Cavendish Dock is without doubt the most unusual fishery in Cumbria and the unlikely outcome of a number of unrelated factors.
The dock takes freshwater drainage from Poaka Beck but Associated British Ports who are the owners of the Dock, control the height of the water by allowing seawater to enter through sluice gates resulting in brackish water. This aquatic mix is further complicated by the nearby power station that takes water from the dock for cooling only to return it several degrees warmer once the job is done. In recent years, however, the power station has been largely ‘offline’ and hence the amount of returned cooling water has been significantly reduced resulting in a Dock with cooler water than in the recent past. Assuming this condition lasts only time will tell what effect this will have.
In the past the Dock has been stocked with brown trout. These fish grew rapidly, becoming more like sea trout, but mortalities were not uncommon during high summer temperatures and the practice was eventually abandoned. The next chapter in the story followed an escape of carp and coarse fish from a nearby small fishery and a consequent population explosion of cyprinids.
The end result is that today Cavendish Dock is essentially a carp fishery – and there are thousands of them, thriving in the warm water and rich feeding. Fish of thirty pounds are present but the bulk of the stock will be in 7 -12lbs range. Rudd, tench and bream are also present and also a very good head of trout still remain.
Access around the dock is not easy with steep slopes on all but the eastern side where most of the fishing takes place. The bailiffs are empowered to close any part (or all) of the dock should weather conditions make fishing dangerous.
As you might expect the setting is very industrial – but on the right day the fishing can be truly exceptional.
1 Car Parking
Cars shall be parked with consideration to other road users. Members, Season Ticket Holders and their guests park their vehicles at the Coarse Fishery at their own risk. Neither the Association nor Associated British Ports accepts responsibility for vehicles and / or their contents. Roads to be kept clear for access. No parking at all on Cavendish Dock Road including the verges. No driving or parking along the south bank (sea wall) between the barriers. No parking on the grass embankment between pegs 23 and 27 inclusive.
2 Fishing Licences and Permits
Before commencing to fish all anglers must be in possession of a BAA permit and the appropriate number of current Environment Agency licences. Permits / licences shall be produced when requested by any member / season ticket holder of the Association, or employees of Associated British Ports or Environment Agency.
3 Guest and Day Tickets
A maximum of 4 per day, 24 hour Guest tickets are available from Angling and Hiking Centre, Rawlinson St. Barrow in Furness and shall be purchased before starting to fish. GuestS shall be accompanied at all times by a member or season ticket holder of the Association.
12 hour day tickets may be purchased from the BAA bailiffs on the bank whilst fishing
All anglers fishing for carp shall be in possession of, and use, the following items of equipment:
- Micro barb hooks. No trebles, doubles or tandem hooks to be used.
- Carp unhooking mat.
- Landing nets of 36 inches minimum size. Smaller nets may be used for landing smaller carp.
- An antiseptic such as “klinik” is to be used on fish after unhooking.
- Any angler who intends to sleep at his peg must be equipped with electronic alarms.
The use of the following is prohibited on the Coarse Fishery:
- Keep nets for pleasure fishing. Note: For Association sponsored matches only, the use of carp keep nets may be permitted.
- Carp sacks
- Fixed (death) rigs.
- Main Line over 25lb breaking strain.
- Hooks bigger than # 16 when fishing for small silver fish.
5 Fishing Restrictions
The following conditions apply to a membership, season ticket or guest permit issued for the Coarse Fishery:
5.1 All anglers are responsible for their own personal safety and fish at their own risk.
5.2 The permit shall be for 3 rods and lines only. Juniors shall be restricted to 2 rods and lines.
5.3 Fishing from the railway bank is prohibited.
5.4 Junior season ticket holders shall be over the age of 12 years on the 1st April and under the age of 18 years on the 1st April.
5.5 Junior anglers 14 years and under shall be accompanied by an adult member.
5.6 Junior anglers, under the age of 16, fishing at night, shall be accompanied by an adult member, season ticket holder or a responsible non-fishing parent or guardian (No more than 2 juniors to 1 adult).
5.7 For safety reasons junior anglers under the age of 16, are not allowed to fish on the first swim to the North (right) of the pump house.
5.8 All anglers shall clear their chosen swim of litter prior to fishing and ensure it is clean when they leave.
5.9 Anglers shall not leave his or her rod unattended. Any angler who leaves his swim shall withdraw his rod and line from the water.
5.10 All fish caught, shall be handled with care. Beaching of fish is NOT allowed.
5.11 Alcoholic drinks are prohibited
5.12 Anglers’ dogs shall not be allowed to foul the bank side verges.
5.13 Anglers shall not be allowed to use a boat on the Coarse Fishery.
5.14 No tents or fires are allowed.
5.15 Fishing from the railway bank is prohibited.
5.16 Anglers fishing pegs likely to be fished in matches i.e. the east bank may be asked to vacate their pegs 12 hours before commencement of the match.
5.17 No angler shall advertise the venue or its potential, to any section of the media. However photographs of fish caught may be submitted to the angling press. In such cases the venue should not be stated.
Cameras transmitting or recording moving pictures intended for use in the media, eg. in the production of television programmes or videos, are not allowed anywhere on the Dock.
Permission should be sought, in writing, from the committee if magazine articles are required to be written. The committee will require up to 28 days advance notice before giving a response.
Trout shall not be targeted by Season Ticket holders. Any trout caught inadvertently shall be carefully returned.
Game section members, fishing for trout, shall be bound by the rules of game section.
The Association strongly believe that the well being of all wild life is sacrosanct and any angler wilfully mistreating any animal, or being prepared to mistreat any animal by having in his possession an item of equipment designed for that purpose, will be subject to the severest punishment.
8 General Notes
Anglers shall not:
Foul the water, Interfere with valves, weirs, or other works, Cause damage to fences plantations, banks or walls.
All anglers shall be bound by these Rules of Barrow Anglers Coarse Fishery. Anyone in breach, shall be dealt with by the committee.