A FISHING club has bounced back from the brink after a killer weed threatened to take over Butterley Reservoir 18 months ago.
Aggressive Canadian pondweed turned the reservoir waters a thick green in the summer of 2010 as it thrives on warm shallow waters.
It meant Ripley and District Angling Club, which is based there, seeing its membership decline.
But following a lengthy clean up operation, fish numbers are back to their peak and the club is thriving again.
Now it is planning to reopen the High Bank area of the reservoir for the first time in eight years.
It has installed hand rails and eight new fishing stands on the 150-yard bank - which is set to be a carp angler’s heaven.
Club treasurer Keith Sansam said: “The bottom line is this time last year we didn’t know if the reservoir had a future - or if the club did.
“Income was on its way down - but during 2011 it all came back to us.”
The angling club now has around 450 members. While the waters were thick with weed in 2010 membership numbers dropped to 250.
Fish were using the green plant blanket to hide under making them difficult to catch.
The clean up of the reservoir began in August of that year. British Waterways sent specialist boats fitted with a strimming machine to the reservoir to clear some of the Canadian pondweed
Just over a year ago the club restocked the waters with tonnes of carp and bream, hoping the fish would feed off the plant and further clear the water.
And the operation proved a success.
The increase in club revenue meant it could afford to renovate the newly opened High Bank area, which runs from Hammersmith Lane to Asher Lane.
According to Keith, the new bank will be popular because it overlooks deep water, which should make for good fishing. It had been closed by British Waterways eight years ago because it was unsafe.
The extension comes as good news to local tackle shops, which rely on the area’s fishing clubs for trade.
David Spencer who owns Rod and Line on Nottingham Road in Ripley said: “That year in 2010 was good for the fish, but not so much for the anglers!
“Like anywhere it’s not so easy to fish in winter. But in summer anyone can dangle a maggot in there now and catch a fish. It’s going to be a good thing and it will mean the club won’t close down.”