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Showing posts from June, 2013

Quick fire look back at this year's awesome Urban River Champion's Conclave

I'll sandwich this quick-fire montage that captures some of what went on at May's Urban Conclave weekend between Phil Sheridan's full presentation (blogged previously here: http://urbantrout.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/urban-conclave-if-youve-ever-felt.html)and a future blog post featuring Prof. David Lerner's excellent talk (video edit still on the "to do" list...).

There were many more fantastic talks that I was unable to video unfortunately (and I only chose to film the presentations by people who I absolutely knew wouldn't be fazed by the camera pointed at them!)

The video embedded below documents the meeting of around 25 core members who run Urban River restoration projects from around the UK including: Wales (Rivers Taff and Ogmore), Salford, Sheffield, Newbury, Burnley, London, Huddersfield, Bradford, Keighley and Wigan.

It was an honour to host them all and to hear all of their reports, stories, trials and tribulations. I also believe that the weekend …

A timely piece of encouragement

Just as we are getting to a point that we can start to move onto the first steps on agreeing some in-channel habitat improvements; the recovering River Erewash reminds us of the potential that the local River Erewash Foundation is fighting for with the support of the Wild Trout Trust's Trout in the Town project.

Well done to all at REF for continuing to fight the good fight. :) :)

http://derbyshireonthefly.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/payment-in-kind.html

Which is Worse: Himalayan Balsam or Poachers?

Here is a short video that was part of a talk that Mike Clough invited me to give at the conference launching "INNSA" (http://www.innsa.org/). I've added some explanatory voiceover - in place of me talking and pointing at the screen in person :)

The clip explains why invasive plants that die back in winter cause huge increases in "wash-load" sediments (i.e. sediment that is washed into the river from the surrounding land - rather than derived from existing river-bed material).

When you realise that this can bury and suffocate spawning beds, the problem becomes much more obvious than the situation you see in high summer (when growth is lush). The loss of large areas of spawning beds has the potential to be far more serious in terms of reducing the population of fish in your river than occasional (and still serious) poaching. It is just that the fish impacted by silt accumulation never had a chance at life in order to become large enough to be visible victims (un…

Monnow Rivers Association auction lot trip report

I recently hosted Justin, the winning bidder for my lot in the Monnow Rivers Association auction. The WTT has worked closely with the MRA for a long time, so it was a very pleasurable way to support their ongoing efforts.

Justin did a great trip report of our urban adventure with photos here: http://theriverbeat.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/river-don-and-tributary-sheffield-south.html

Enjoy

Urban Conclave: If you've ever felt discouraged....

We were fortunate to secure supporting funding from the Fishmongers' Company which allowed us to subsidise attendance at our biennial event in support of Trout in the Town project leaders. Brilliantly hosted by Salford Friendly Anglers; the theme for this year's Urban River Champions' Conclave was "Resilience". It is a characteristic that urban rivers can show in spades. It is also something that every volunteer - and especially every person who takes on the responsibility to run an urban project - needs to have buckets of.

However, everyone involved in these labours of love will experience real low points. It can get to feel like a hopeless cause in the face of external opposition as well as internal group tensions.

This was the reason that I asked Philip Sheridan to give the keynote address at this year's Conclave - for reasons that will become clear when you watch his presentation. Phil not only kindly agreed to speak, but also allowed us to reproduce his…