News

Help Protect the Last Wild Rivers of Europe

Posted on June 22, 2018

Patagonia have produced a film highlighting the plight of some very special rivers in the Balkans, currently being dammed (damned?) for hydropower, with thousands more schemes planned. This will be an absolute disaster for these rivers, their unique fish and wildlife communities and their people.

The film trailer is here and, very importantly, you can support a campaign against the damming by signing the petition urging international banks to stop investing in the destruction of Europe’s last wild rivers. This will be handed into international banks by the end of June, so no time to waste. 

Wild Trout Trust film for World Fishing Day

Posted on June 19, 2018

The inaugural World Fishing Day, 23 June 2018, is only days away, with 24 hours of angling from around the globe streamed live on the Fishing TV channel.

WTT has teamed up with Chalkstream Fly, makers of the excellent film, Chalk, to produce a short piece on WTT’s work that will be shown during the day and one of WTT’s Trout in the Town champions and tenkara guru, Paul Gaskell, is in Japan for a week, including live filming on the day. Paul is included amongst the event’s ambassadors, alongside many other WTT supporters, including our Vice-President, Matthew Wright; they’re sure to weave WTT’s conservation messages into their fishing tales.

Lots more on World Fishing Day at https://www.worldfishingday.com

WTT 3 Fly Fundraiser bags over £7000

Posted on June 19, 2018

WTT 3 Fly Fundraiser bags over £7000

WTT’s annual fundraiser at Meon Springs Trout Fishery in Hampshire was held last weekend, 16 June, fished by 46 rods and raising over £7000.

 

The day is brilliantly organised by WTT volunteer, Neil Mundy and all the staff at the fishery. Behind the scenes, two Mrs Mundys (only one is Neil’s wife) keep the books, WTT supporters Phil Marr and Mark Roberts are respectively the excellent silver trophy makers and fly tyers for the day and the ultimate prize is a top-notch rod kindly donated by Sage; the John Lewis Partnership FFC continues to provide vital sponsorship. Thank you all. The Meon Springs Long Barn (our lunch venue) is a place not to be missed.

Rob Mungovan receives award from RSPB

Posted on June 06, 2018

Rob Mungovan receives award from RSPB

WTT Conservation Officer Rob Mungovan has received a 30 year service award from the RSPB for voluntary work at Fowlmere Nature Reserve. 

Rob said, “Getting involved with voluntary work has taught me loads from habitat management to how lead people of different abilities. And, it was at Fowlmere Nature Reserve that I first started cutting river weed and continue to this day.”

Rob is an all round ecologist who brings huge depth of knowledge to the WTT team in his role as Conservation Officer for East Anglia and Central England. He started volunteering at a very early age !

Letting the Dove Flow – podcast

Posted on June 01, 2018

Listen to this excellent podcast with journalist Andrew Griffiths and WTT Conservation Officer Tim Jacklin talking about ‘Letting the Dive Flow’ in the Derbyshire Peak District. 

Letting the Dove Flow is a partnership project led by the National Trust to re-naturalise the river and restore habitat in Dovedale in the Peak District National Park. Wild Trout Trust Conservation Officer Tim Jacklin is responsible for delivering the project which includes removing some of the 177 weirs installed in the 1920s.

Click here for more information about the impact of weirs.

Fly selection and helping the environment

Posted on May 14, 2018

A big thank you to Richard Fieldhouse of Barbless Flies for a donation of £500 to the Wild Trout Trust  - and to all of his customers who chose the ‘minimum packaging’ option which results in 50p per order going to the WTT.  This is a real win for the environment – less plastic, easier catch and release and funds for habitat improvement!

Barbless flies have just launched a new website to help you select the right fly in the right place at the right time. GEO-Intelligent Fly Selection is a new FREE web service:  www.which-fly.co.uk

We've all been there - you get to the water’s edge and just tie on the same fly which worked the last time you were out - hoping that the fish will still be interested. Well, how about using a little bit of modern technology to help you decide which fly to use?

Test & Itchen River Restoration Strategy Newsletter

Posted on May 03, 2018

The Environment Agency’s Heb Leman has just circulated an update of river restoration work with fisheries on the Test and Itchen. It’s an excellent read, including tales from an 800m restoration project at Bossington and removal of some hatches on the Test at a site impounded possibly since the 15th century, revealing some extraordinary archaeology.

Click here to read the newsletter.  

Intensive Poultry Farming in Wales

Posted on May 03, 2018

WTT attended a seminar by S&TC Cymru in Builth Wells in early April which highlighted issues around mega-dairy units in west Wales and intensive poultry rearing towards the east of the country. The impacts on Wales’ rivers and their really important trout stocks is headlined in official data on the number of pollutions reported: around 1.5 significant events per week and a Category 1 or 2 event (the most serious episodes, killing fish) about every other week.The number of sanctions imposed by Natural Resources Wales suggests that the desperately under-resourced regulator is doing little effective regulation.

The Brecon and Radnor branch of The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) has set up a petition to try to encourage a debate in the Senedd. A target of 5000 signatures is sought by 22 May; the petition is open to those non-resident in Wales but who care for its environment, including its precious rivers and their trout.

More information here http://www.brecon-and-radnor-cprw.wales/ with the petition here http://brecon-and-radnor-cprw.wales/ipu-petition

Ron Holloway's last book now available

Posted on April 27, 2018

Side Stream Reflections. Further Meanderings of a Chalk Stream River Keeper by the late Ron Holloway is now available to buy on eBay. Price £9.99 plus £2.90 postage.

This is a book of the collected writings of Ron Holloway, one of the inspirational founding fathers of the Wild Trout Trust. Ron was a leading thinker and practitioner of fishing and trout management who influenced a generation of river keepers and fishery owners. This book is published posthumously by his good friend, David Hamnett. Profits from the sale of the book (approx. £5 per book) are donated to the Wild Trout Trust.

David says: 

New report on the destruction of our soil and the impact on rivers

Posted on April 27, 2018

WWF, the Angling Trust and the Rivers Trust have launched a new report called ‘Saving the Earth’ which highlights the damage being done to soil by farming. We are losing soil from the land at ten times the rate it is being replaced and too much soil is ending up in our rivers, causing huge damage to wildlife.  The report highlights the need to focus both payments to farmers and enforcement efforts on preserving our soils to ensure future food production and healthy rivers.

Tony Juniper said:

'Healthy soil is vital for our national security, yet we continue to cause immense damage to it, not only threatening our long term food supply but also harming our rivers and wildlife. None of this is inevitable though. We could have a farming system that restores soils and wildlife, while at the same time stopping agricultural run-off polluting our rivers. To do this we need not only the right legislation, however, but also robust enforcement and proper advice for farmers, otherwise new policies simply won’t work. The good news is that this will cost only about 10 million pounds a year.'

Get Together programme for Gargrave 19 May

Posted on April 26, 2018

Get Together programme for Gargrave 19 May

The 2018 WTT annual gathering beckons, running over the weekend of 19 & 20 May 2018, based around the village of Gargrave, near Skipton in N Yorks. It’s a really excellent chance to meet and chat with like-minded trouty types, listen to some inspiring talks on work in the patch and even fish some of Yorkshire’s finest trout rivers.

Early arrivers will meet for a pint in Lothersdale at the Hare & Hounds (Jonny Grey’s local) on the Friday evening, 18 May; if you’re staying over in Gargrave, we’ll try to arrange group taxis from Lothersdale back to Gargrave. Saturday will see a day of doubtless brilliant talks, in the village hall at Gargrave (programme here), followed by a walk along the River Aire, guided by WTT Conservation Officers, to see issues impacting the river and some of the work that is being done by WTT, the Environment Agency, Aire Rivers Trust, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Hull International Fisheries Institute, and local angling clubs.

On Saturday evening, we’ll enjoy a second pint and perhaps a curry in Gargrave before waking to fish fantastic local club water (with many thanks) on the Aire, Ribble and Wharfe.

RRC River Champions 2018

Posted on April 26, 2018

RRC River Champions 2018

Many congratulations to the group of chaps who were crowned River Champions 2018 at last night’s River Restoration Conference dinner, among them close friends of WTT, Stephen Frye, George MacIntosh and Glenn Smithson. Well done you all and thank you for your champion work for our rivers and their trout.

Photos below: Glenn Smithson and his River Champion award, at the RRC Conference dinner in Nottingham and in his more usual habitat, on the River Lark in Suffolk with his mate, Tim Taylor       

WTT in Ireland

Posted on April 24, 2018

WTT in Ireland

WTT’s stated brief is to work for wild trout across Britain and Ireland, north and south. The island of Ireland boasts some of the world’s very finest trout lakes and rivers and some of the most passionate Defenders of the Trout.

Last year, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), the state agency charged with the protection, improvement and development of the nation’s fisheries and its angling resource, launched a National Angling Strategy Development Fund which aimed to drive this work, in partnership with other governmental and non-governmental agencies.

WTT met with IFI senior managers to discuss how we might bring our incredibly successful model in England to help work for trout in Ireland. We applied unsuccessfully to the Fund for some advisory visits as proof-of-concept but did contribute to a successful bid by a group on the Clare River, Cairde na Chlair, for a major river improvement project on the Abbert River, a Clare tributary, ultimately draining into Lough Corrib. That work will go ahead in the autumn of 2018, with our Conservation Officer, Andy Thomas, providing some of the trout habitat nous. We very much hope that a successful project on the Abbert can demonstrate what WTT can bring to the party and add to other projects across Ireland.

Water Company Plans

Posted on April 24, 2018

Water Company Plans

Several of the water companies have Water Resource Management Plans out for consultation at the moment, with the first of those closing very soon. These plans lay out how the companies intend to find water for, in many areas, burgeoning human populations, then dispose of our waste. This should be critically important to those of us in the water-starved south and east of England, perhaps most pointedly to those of us who fish, love our rivers and value wildlife conservation.

The Angling Trust has produced an excellent response to the Thames Water consultation (closing 29 April), with links to the other companies’ consultations:  www.anglingtrust.net

 A famous chalkstream, the Chess in Bucks, missing one vital element. Photo courtesy of Paul Jennings]

Spring Time Dalliances

Posted on April 10, 2018

While our beloved trout are winter spawners with a long in-gravel incubation period that releases babies into the river when things start to warm up and hopefully become easier for little uns, most other river fish species egg-lay in the spring, with much shorter incubation times.

Right now, early April, grayling are spawning in my local river (the Itchen) and bullheads have very recently done so too. This video, courtesy of WTT member Martin Smith, shows brook lampreys doing their communal spawning thing, on the Thornton Beck in N Yorks. The adult lampreys use their weak, sucker mouths to move stones, creating a shallow depression into which their eggs can be laid. The resulting blind juveniles, called in the lamprey species ammocoetes, live for perhaps several years in silt beds in the river, filter-feeding on organic material.

They change into adults in the autumn, developing eyes, a silvery coloration and distinct fins, before spawning, then dying, the following spring. These animals, not technically true fish, are incredibly interesting and very well worth reading more about. Find on the internet the brilliant paper by Peter Maitland for Natural England: Ecology of the River, Brook and Sea Lamprey.