Skip to main content

Don't it always seem to go...you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone

John Blewitt of SPRITE recently organised a great fun social event and friendly competition on the urban River Don in Sheffield last Saturday. And what cracking fun it was too. Run by this FREE MEMBERSHIP angling club, the competition is set to become a regular event. In future it is hoped that the comp can be incorporated into a family day event and "give it a go" free angling sessions.


David Blunkett came along to give his endorsements and to raise the profile of SPRITE and Mr. Blunkett's aspirations to link the local Further Education college to volunteer habitat works to safeguard and improve the river.

As well as being a fun event - attended by a cross section of local anglers (including competition heavyweights like Stuart Crofts and Martin Introna!) the accurate means of measurement and recording used in Catch and Release competitions provides valuable biological census data. These data will be recorded and reported centrally to Paula Lightfoot - the Biodiversity Officer for Sheffield City Council and logged locally (within the Yorkshire and Humber Ecological Data Network) and nationally (via the National Biodiversity Network).

But why bother to do this (apart from the fact that it is fun!)?

Two very good reasons:
1.) You really don't know what you've got til it's gone - and this can help in resisting unsympathetic development proposals or securing compensation following pollution incidents

2.) If you undertake any habitat works - you can get some idea from catch returns about how the population structure is affected (similar to my post below where juvenile fish were newly observed within a restored reach of river)

CLICK PHOTOS TO SEE FULL SIZE VERSIONS (click "back" button to return to blog)


Wafts of Liquorice and Tutti Frutti behind Cadbury/Bassett's...


Quickly measured in the home-made measuring trough...

...and released with wet hands


Paul Hughes in action above the scrapyard




Great grayling for the records (34cm)


The urban trout and a happy TINTT programme manager on the weekend!
If you want to join SPRITE AC (it won't cost you anything) and take part in future fun events, please contact John Blewitt on blackgnat@blueyonder.co.uk
If you fancy running your own event like this, get in contact with your local Council Biodiversity Officer, your local E.A. fisheries officer and your local wildlife Trust to offer them your data. Electronic versions of the "score cards" can be had by email from me at pgaskell@wildtrout.org and the measuring troughs are simply made from 50-cm lengths of plastic guttering - with an end cap to rest the nose of each fish against. The measuring scale is a tailor's tape measure glued to the bottom of the guttering (with the zero end next to the end cap!!). A bungy cord lanyard is useful when carrying these troughs - especially if the competitors are marking their own score cards.

Comments

Anonymous said…
some nice fish there.just shows you what you have right on your doorstep!

Popular posts from this blog

Why Presume to Remove Weirs? (with River Dove Case Study)

Weirs and the Backwards Ways that Rivers Work One of my favourite sayings on river restoration is a mangled quote from a movie

"...boxing is an unnatural act. Everything in boxing is backwards: sometimes the best way to deliver a punch is to step backwards...but step back too far and you ain't fighting at all".

So my mangled version starts out "Everything in rivers is backwards...". Basically, I never seem to run out of new examples of "what SEEMS to happen in a river is actually the complete opposite of what really happens".



The rest of this article looks at many of the "backwards" things about weirs and rivers - and finishes off with a real-world case-study that is playing out right now on the River Dove.

One spoiler alert is that, from an ecological point of view, it is almost always safe to assume that:

The best biological outcome for a river is the removal of some or all of an artificial weir. 
Now, I don't expect you to believe that…

CATCH in Wincanton and News of the First Recorded Wild Brown Trout Following Their Hard Work

Blog posts are like London Buses it seems!

This one is just a very short "Congratulations" to the Folks at CATCH (Community Action to Transform the Cale Habitat) and the video put out by Wincanton Window (embedded below).



All of the folks in the partnership mentioned in the video have done HUGE amounts of work (from classroom education projects to habitat working parties and endless enthusiasm for engaging more people in their local river and much more besides).

A big disclaimer from me is that, although this project is supported by/affiliated with our Trout in the Town project - it has been Mike Blackmore who has fulfilled that role for the WTT rather than myself.

So massive well done to all involved (especially you Gary Hunt!)- it is wonderful to see all of the fish and wildlife coming back to the Cale. Of course, it is absolutely delightful to see that wild brown trout put in an appearance as well!

It seems to be all the rage for recovering urban stream projects in the &q…

Birmingham and Coventry's Urban Waterways

It's about time for a new blog post and I thought it would be good to flag up some of the investigations that I've been doing in conjunction with Waterside Care (which, in itself, is supported by Keep Britain Tidy).

As well as initial investigations on the River Cole around the Shire Country Park and Burberry Brickworks, more recent forays to the little Westley Brook, River Sowe, Stonehouse Brook and a little stream in the Holly Wood Local Nature Reserve (between Great Barr and Queslett) have seen me criss-crossing the M6 and M69 and the surrounding areas.


What always surprises me is just how much of the Black Country/Coventry area is essentially "floating" on a vast network of underground watercourses which suddenly pop up into daylight in surprising places. Of course this puts a lot of pressure onto the biology of these streams - not only from the physical "encasing" of their channels in brick and concrete (both above and below ground).

It is the ever-pre…