Carr Mill Dam Update

Dear Members

The Canal and Rivers Trust has recently appointed a Project Manager with reference to the works to be carried out to the Dam. They are looking to carry out investigative work throughout early 2018, including hydro surveys to the lake bed. The exact scope of works is yet to be confirmed, as to the way the works are to be carried out. They have scheduled in November 2018 to start carrying out the works, (whatever this involves), but have advised that the works could slip back another 12 months. Any further updates will be posted throughout the year.

We have arranged with the St Helens Council to carry out some emergency, and preventative work to the trees on the roadside, and overhanging Carr Mill Road. These works will be carried out in January by a fully qualified tree surgeon.

We currently have an application in with St Helens Council to add an additional 10 pegs to the area commonly known as Gallagher’s Field on Carr Mill Dam. We will keep you updated on how this application goes.


Best Wishes

The Committee


Sidings Lane Update

Dear Members

The Environment Agency has scheduled in a date of the 22nd January 2018 to carry out the fish survey on Sidings Lane. This will involve netting the water to establish current fish stocks, and introducing Fish Cages and floating islands to help protect our fish stocks from predators. All volunteers kindly welcome on the day.

The Committee


St Helens AA Christmas Match supporting Jack Mordecai`s Surgery Appeal

Dear Members

The annual Christmas Match is to be held on Carr Mill Dam on the 2nd of December, complimentary breakfast will be available  prior to the draw, and Hot Pot after the event. from the Boat House Café. As Christmas is a time of good will to all, we are hoping that we can all club together and help one of out club members in a time of need. St Helens Angling Association will be donating to the charity below, and we will be asking for donations on the day, and organising a raffle with all proceeds going to helping Jack gain the medical attention he requires. Please read the story below, and if you wish to personally donate on line go to hearts

Hopefully Jack and his parents will attend on the day, and his dad Nigel will draw a flyer.


The Committee

Jack Mordecai’s SDR Surgery Fund

Our son, Jack, who is 9 years old, was born prematurely at 26 weeks and spent 3 months in hospital. A scan at 20 days old showed that he has periventricular leukomalacia (or PVL). At 12 months old, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. It is the cysts on the left side of his brain which have resulted in his spasticity.

Fortunately, his speech and mental capabilities are relatively unaffected. It is mainly the physical symptoms of his condition that hold him back. He has had innumerable hospital admissions since he was born but just takes everything in his stride, always with a smile.

The spasticity in his legs makes his muscles tight and painful, which in turn affects his balance and coordination. At the moment he is taking medication to ease the condition, but with his growth spurts comes increasing tightness. The problem at the moment is that when we have tried to increase the medication, his body becomes too limp, and as a result compromises his cognitive abilities.

The doctors have explained this to us and have given fresh hope with an alternative to the medications, which is an operation called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR). The procedure will be life changing for Jack by permanently eradicating the spasticity in his legs and in turn giving him better posture overall and a much improved quality of life.

We’ve been told that Jack is an ideal candidate for SDR and that he may benefit greatly from it. The procedure involves probing and cutting the misfiring nerves in the spinal cord that contributes to spasticity in Jack’s legs.

Choosing surgery for our child has been an impossible decision to make but we are now confident it will drastically improve Jack’s life in movement, posture, reduced pain and give him a level of independence with his daily activities.

Going forward, he would no longer need the medications that compromise his potential. We will still have the Jack we all know and love, with his unique personality and unhindered cognitive abilities.

We have always seen a huge potential in Jack, but for the spasticity holding him back.

Unfortunately, the NHS stopped funding this operation in 2015, and the cost is £16,000. You can find out more about the operation here: Alder Hey – SDR Information.

Any help you can give, no matter how small, to Jack to get the treatment he so desperately needs and greatly deserves will be enormously appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time to read our story xxx

Jack has featured in a ‘Patient Experience Film’ for Whiston Hospital’s NHS Staff Awards Evening which was held at AAC Liverpool on Friday, July 3rd 2015. Take a look at the snippets of Jack from the video here…

Dates for the Diary

Dear Members

The AGM will this year be held at 7.30pm  on Monday the 27th of November, at the Boat House Café, located on the banks of Carr Mill Dam. All members wishing to attend must bring along their current membership cards. Any proposals for the AGM must be received by the Committee, in writing, signed and dated, no later than 2 weeks prior to the AGM. Proposals can be posted for the attention of the Treasurer to the following address, or handed in to any committee member.

2 Avery Road, Haydock, St Helens, Merseyside. wa110xa

The Annual Christmas Match will be held on Saturday 2nd December, at Carr Mill Dam, Draw will be from 8.30am at the Boat House Café. Complimentary Breakfast will be available from 7.30am and Hot Pot after the event.



The Committee



Volunteers Required for Working Parties

St Helens Angling Association is looking to carry out a series of work parties on a voluntary basis, on Tuesday Evenings throughout the Summer to continually improve our waters. The first of these will be on Tuesday the 6th of June, where we a looking to reduce the amount of Hornwort Weed on the Basin at Blackbrook,(Behind the Ship Inn Pub) which is currently blocking up most of the pegs.

All members are invited to come along at 5.00pm  and assist. Any help, even if only for a short period of time is more than welcome.

Please bring along a rake if you have one available


The Committee.


June 3 Day Feeder Event

Tickets are now on sale for the June 3 Day Feeder Event being held on Carr Mill Dam on the 16th, 17th and 18th of June. Tickets are available from St Helens Tackle and Bait, Chain Lane, Blackbrook, St Helens, or by contacting our Match Secretary, Andy Burrows on Tel 07849 608448


Update from Canal and Rivers Regarding the Proposed works at Carr Mill Dam

Dear Members

Please read the e mail below reference the proposed works at Carr Mill Dam. This is the first official communication we have received from Canal and Rivers Trust regarding the works, and as you will all see the position/dates are as yet unknown. Any further correspondence or updates will be posted on the Website to keep all our members informed as much as possible.


The Commitee


Firstly, I’d like to apologies for the time it’s taken to get a response to yourself about the works planned at Carr Mill Dam. As we have previously discussed this maintenance project is in the very early days of being planned, and we are yet to appoint a Project Manager, who would do normally this type of stakeholder liaison. In the meantime, I have put together some points for you to share with your membership.

The Canal & River Trust owns Carr Mill Dam and is ultimately responsible for ensuring the structural integrity of the structures associated with the reservoir. Large reservoirs are subject to stringent statutory control under the Reservoirs Act 1975 (as amended by the Flood and Water Management Act, 2010), this is there to assure the safety of the public below dams. The Environment Agency is the enforcement authority for reservoirs in England.

Unfortunately one of the twin draw-off valves has failed and is inoperable.  Emergency drawdown would be by means of the single remaining valve (rather than two) which has a lesser capacity, but it be can be aided by auxiliary pumps.  However the Supervising Engineer is content with the management of the risk in the short term, but it needs to be fully operable before the next inspection. The intention is to replace both valves at the same time, as it is only a matter of time before the second one also becomes unusable.

The current plan is to drain down the reservoir to provide safe access to replace the valves. The use of divers has been discounted on safety grounds. A fish rescue will be needed along with a plan on where to hold the fish and subsequent restocking. The Project Manager normally considers other opportunities to carry out other work which may benefit the reservoir. I would advise you to write down any suggestions, and when the Project Manager is appointed then you can discuss it with them.

I hope that this helps.

Kind regards,


Paul Breslin

Fisheries and Angling Officer

  • North Wales & Border
  • Manchester & Pennine
  • North West
  • North East

St Helens Angling Association joins Angling Trust and Fish Legal

Dear Members
St Helens Angling Association has now renewed its Angling Trust Membership, and has for the first time joined Fish Legal. This will give us opportunities to discuss our concerns/ issues with National Governing Bodies, who are representing Angling as a whole, as well as giving us access to expert Legal Advice should this be required. In response to our current invasion of comorants, we have recently been visited by a member of the Angling Trust and assured us that everything we are doing to prevent this problem is well  within our Legal Boundaries, and advised us to continue as normal.
Can I request that the committee be informed immediately of any incidents of anti social, aggressive, abusive or disruptive  behaviour, to enable us to inform the proper authorities.
Please see below the latest publication from the Angling Trust in relation to Cormorant Control
The Commitee
After a three year Angling Trust campaign to persuade the government to take action to tackle unsustainable avian predation, three Fishery Management Advisors (FMAs) were appointed in 2014 to cover the whole of England.  There are currently two FMAs employed by the Angling Trust who have helped hundreds of fishery managers on both rivers and lakes not only with licence applications, but with practical advice about techniques to protect fish using innovative techniques, such as the use of lasers and lifelike mannequins to deter birds, as well as exclusion tactics and fish refuge.
In April 2016 the Environment Minister Rory Stewart concluded that the pilot project had been successful and that the initiative should continue as it had been successful in providing advice and practical support to angling clubs and fisheries over the past two years about how to protect fish from cormorants and goosanders.
The Minister also confirmed that where appropriate the new area-based approach to issuing licences for lethal control will continue, rather than requiring every individual fishery to submit an individual application. The Minister noted that the system has worked well and that it benefits fisheries, which are an important part of the rural economy.
The FMA posts are funded from rod licence income from the Environment Agency, which has confirmed funding for another year. The scheme has been managed by the Angling Trust under the guidance of a Project Board which includes representatives from DEFRA, the RSPB, Natural England, Environment Agency, CEFAS independent fisheries scientists and the Angling Trust.
The expert advisors have also provided invaluable help with the paperwork required to carry out lethal control safely and responsibly either on an individual basis or via an area based licence, which helps with co-ordination of control throughout a catchment.
Jake Davoile explains:
“There are currently 16 area-based licences in operation across England and all have seen the benefit of working together, and sharing knowledge. These include stretches of rivers, stillwaters, and fish farms, bringing fishery managers together for the greater good – Some have even expanded across whole catchments.

Collating knowledge on the cormorant population is vital, as we get a clear understanding of the feeding patterns of birds, and can develop bespoke strategies to deal with predation. By working as one and utilising the cormorant’s incredible vision in flight, we can maximise the impacts of a shooting strategy if one is required.

“By coordinating shooting, we aim to condition birds in the most efficient manner not to predate on our valuable fish stocks. We have also seen great success using lifelike mannequins, which mimic the river keeper. These are completely weatherproof, easy to move, and by shooting from behind them, birds are conditioned to fear them, thus further protecting your fishery.”
Richard Bamforth added:
“Some area licences extend along 92km of river and include multiple stillwaters. Alongside the clear benefits of a coordinated approach, this strategy also provides us with robust data to take forward to Defra. Remember, if the combined need for lethal control exceeds the current national limit, the limit will be reviewed.”

cormorants in tree