March 2011 - as we have done every year for the last 6 years, we have recently added lime to the lake, which helps improve the productivity of Chateau Moulin.
The productivity of most stillwater fisheries is governed, in the main, by the fertility of the bottom of the lake. Typically, mud-bottomed lakes are quite productive, the consequence being that they can support larger numbers of fish than sand or gravel-bottomed fisheries.
However, because of the silty bottom at Chateau Moulin, it is worthwhile improving the fertility of the lake bed. Silt rich in organic (i.e. dead plant) material contains a useful potential supply of nutrients, but these 'plant foods' are usually locked up in the silt where oxygen cannot penetrate.
Adding lime to the lake helps encourage bacteria that will break down the dead plant matter. Lime will also increase the pH of the water slightly - making it more alkaline - and increase the level of dissolved calcium. Calcium is an essential 'building block' for many invertebrate animals, especially freshwater snails, and their numbers are likely to increase following liming, thereby providing fish with a greater 'larder' of food items.