterday who have permission from the owner to fish the ponds at Oats Royd. When I told them that during my birding forays I used to see big carp on the surface in summer months upto and including 2011, they responded with some dismaying news indeed.
All the big fish and most other fish have now been taken from the ponds by poachers. One of them paid a visit recently and could find only two small fish in a period of hours. I mentioned on March 29 this year that I had seen two very unsavoury characters walking from the ponds upto Bradshaw carrying rods. They responded that it got more industrial than that - on one occasion a small trawling net was discovered submersed!

Two years back there were two domestic white geese happily esconced here and one evening I found the recent remains of one spread out on the bank. One of these guys told me he had actually fished the body of the bird from the water one or two nights before. It bore all the hallmarks of having been given a good stoning, which is what I feel the perpetrators should have done to them. The remaining goose has in the past 6 months or so got a new partner, for how long remains to be seen.
The landowner has declared the reserve is for everybody; obviously everybody is not for the reserve.


  1. Hi Nigel
    I also saw the feathers between the two pond at that time. I thought it may have been fox but did not see the bird. I have seen people camping down there but avoided them as there were quite a few. I do not have a phone number of John or Roy to report such incidents. If you have then would you let me have it via email please Nigel?

  2. Afraid I don't have it Bruce. If or when I next see either, I will mention this and try to obtain.

  3. John Steele is aware of this problem but is reluctant to get involved now as the last time he drove down to them he got a brick through his windscreen.
    The police dont get involved because apart from the footpath through, the pond area is classed as private land.

  4. Criminal damage/assault is the same if its on private land or not. The law does not change. If I murder someone on my land its still murder!

  5. Hi, I'm new to this so please excuse anything incorrect.
    I pass through Oats Royd regularly, since last September, I don't linger as I have dogs, and don't like to cause unnecessary disturbance.
    I have met only a handful of people there, and during the frost and snow it was evident by footprints there were very few visitors, although I saw indications that like me, someone was feeding the lone Goose.
    There is now a small number of Canada Geese, one of which spends time with the white Goose. There are three goslings recently hatched to another pair of Geese. There is also a pair of ducks with one duckling.
    As for fish, I have seen a number of larger fish both last year and this, presumably carp but had a tench like profile, probably refraction in the water. The only evidence of fishing was an abandoned disgorger.
    I suspect the Herons are the biggest threat to fish. For serious human poaching, hopefully it’s too small and remote.
    I’m tempted to ask here how to contact the owner, as I would like permission to fish there to establish what’s in the Lakes, in return for some conservation work perhaps.
    As for inappropriate behaviour, last year there was indications of a small fire and a few beer cans ( which we took home); two or three times recently, noisy people and a noisy dog have arrived by car, but have headed away from the Royd itself.
    The big problem at the moment is the duck and goose poo !

  6. As soon as I get a contact number Nick I will let you know.

  7. I met someone on Saturday who confirmed the existence of the large carp and also goldfish in the lakes, observed over the last two years; he thought the carp were ornamental perhaps Koi, which explains a things.
    I spoke to John Steele on the phone, his number is painted on the board at the lakes and he said Brian Sumner has his it, Bruce.
    I don't think the conversation went too well, especially since I interrupted his meal, though he was pleasant. It was when I said I wanted to give something back, that closed the conversation ... I was only going to offer to make a new sign! Never asked about the fishing.

    Ironically it's illegal to release non-resident fish species into the wild, plus there is a closed season to be observed which ends in the middle of June.

    I'm going back to keeping quiet, and enjoying my walks!


  8. Hi all oats royd is now a fishing venue and work has been done and will continue to be done if anyone needs any info please call aden on 07989744261

  9. Went today(Thursday) but the gate was locked with a combination lock. Does this mean the fishery is closed for the winter?