Birds versus anglers battle continues

CORMORANTS have emerged victorious today in the battle with anglers over fish at a Suffolk Lake.At a meeting with Suffolk Fly Fishers, in Bury St Edmunds, English Nature decided to designate Loompit Lake as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSI).

CORMORANTS have emerged victorious today in the battle with anglers over fish at a Suffolk Lake.

At a meeting with Suffolk Fly Fishers, in Bury St Edmunds, English Nature decided to designate Loompit Lake as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSI).

Iain Blinkworth, vice chairman of the anglers, said: "We are absolutely dejected. It seems English Nature has made up its mind. "

The birds have been stealing trout from the club's lake over the last three years. And the problem has been getting worse causing the anglers to call for the right to shoot the "sea crows" after their attempts to scare them off failed.

A letter will be posted in April announcing restrictions on general management and a protective order on birds. English Nature will take over the running of the lake and the birds will be left alone to poach as many fish as they like.

Mr Blinkworth added: "Nothing can be done about the cormorants as they will be protected in the SSSI even if they come off the protected list.

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"Our efforts in scaring the birds didn't work either, it seems we scared them into laying more eggs. Bird numbers and the number of nests are up on last year and still increasing. We wasted a lot of blank cartridges and there is no point in doing it again after the breeding season."

Now the club has a period of four months to put in objections and then there will be a five-month period when English Nature will consider those objections.

Next month a specialist from Peterborough will meet with the groups to discuss ways of protecting the trout.

Methods include sinking cages in the water to give the fish somewhere to hide, although these may not prove to be very effective as the lake is too shallow.

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