Concerns over park lake water quality

Lurgan Park Lake. INLM04-108gc
Lurgan Park Lake. INLM04-108gc

Concerns have been raised about the state of the water in the park lake, with local angers claiming their concerns are being ignored.

Adding to their frustrations are the ongoing preparations and publicity surrounding the World Angling Championships being held at Craigavon Lakes this month.

One frustrated angler, Trevor Fryers, threw down the gauntlet this week with a challenge: “Let’s see if the new council can resolve the issue of the pollution of Lurgan Park lake from the Flush River and if they can return the lake to its glory days of a good fishing lake free - from weed and safe for people’s dogs to swim in.”

It was claimed the Flush River, which feeds into the lake, was heavily polluted.

Another angler pointed out: “The park lake is an amenity wasted. Fishing platforms are in place which are virtually useless due to low fish stocks and weed growth. The weed must be sorted first and then a suitable stocking programme introduced. The park is where I and many others learnt to fish: surely it can be sorted out and returned as a fishing venue for the kids and adults of Lurgan and further afield!”

It was claimed a meeting was held in January last year at which a plan to tackle the problems was made but which never materialised.

Mr Fryers said: “The local angling community has been made promises that never were fulfilled. When it came to the council looking good they promoted the lure of a world championship and just ignored the local angler.”

The park lake is currently heavily weeded and is also suffering an algal bloom, and littering which makes matters even worse.

Trevor pointed out that two anglers had used over £40 worth of bait and caught no fish.

He added: “The levels of ammonia entering the lake via the Flush river exceeded the EU recommended levels. The weed has grown to an extent very little can survive or flourish and instead of listening to the local angling community and solving the problem of pollution the council stocked it anyway.

“It was also pointed out fish were escaping via the overflow and, according to them, this was nonsense. There was total disregard to what locals said or requested, but when it came to getting a mention on the media and making themselves look good for the world championships they were out in force.”

Another angler, Steven Manderson, said he and another angler had pre baited swims all week with over 50 kilos of bait and again caught no fish.