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Sutton Park - Pools And Their Fish

With seven pools within its boundaries, Sutton Park is enjoyed by thousands of anglers each year. The pools, however, were man-made, centuries ago. Their purpose was not recreational at the time but practical for they helped to feed the local population.

Keepers Pool, both Little Bracebridge and Bracebridge Pools and Wyndley Pool were built in order to stock fish, a cheap, plentiful and nutritious food supply. The ponds were constructed by damming small streams back in the middle ages (the dam and the quarry created for their construction can still be seen).

Little Bracebridge may have been the site of fish stews, a shallow stretch of water where the fish were placed for fattening. Bracebridge Pool is believed to have been constructed by Sir Ralph Bracebridge, a ranger at the park during the reign of Henry V (1413-1422). The pool was granted to him on condition that he supplied the Earls of Warwick either 0 rent or 120 bream at 1/8d each. Bream, baked in flour and seasoned with spice, pepper, saffron cloves and cinnamon, was a favourite at the time.

Powell's is the largest pool in the park at 48 acres was created in 1730 when Sir Thomas Holte had the dam erected. The pool has large quantities of Canadian pond weed and blanket weed that provide a prolific source of food for the fish from the carp family such as bream, roach and tench. It also serves as a hiding place for the pools' predators, pike and perch, which ambush other fish and wildlife from within the plants.

The marshes and reeds within the park are valuable habitats for many creatures that form part of the fishes' food chain. Algae and invertebrates which live on the reeds, as well as on the floating and submerged vegetation like the water lilies, bogbean and flag iris, form an integral part of the fishes' diet.

Blackroot Pool was possibly named after a blackened stump of an old oak tree near the centre of the pool. It is renowned as a carp water with both the common and mirror carp thriving there. The carp have been known to reach monster proportions with the largest specimen tipping the scales at 35lb 13oz. Pike, which are found in all the pools in the park, routinely reach sizes of around 20lb.

The park's streams are remarkably clean and they are able to support healthy populations of brown trout and bullhead.

Fishing is permitted in four pools; Blackroot, Bracebridge, Powells and Keepers although a close season operates from March 15 to June 15 due to the park's status as a National Nature Reserve.

Rules and Regulations

  • All anglers must have a current Severn Trent license and are issued with a day ticket unless they have pre-paid by season ticket.
  • Maximum of 2 rods per angler.
  • Live bait not allowed.
  • Carp sacks not allowed, keep nets discouraged.
  • Angling times from dawn to dusk.

To find out more about fishing in one of Birmingham's pools or to apply for a Parks fishing season ticket please follow this link.