Anglers angry at Vicky park’s fish plans

Anglers have accused Tower Hamlets Council of going back on its word to keep the fish in Victoria Park’s ponds.

The council’s website still states that a full restocking programme will take place at both lakes once the park’s �12m restoration is completed.

But the Advertiser has learned that the council has decided not to put fish back into the East Lake and is considering stocking the West Lake with smaller fish instead of the large carp that lived there.

Head of parks, Michael Rowan, said: “We want the park to be more for families and are looking at stocking the West Lake with smaller fish that kids can catch more easily.”

Mr Rowan conceded the original plans had set out to restock carp at both lakes but said “things evolve as you get a better understanding” of a project.

He said the council was also looking at re-introducing rowing boats on the West Lake. The decision is now with Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman, he said.

Chairman of Victoria Park Anglers Alliance, Keith Lancaster, said: “The council has paid a contractor to hold the carp with the sole intention of returning the fish. Any other decision is against the original plans drawn from numerous residents’ consultations.

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“We hope Mr Rahman will overturn this spurious decision and ensure both lakes are stocked.”

Mr Lancaster said the park is the only place in London, apart from Regent’s Canal and Regent’s Park, where you can fish for large carp.

He said: “It’s not safe for the kids to stand near the canal where they get targeted for their mobile phones.”

Angler Robin Davies, 46, said: “It’s nonsense for the council to suggest families and anglers cannot coincide. I’ve fished in Vicky Park since I was five.”