Every November some of the local fish ponds (étang) are emptied. This is done on a rotational basis, so that individual ponds are emptied on a cycle that may be as short as two years, but could be as long as seven. Members of the public are invited to attend, and the resulting catch can be purchased in bulk very cheaply.
This weekend it is Le Louroux's turn, and since Le Louroux is one of our favourite places we went along yesterday to take a look. We'd noticed some weeks ago that the lake level was dropping, as they progressively dropped the water level in preparation for the big event this weekend. If you are in the area, they are still rounding up the fish and finishing the drainage of the lake today. It's an excuse for a fête, and a most interesting day out. If you miss Le Louroux, then the Grand Etang at Martizay is being drained next weekend.
through the sluice system (with flow directed by the clever
and judicious use of haybales).
The fishermen use dragnets (sennes) of different gauges to catch different types or sizes of fish. Big carp and pike come out first, then the more fragile zanders. The remaining little ones are chased around inside the main net with hand nets. They are taken over to sorting tables, weighed and delivered to the sales tent or put into tanks ready to restock other nearby étangs. This year's little roach and some big carp and pike are put aside to restock Le Louroux itself.