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)
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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)