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Trout in the Town Blog
29/07/2015 - 20:17
It has been a little while now since flood-waters (and how to manage them) were front page news. The dredging lobby got their wish - despite the negligible effect this would/will have on protection or recovery in the event that similar rainfall hits Somerset.
Little attention has been paid to one isolated part of Somerset that didn't flood during the deluge - the part where upland floodwater storage measures had been put in place...
Ten years down the line, progress towards adopting DEFRA's "Making Space for Water" policy is glacially-slow.
This progress seems even poorer given that these notions of managing flood risk have been with us since the 1920's and earlier...
Why should this be the case?
Dr. Karen Potter has been a Biologist, A Town Planner and now researches the science behind how and why certain ideas are blocked in Society - and how some ideas are Solidified and Enacted.
Watch her fascinating talk for all the insights into why we are currently locked into cosmetic flood prevention measures to pacify the electorate on a short-term basis (whilst society is denied the more effective measures that are known to exist and are feasible to apply).
13/07/2015 - 19:50
A nice piece in the Telegraph covering the efforts and experiences of Mike Duddy - compared and contrasted to those of his son and his father. It shows how, with the ongoing ecological recovery in the heartland of the industrial revolution, their rivers have been perceived very differently by the 3 generations. Great references are also made to the work on London's River Wandle - which means that the Trout in the Town project has made contributions to both the case-study projects featured in the story...
Click here to read the article
14/06/2015 - 10:36
Well, here is Wild Trout Trust Director Shaun Leonard giving a summary of some of our achievements over the last year. It was the opening presentation of this year's Annual Get Together of the WTT - which was held on the banks of the River Ribble on the weekend of June 6th and 7th 2015. I'll be putting up more presentations - including fantastic, game-changing stuff on flood risk management as well as experiences of fisheries "going wild" as an alternative to stocking/put-and-take.
As Shaun says, if you've ever wondered what your rod licence money is spent on - well a little bit of it has been spent by the WTT doing the following things for UK rivers in 2014/15...
If you think that these projects and the rest of our work are worthwhile - and if you want to contribute to ensuring that wild trout can survive and thrive in our rivers in the future - please consider joining us and supporting our work. You will get access to a great social network of informed anglers and conservationists as well as invites to special events and our great annual magazine "Salmo trutta". Membership works out at 67 pence per week so if you think wild trout in UK rivers is a good thing; it is a simple and cheap thing you should do - Join Here
31/03/2015 - 11:50
Professor David (Barney) Lerner and his colleagues in both the University of Sheffield and the Friends of Bradford's Becks have come up with a wildly practical and cheap way to solve a notoriously difficult and expensive problem.
Put Simply, you take a tampon out of its packet, dip it into the stream (or leave it in there if the pollution is suspected to be intermittent). Then take it out and shine a UV torch onto it. The Optical Brighteners used in detergents will fluoresce under the "black light" and you can begin to track down the source of the misconnection.
Full stories are covered here: The Guardian
and here: Wired
The Friends of Bradford's Becks is a great role model for other "Trout in the Town" groups - and we were delighted to have Professor Lerner speaking at our last Urban Conclave (video below).
We are also happy to play a part in the restoration of habitat on the Bradford Beck itself (see here for a recent habitat Advisory Visit report in support of JBA Consulting's designs for habitat improvement options: http://www.wildtrout.org/av/bradford-beck-%E2%80%93-shipley
Professor Lerner on Restoring the Bradford Beck as a Catchment Restoration Pilot Scheme:
10/03/2015 - 16:07
I went to visit Stuart Llewellyn and other members of Llanrwst Angling Club last week to assess sections of the main river Conwy – as well as a previously invaluable sea-trout spawning tributary the Afon Caes Person in Llanrwst itself. The hugely positive impacts of works to fill in approximately 200 km (and counting) of drainage ditches on Migniant Moor and return a natural “sponge” effect to the top of the Conwy catchment were visible in the clarity of the (rising!) water following rains. Such enlightened progress makes it even more inexplicable that one of the most important sea-trout spawning tributaries on the system has been trashed through an entirely inappropriate flood-prevention scheme. The culvert that was previously responsible for one prior recorded flooding event on the Afon Caes Person had already been tackled prior to the scheme’s construction. Moreover, alternative schemes to provide additional channel capacity could have been implemented without need to concrete over the natural stream-bed. Not only has the spawning habitat in this reach been lost – but the concrete works have introduced additional barriers to any migrating fish attempting to reach better habitat upstream. We await with interest the impacts upon both erosion and actual (rather than perceived) flood risk arising from the works.
Yesterday I was also hosted on a fascinating habitat visit to the upper reaches of the River Dearne by a local volunteer group represented by Roy Turner and Phil Slater – who are keen to explore best practice management options on what long time fisheries campaigner and activist Chris Firth (MBE) believes might be a tiny, yet invaluable, haven for a pristine wild trout population. This tiny, woodland headwater stream runs through - and in some cases directly beneath – urban development that includes a large industrial mill site. A huge pollution incident from this urban area, combined with barriers to upstream migration and an absence of any stocking, are likely to have left fish that remained above this rubicon to breed in isolation. I found many positive habitat features in the lovely and tiny woodland stream and we are looking forward to the results of future fish-population sampling to be carried out by Chris and colleagues in the Don Rivers Catchment Trust.
27/02/2015 - 11:51
Many urban streams (as well as rural ones) suffer from modifications that place barriers between different pieces of habitat. Very often the habitat that fish use as adults is some distance from the habitat that they use to reproduce.
What happens when there is a barrier between the two?
And if you think that this is only possible in the USA - have a word with the people at Chester-le-Street Angling Club who completed partnership project work (with the Wild Trout Trust as one partner) to install flow baffles in the base of previously impassable culverts. They now have good numbers of sea trout spawning upstream in places that they could not previously access.