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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

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

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