by Paul Selman
Fishingwarehouse readers who fish regularly in France might remember the incredible heatwave in France in the summer of 2003 which lead to the death of 15,000 mainly elderly French people.
I was fishing and running my own lakes in Brittany that summer and the heat and drought was oppressive for week after week. The impact on many fisheries in France was terrible with many lakes simply drying up or suffering from very low water levels.
My own lakes suffered from very low water levels and although I didn’t lose any carp, they were very lethargic and spent most of the time just under the surface layer not really feeding. In the high water temperatures and constant sun the algae and weed flourished which added to the low oxygen levels, particularly at night and early mornings. Luckily the stream that feeds my lakes, although only a trickle, remained a constant and vital source of water, and this is what saved my fish. However, it was touch and go.
That winter I managed to get mains electricity connected to the complex and it meant, amongst other things, that I could look at purchasing a lake aeration system which would prevent any future problems. I spoke to my good friend, David De Vere, the owner of Bury Hill Lakes and he recommended a particular model of aerator manufactured in Italy and distributed by a Manchester-based company. This was the EOLO 2 aerator. David had purchased a few of these and he had already had several years reliable use out of them. Moreover they were comparatively cheap and very efficient, and in David’s opinion much better than the ‘paddle type’ aerator of which I had experience of when I managed Withy Pool.
I purchased two of them for the modest cost of £500 each and installed one on Poplars Lake and one on Birch Lake – both waters are around 2.5 acres.
It works on what is known as the Venturi principle The EOLO is a submersible aerator which introduces air directly into the water at depth (which can be varied), which is enough to saturate 15 cubic meters of water with oxygen every minute. At the same time, the propeller which has a guard to protect any fish brushing against it revolves at an incredible 2800 revolutions per minute causes the oxygenated water to flow and pulsate at least 35 meters out in front of the aerator. This results in absorbed oxygen being dispersed equally over a very large portion of the water volume. The level of absorbed oxygen created is many times greater than that created by paddlewheel- type aerators.
The EOLO is also virtually silent when in use – which is vital on carp fisheries. It is a compact and mobile machine that conveniently and effectively does it all: aeration, destratification,and sediment removal. The EOLO aerator oxygenates by blowing in and dispersing air at depth in micronized bubbles. This method is the most efficient for introducing the greatest amount of dissolved oxygen into the water. It destratifies (breaks up water layers forming in the lakes) by creating a flow of water at depth, which creates uniform temperature, oxygen and PH levels throughout.
An unforeseen bonus is that during the winter months if the lake is frozen I can switch on the aerator and within a couple of hours I have an acre or so of water to fish, to which the fish are soon attracted!
The EOLO is very impressive in performance and my machines have needed no maintenance or repair in five years use since. We have them on 24/7 in the hot summer months and set to come on with a timer for a couple of hours before dawn for four hours at other times of the year – when oxygen levels are at their lowest and the risk of fish problems are at the highest. Twice the aerators have saved my stock when we experienced the fishery owners’ nightmare – algal crash – which causes oxygen to be stripped from the water and fish cannot breathe.
In my many years carp fishing in the UK I have experienced a number of fish-kills on several waters. The installation of one of these cheap and reliable aerators would have prevented 90% of those fish deaths in my opinion.
I purchased another fishery last year and purchased an updated and more powerful version of the EOLO 2 called The Force 7 which we have installed and with which I’m very pleased. It cost just over £700 – the price of one good French thirty!
All UK fisheries have at least access to a petrol-driven generator, some have access to mains electricity, from which an aerator can be powered. In my view if a club or carp syndicate really wants to protect its stock, at least in the event of an emergency, it is well worth investing in one of these superb and economic aerators.