Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2010

Trout in the Town Guidelines Launched

The latest in a series of river restoration guidelines has been launched by the WTT. This latest installment focusses on guiding local community members in adopting and caring for their urban river reaches and have been developed by the TinTT programme manager based on the first two years of working with the first 8 UK chapters of TinTT.

The guidelines are available for free download in low resolution here:
URBAN RIVER RESTORATION GUIDELINES

Here is the report on the first two years of the project including progress against objectives as well as lessons learnt:
FINAL REPORT
They will shortly be available to purchase at full resolution on CD from the online shop at THE WILD TROUT TRUST

Enjoy.

PG

Going all the way on the Cray

A little London Chalkstream near Sidcup which has been diligently looked after in recent years by Thames21's Ashe Hurst got another shot in the arm on Thursday and Friday last week. Two of the WTT's conservation officers (Andy Thomas and Paul Gaskell) did two days of specific habitat improvement works in order to train the Thames21 staff and volunteers (including local youngsters who have been excluded from schools). A variety of uses of woody debris, brash bundles, wire, stakes and metal pin fixings were used to promote localised scouring of the stream bed, sorting and cleaning of spawning gravels and submerged "brashy" cover for juvenile fish.

The videos below show the increase in flow and change from "concreted" immobile gravels (with dark algal growth) to mobile and silt free (light coloured)particles at the pinch point created by an upstream "V" flow deflector


The flows prior to the installation of the upstream V were much more sluggish and fav…

Highlighting trout spawning and what to avoid when wading in winter

An example of some of the useful communication of highly relevant information that can be passed directly to grass roots participants just by contributing to an online specialist forum. Click the link below:

http://www.flyforums.co.uk/826909-post86.html
In summary - don't trim/remove debris that produces localised gravel scour:

This trailing branch debris is cleaning and "sorting" gravel for spawning - note the brighter patch of gravel

and don't tread on redds (trout "nests") containing eggs:

Newly formed redd which will allow eggs to hatch and emerging tiny fish (alevins) to shelter in the gaps between the pebbles below the surface of the gravel bed


Trout cutting a redd - photo Peter Henriksson

SPRITE (Sheffield Trout in the Town) recognised in local community awards

SPRITE came runners up in the 2010 Sheffield Telegraph community environmental project awards this week.

This is great recognition for all the hard work done both on the conservation of the river but also for the invaluable community engagement and education that everone involved has put into the city of Sheffield.

Very well done also to this year's Winners - Wisewood School.

Waving a Magic Wand(le)

Very hot news just in is that after many months (years!) of assessment, planning, design, negotiation and hard work; permission has just been granted for my design of habitat restoration and enhancement works to go ahead on the upper Carshalton arm of the Wandle.

Many thanks to Bella from the Wandle Trust hosting our E.A. flood risk assessor and putting our case so well and also great effort from Tanya in E.A. fisheries for making the weir removal programme happen.

An extensive array of structures will be installed over around 600 m of river which will create high quality spawning and adult holding habitat along with some additional juvenile habitat to complement the existing opportunities for young trout. When this is coupled with the increased connectivity along this section of the Wandle (through a combination of weir removals and fish pass installation), then the potential for robust self-sustaining populations of wild trout will be greatly increased.
The final piece of this part of…

Busy Buzzy Bee

Lots of stuff going on at the moment (that’s the problem with blogging, when there’s loads to write about, you haven’t got time to write it). Therefore, the briefest of briefs (not in the underwear sense) for my recent activities would include, but not be limited to, the following:
Mayfly in the Classroom Taking Wing in both urban and also transferring to rural settings too.

A hugely successful (judging by the reaction of the kids alone) run of Mayfly in the Classroom (MIC) in the Staffordshire area was delivered by WTT (Paul Gaskell, Tim Jacklin) and Severn Trent Water (Hanna Sandstrom) staff in three schools. This was part of a collaborative project between WTT, Trent Rivers Trust and Severn Trent Water to teach the value of protecting stream habitat, water quality and water quantity through a variety of practical (and locally relevant) actions. In the process the children learnt about (and got very attached to) the mayfly nymphs and resultant adults in their care. Memorable quotes f…

Grabbed by the Proverbials

I am told that there is an African Proverb (borrowed by many including Al Gore!) that says “If you want to go fast; go alone. If you want to go far; go together”. You can see these words on the displays at the Eden Project in the UK and also see how they’ve adhered to the principle in their exhibits of sustainable futures for the planet (http://www.edenproject.com/). The theme of forming a strong group in order to move mountains is pretty much the central feature of TinTT local chapters. Going together, though, is easier said than done…

If History (at least according to Edmund Blackadder) is anything to go by, then it is perhaps unclear what aspects of dear Queenie we could usefully learn from her assertion that “I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a Concrete Elephant!”. Perhaps a clearer message is the more conventionally reported quote of:
“I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, an…

Campsie Fells

Just back from a swift trip to Glasgow/Lennoxtown and the guys at Campsie.

Here is a fantastic river and a great group, which historically had amazing trout fishing. A cumulative effect of changes (probably land use, possibly climate, probably high water abstraction rates) often leave this river very low on water. Conversely, when it does rise; it comes up quick and drops away just as suddenly.

A very common scenario in our upland river systems that comes along with intensified pressures on land use/natural resources.

Sections of the river have been historically straightened and house continuous runs of relatively uniform depth (OK for juveniles, not so much holding water for adult fish).


However, there are a few examples of naturally occurring Large Woody Debris which are providing holding lies for good fish. Unfortunately, this also means that these spots see lots of angling attention



Trout in the Town and the guys from Campsie are putting some plans together in order to improve the habi…

Wandle update - weir'll meet again.....

A quick one to make up for the lack of posts recently (I have been furiously drafting the upcoming "Urban river restoration guidelines" manual for publication this summer......)

This one is about weirs (again - see "weirs tha bin?" previous blog post)

I've lost count of the number of times that angling club members have been scared to death by the suggestion that a weir is taken down - Understandably - because often the foot of that weir (and the attendant scour hole) forms a weir pool that has the best fishing on that section of river...

Thanks so, so much to Theo and the Wandle piscators/Wandle Trust for having the faith in our advice - it is by weir lowering or removal that the single good fishing spot BELOW a weir can be transformed into tens (hundreds?) of good fishing spots above the weir! All of that current velocity that is killed behind the structure (causing silt to gather) is re-invigorated throughout the whole reach. This will clear away the silt, expo…

2007 and 2008 recruitment was OK for Urban Grayling

The figures from Saturday's friendly grayling match show that the very strong year class of fish avoided being badly impacted by floodwaters around the 07 period...

There are also decent numbers of juveniles around and just one or two older fish. Hopefully the very strong class of 25 to 27 cm fish will produce decent numbers of fish surviving to 3 and 4 years old over the next couple of years.....

Bold as Brash

Those splendid chaps up on the Lancs. Colne have been busy again over the winter since our initial Practical Visit. Here they are finding a good green use for the whole of the local council's dumped Xmas tree collection: Completing their brash bank revetments to protect the single line of mature trees that are clinging on in the grazed surrounding fields (these are on the opposite bank to the first set of works). How did you work off your festive season surplus calories?? :)






Frosty the Grayling (and 101 of his friends)

12 anglers (brave and true) met on a frosty Sunday morning this weekend. Their purpose? To seek out, catch and record the grayling living between Hillfoot Bridge and Winn Gardens on the urban river Don...The stakes were (not) high (£5) the rewards great (£40 for most fish and a tenner for the biggest fish). Oh - and we hoped to meet new angling friends as well as provide accurate records of the presence of different age-classes of game fish (in a section of river that is not monitored in conventional ways).

They came from far and near - with 3 raiding nomads heading down from East Lancashire to challenge the locals (in the event, fairness was ensured by fishing the event as pairs - one local paired with each visitor).

The proof that local Trout in the Town Group "SPRITE" are justified in their passion for clearing up and protecting their local urban river can be seen in the results:

102 grayling between 14 and 35cm in length were caught - with by far the most numerous category…