Skip to main content

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 being the 27cm/2yr+ fish

Pink flies were the main winning medicine on the day and the winning pair of Andy Cliffe and Martin Introna took a cracking 37 fish between them and Andy also scooped the biggest fish prize at 35cm

Both Andy and Martin generously donated their prize money to the SPRITE project and both volunteer their time contributing to the care of the river.

Andy's winning fish


Getting the measurements for the biological records


Both Visitors (left) and locals (right) enjoyed terrific fishing with the grayling - a sensitive indicator of unpolluted waterways


The kind of surroundings that almost anyone would think would have a polluted fishless river running below (rather than a first class totally wild game fishery)


The all important post-match analysis and biological data collation (and fishy tales with a good pint)

A fantastic day out and another set of valuable data gathered for our local council ecologist Paula Lightfoot (do you know your own local ecologist??)that can be used to protect the Don from insensitive development. Big thanks for the support of the Travelling Colne Water AC TROUT IN THE TOWNers and the SPRITE chapter look forward to pitching in on your river in the future.

Comments

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…