Skip to main content

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 favoured the deposition of silt. Now there is much more variety in current pace and depth.

The upstream V featured in the video clips (above)showing the focussed flow and pale gravel displaced following loosening with a metal spike. Potential spawning habitat and holding pot for adult fish

Single log flow deflector to encourage localised scour and promote more meandering flow

Brashy cover to provide habitat for fry and parr (here in a spot too shady to allow marginal plant growth)

Mini transverse log - note pronounced undershot scouring flows bubbling up on the downstream side of the log (to the right)producing patch of self-cleaning gravel and holding pot for fish

The pictures cover just a small selection of what was installed over the two day training visit and this will also be extensively added to by Ashe and his teams of volunteers in the coming months. Ultimately, it is hoped that self-sustaining populations of wild trout can be re-established in this once degraded chalkstream. What is for certain is that local volunteers like Gaynor and Alan who worked like trojans for both days are absolutely passionate about caring for their local urban river.
Well done guys.

PG

Comments

mrkorky said…
What a heart-warming story from every possible point of view (can't put angle). Hope those excluded kids get to fish as well
Andrew said…
Hi,

I thought I would drop you line to let you know that we very much enjoyed reading your blog. So much so that we decided to include it in a review of fly fishing blogs that we have published on our website here.

http://www.fishtec.co.uk/blog/

We think that what you are doing is very worth while - the Fishtec blog has a wide readership so we hope that what we've written will inspire people to visit your blog...

Please do let us know if there's anything we've got wrong and we'll change it.

Yours,

Robin Falvey
The Fishtec Blog Team
fishtecblog@gmail.com
Michelle said…
This is such an amazing entry and I love to read more of it so that I will be able to look over and have it as an inspiration for further articles to write about when it comes to updates on fly fishing and it's pros and cons too. I do hope you will get to visit our official website and let us know what you think about it. Here is the link

http://www.sammaka.com/

Thanks ahead :)

Popular posts from this blog

First Survey Record of Wild Trout Returning to Lyme Brook Habitat Works Site!

You may have seen the first three phases of works on the middle reaches of the Lyme Brook (shown in previous blogs Here and Here) from project works that began in 2015...

Well although the first surveys after that work found some nice coarse fish populations - there was no cold hard evidence that any trout had found the newly-improved habitat...Until now!
I received a phone call today from Matt Lawrence who is the EA's Catchment Host for the Trent Valley Catchment Partnership (with key partners Groundwork West Midlands and the Wild Trout Trust who conceived and delivered the habitat works). Matt told me that he'd had some exciting preliminary reports from a EA Midlands fisheries surveys team. Their survey on 7th September had caught several wild trout as part of their sample on the habitat works site.
These are the first modern records of trout in the brook and is also the exciting news that we have been waiting for on these first phases of work to create spawning, juvenile an…

How Volunteers in Sheffield Make Big River Habitat Projects Successful

You've done a big, ambitious partnership project to deculvert a section of urban stream, but now the civil engineering contractors have gone to their next job. The site is left to mature...what next? Very seldom does this kind of project have any budget for ongoing ecological monitoring (which is a frequent and justified criticism of habitat improvement works - the lack of ecological effect data).

The same can be said for general "husbandry" of the site - whether it be litter or invasive plant control; or even fairly substantial running repairs...

Step in SPRITE (Sheffield Partnership for Rivers in Town Environments) whose site you can check out on http://www.sheffieldsprite.com, the Sheffield Trout in the Town group and a supporting donation of pre-established planted coir products from Salix River and Wetland Ltd. (with their site here: https://www.salixrw.com)

You can see SPRITE talking about their aquatic invertebrate monitoring and see their repair and site care wo…

A previously buried section of stream produces the first fly caught trout in >160 years

As near as I can work out from the archaeology report, this section of river - recently brought back to the surface in dramatic fashion by Sheffield City Council, the EA and the WTT partnership - was buried in a low brick tunnel somewhere around 1853 to 1868. The northern half of the site was certainly buried underground BEFORE the time the 1853 map was produced....and the rest of the brick tunnel was placed over the top of the stream before the map of 1868...

Of course, it is not easy to tell what the water quality was like in that section even BEFORE the stream was buried...and whether there were trout surviving in the stream when it was sealed underground...

What is damned sure is that you couldn't wave a fly fishing rod around in that underground tunnel once they'd built it!

This was still the case until the completion of the massive project to remove the brickwork and create an attractive "pocket park" in the city centre. You might have seen from This Previous …