What is a vidange? Essentially a routine draining of a barraged (dammed) reservoir to complete maintenance on the structure. Unfortunately, in this instance, the process being carried out by a huge water company doesn't mean that the stock of the lake will be fully taken into account and cared for adequately.

“Some of the fish die, it is inevitable” No exact figure for losses, but “the standard is 50/50 when emptying a pond”: 50% survival, 50% mortality

Over the years, many public waters have lost significant amounts of carp, and other species during these routine drainings - Lac Setton to name one recent example, and as such, a petition has been started to help manage the issue with regards to Carces - one of Europe's premier big carp waters, somewhere we have fished ourselves and home to a huge stock of big carp.

If a few extra signatures can help, it is the least we can do to stop the stock being left to die, or minced through turbines in the draining process

Translation from

Can we stop the massacre in anticipation? Should we leave this in the hands of the various fish managers? Today I come to denounce the beginnings of a potential environmental disaster and this petition is there to try to raise awareness that this is not inevitable! We are approaching a potential ecological genocide and I draw your attention to the disaster announced to us by the various actors in the defense of the aquatic environment of the Var (83). As a reminder, the lake of Sainte Suzanne, more commonly known as the lake of Carcès, is a barraged lake of around one hundred hectares used to supply the city of Toulon with drinking water.

Like all dammed lakes, drainage must be carried out for various checks and this high fishing spot in the Var is unfortunately no exception! Work must be carried out and for this, the owner of the dam (Veolia) has no other choice than to lower the lake in its entirety and this in several stages. The first stage must be carried out in February 2023 to search more favorably for potential problems present on the structure (obviously, there would be a breach on the top and bottom).

The rest of the operations will be to repair, test and this involves the level going up and down several times. For this, Veolia has a fairly wide window and has announced a deadline for the end of the work at December 31, 2027. Normally, the emptying of this lake must be carried out every 10 years but this has not been the case lately and in my short life as a fisherman, we have been hearing about it for several years now. To date, the fish rescue operations that the federation proposes are far from being in accordance with the ecological requirements that we have for animal welfare.

Our federation has counted a biomass of all fish combined at 6 tonnes and will distribute them as follows: 3 tonnes would be returned by opening the valves in the river in the reach below the dam, and the other 3 tonnes would be taken by a professional fisherman to be injected in different places in the region. For the catfish, a particular favour would be done because it was said that 100% of the stock would be welcomed on the lake of Saint Cassien which, I quote, 'would be the only water point capable of receiving these fish'. (Info from the extraordinary meeting of the Aappma la Carçoise of September 10, 2022).

So we think that with 6 tonnes you are far from the mark and that the meter risks exploding very quickly and that you have to be prepared for it. Personally, and this is only my opinion, the figure will be closer to 50 tonnes because you only have to see the number of catfish that are caught on the weekend to understand that the analysis is totally wrong. Let's not forget either that the other species are very present and that if the lake has produced record carp, we can also see very good fishing with our friends, lure fishers, coarse fishermen and much more.

'We cannot leave the slightest chance that a disaster like the one at Settons will see the light of day again'

I therefore invite you to lend an ear to the fishermen once again and see for yourself that you have one of the finest European waters... By creating this petition I call for the support of all fishing and nature enthusiasts whether they are from the region or not because we cannot leave the slightest chance that a disaster like the Settons will see the light of day again!

The fish in the public domain belong to us all because they are the fruit of an annual contribution set up precisely to give management to people capable of reflection during these issues... It's time for some actors to wake up to do the job they have been given.... I don't want to wake up one morning in February 2023 thinking the massacre happened and I did nothing to prevent it. It's up to us to turn the tide today for Carces and for the years to come in other places!

'I don't want to wake up one morning in February 2023 thinking the massacre happened and I did nothing to prevent it. It's up to us to turn the tide today for Carces and for the years to come in other places'

Benjamin Bouisseren




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