Reservoir Pair Keep It In The Family

A father and son team who have looked after one of Somerset's largest reservoirs for a quarter of a century are to spend their last fishing season working together.

Dave Pursey, a ranger at Wessex Water, has started working on his 25th and final fishing season at Clatworthy reservoir in Taunton before his son, also named Dave, takes over the unique role.

The pair, who have been hooked on fishing for most of their lives, will part ways later this year when Dave Sr hands over the reins to his son.

Dave Sr, 64, said his retirement will mark a new age for the 130 acre reservoir. He said: “It’s a very strange feeling to be retiring after spending so long working at the reservoir and over the years I have got to know all the anglers who fish here.

“The role will be challenging for Dave but he is the ideal person to work with a new generation of anglers who are keener than ever to net a good catch.”

Dave Pursey Jr (left) and Dave Pursey Sr (right) at the edge of Clatworthy reservoirDave Jr, 34, has spent most of his life working with his father and began helping him when he was six years old. As part of his new role he will be managing the reservoir’s fish farm which can involve caring for up to 20,000 trout at one time. He will be responsible for carrying out individual checks on fish before they are released into the reservoir. This involves catching each trout in a small net and checking it is healthy, full finned and weighs around 2lbs.

Dave will also be running the reservoir on a daily basis, completing maintenance and policing as well as providing anglers with advice on the best techniques to use and areas of the reservoirs to fish.

He said: “I’m looking forward to stepping up and taking charge of the reservoir and the best part of the job will be ensuring anglers net a high quality catch.

“As well as working with hundreds of people who visit the site each year to fish, I will also ensure walkers can continue to enjoy the site’s popular short nature trails and five-mile perimeter route.”

The fishing season at Clatworthy reservoir is already off to a flying start with nearly a tonne of fish caught in the opening week of the season. Anglers can fish for rainbow and brown trout at the reservoir until 9 October.

Dave Jr added: “Although my new role will be exciting there is also an element of sadness as Dad and I have such a good working relationship. It will be different when he is gone – it’s the end of an era.”

For more information on Clatworthy and Wessex Water’s other fisheries visit or call 0845 600 4 600 to request a fishing brochure.