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Replanting a small lake

Hi there, recently my local fishing club (non-profit) partially drained one of its lakes in order to begin restocking works as part of measures to rebuild Crucian carp populations in the Uk.

When the water was drained it became apparent that there was very little vegetation present below the waterline as a result of someone unfortunately applying herbicide without authorisation many years ago and the subsequent stocking of carp . These conditions are not ideal for the fish so we wish to plant some native aquatic species in order to provide a better environment for the invertebrate populations and allow the fish to spawn in the summer.

The lake is about an acre in size, situated on Dartmoor, slightly acidic, mostly clear water, sand/gravel bottom with soft silt in the middle. Depths slope off from a couple of inches in places to about 6ft in the middle. Ideally looking for some dense marginal weed for spawning grounds and some species to provide cover and food for invertebrates and fish, it will only be stocked with tench and crucian carp so we don't have to worry too much about new plants getting uprooted.

Any advice on which species would be best to plant would be great, ideally we're looking for minimal management but if we have to get in every year to do a bit of thinning/removal then that's fine.


Thanks in advance,



  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,254
    I think that your question calls for rather specialised knowledge, knowledge of both aquatic plants (itself something that not many gardeners develop) and fish "farming".

    I think that you might have more luck if you look at something like this. Construction Booklet.pdf

    I hope that helps. image
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • I bet they would be able to advise at one of these places. They've always been really helpful for me (though I have nothing more than a stone dish!)


  • PS it sounds like a wonderful plan--hope you find the right plants!

  • Thanks for the links folks, I shall give them a read and hopefully they will point me in the right direction.

    I have been trying to do as much research as possible but the information is really hard to find. Having worked in the commercial coarse fishing business in the past I have some experience in the area but have never been presented with a situation like this, I've selected a few species that I feel would be beneficial but I'm hesitant to dive in without some form of guidance.

    The species I have selected are Dwarf Hair Grass (eleochasis acicularis), Common Water Moss (fontinalis antipyretica), Alternate Water-Milfoil (myriopyllum alternflorium), Soft Hornwart (ceratophyllum submersum) and some lilies (definitely not fringed water lilies).

    These species all apparently provide excellent habitat for invertebrate life and for breeding fish and hopefully shouldn't need too much management. image

  • Dave HumbyDave Humby HampshirePosts: 1,142

    Bruno Broughton as mentioned or Sparsholt college in Hampshire would be good starting points. Dartmoor might be a bit far but Sparsholt are always looking for practical work experience for their students so you might even be able to get some help.


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