Eel virus

Posted on September 12, 2013

Herpesvirus anguillae (HVA) is a virus that infects eels. It was first detected in the summer of 2009 and was the first confirmed outbreak of HVA in wild eels in the UK. Disease outbreaks have all been reported during summer and early autumn. Diseased eels: 

  • May appear lethargic and swim near the surface or the water's edge.
  • They may have reddened fins and a mottled appearance to the skin.The main damage caused by this virus is to the gills, with necrosis (cell death) and loss of normal gill structure.
  • The internal organs can also be affected with inflammation and further necrosis. 
These changes cause organ failure, leading to debilitation and death. Little is known about the distribution of HVA in Britain.  If you experience fish mortalities, or require more information about fish diseases please contact: National Fisheries Services, Environment Agency, Bromholme Lane, Brampton, Huntingdon, PE28 4NE. Tel: 01480 483802;

For more information on the disease, you can access the Environment Agency briefing note by clicking the link below:

EA HVA briefing note

Riverfly Monitoring in Lincolnshire Chalkstreams

Posted on September 09, 2013

The Riverfly Partnership’s Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (RMI, previously known as the Anglers Monitoring Initiative) is well established in the angling community, but increasingly non angling volunteers are also being trained to help monitor the health of their local river. 

A very successful training session was held at the end of August in Swaby and on the River Great Eau in Lincolnshire that included students, landowners and naturalists as well as anglers.  

More details can be found here

Irish Fly fair

Posted on September 09, 2013

This is a reminder that the 4th annual Irish Fly Fair and Angling show will be held at the Galway Bay Hotel on  the 9th and 10th of November. Please click here for more information. 


Vole eating trout

Posted on September 09, 2013

The Silver Creek in Idaho and its resident trout population are regularly studied by the US fish and wildlife service who have noted the propensity of large adult brown trout to opportunistically feed on voles during episodic ‘hatches’ (or infestations) of the rodents (click here for details). Indeed, the phenomenon of trout ‘keying in’ on a mayfly hatch is well known to anglers. Here at the WTT we were recently sent a story about a shrew eating rainbow trout in Alaska.

The 19 inch fish had consumed 19 of the rodents and the picture and story can be viewed by clicking here

Project completed on the River Great Stour in Kent

Posted on August 29, 2013

Project completed on the River Great Stour in Kent

This project took place on the River Great Stour near Ashford in Kent and the main construction phase was completed in August 2013. The objective was to create a varied habitat for flow loving fish over a 600m reach that would work in both low and high flow conditions, as well as provide improved cattle drinks and a doggy dip / drink area.

The river, like many across the UK, had been unsympathetically dredged and the banks were damaged by cattle. During summer low flow periods, the over wide channel became choked with reeds and potentially created a flood water conveyance issue during high flows. The answer was not to simply re-dredge the river, but to create a self sustaining channel with natural form and function that would be more resilient to flood and drought, and provide habitat for flow loving fish including trout, dace and chub.

This delivery of this project was a partnership between the Wild Trout Trust, the Godinton Piscatorials, the Godinton House Preservation Trust and the Environment Agency (EA).

Peter Lapsley: obituary

Posted on August 21, 2013

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Peter Lapsley, journalist, author and fisherman. Peter was a tremendous supporter of the WTT, and will be very much missed.  

Neil Patterson, his good friend, fellow fisherman and writer, has kindly written this obituary: 

Head out of Watford and turn left to Cassiobury Park. Walk to the bridge over the Grand Union Canal and follow the footpath until you get to a lock. Cross over and plonk yourself on a concrete shelf and place your maggot just where a stream hits the canal.

Brown trout adapt to tolerate a river's poisons

Posted on August 07, 2013

Brown trout in the River Hayle have adapted to survive and breed despite lethal toxin levels, a legacy of the Cornish tin mining industry. A joint study by KCL and Exeter University has found that this population of brown trout has undergone rapid genetic changes and developed a tolerance to the toxin levels. This study clearly demonstrates the importance of trout being able to use the full range of genes in their genetic ‘tool box’ and illustrates the dangers of stocking in diluting this resource (see the WTT Stocking page).

View the full story by clicking here

Peter Lapsley

Posted on August 06, 2013

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Peter Lapsley, journalist, author and fisherman.

Peter was a tremendous supporter of the WTT, and will be very much missed.

Face the Facts; 'Sold Down the River'

Posted on July 31, 2013


Face the Facts programme ‘Sold Down the River’ focuses on paying the price for cheap water and the Charter for Chalk Streams

Tune in and Face the Facts

Face the Facts  broadcasts on BBC Radio 4 and the ’Sold Down the River’ programme goes out on July 31st at 12.30 PM and August 4th at 9PM. However, like most BBC radio programmes it is available on BBC iPlayer so please share this link with anyone you think might be interested or who is in a position to make a difference.

Click here to be redirected to the programme. 

Modern-day colliers’ canaries

Posted on July 29, 2013

Much like the miners’ canaries of yesteryear, birds are once again warning of potentially damaging substances in the former South Wales coalfield. Whereas deep miners once carried caged canaries to warn of suffocating gases, today’s equivalent comes from detailed chemical analysis of pollutant residues in the eggs of wild birds such as the dipper. These thrush-sized birds are the world’s only song-birds to feed directly on river insects and they have proven to be excellent indicators of river health.

Research* carried by scientists at the School of Biosciences shows that dipper eggs along urban South Wales rivers contain some pollutants at levels, on average, over four times greater than in adjacent rural rivers and are among the highest ever found in songbirds. The pollutants – such as PCBs and PBDEs – can persist in the environment for long periods and are among those believed to contribute to hormonal irregularities and abnormal development in fish. Some of these pollutants are a legacy of past industrial activity but others, such as PBDEs – widely used as flame retardants in building, industrial and domestic materials – might still be increasing. This work is important in showing that such substances can find their way into water, particularly near towns and cities, and accumulate in river wildlife. 


Full story here.

Mike Blackmore is running Tough Mudder 2013 for wild trout

Posted on July 25, 2013

The WTT’s very own Mike Blackmore is participating in the Tough Mudder South West event in September and raising funds for the WTT through sponsorship.Click here for more information on Mike's epic challenge.Mike has already started his training, running several miles a day and will commence hill and gorge running/climbing in August.

Please sponsor Mike and spread the word !Donations can be made by text (text TWTT62 £1 to 700070 to sponsor Mike a quid or TWTT62 £5 for a donation of five pounds).He also has a Just Giving page here.

All proceeds will go to the WTT to support our practical habitat project work. 

WTT & Severn Rivers Trust partnership work

Posted on July 18, 2013

WTT & Severn Rivers Trust partnership work


Tim Jacklin of the Wild Trout Trust spent a day In July with the Cain and Tanat Valleys River Group on the Afon Cain at Llanfyllin, Powys, providing training in bank revetment techniques using locally sourced brushwood.  The day was organised by Lisa Barlow of the Severn Rivers Trust .  The River Group are working on a project to reduce sedimentation in the river to protect spawning salmonids by reducing bank erosion and this training will help towards that goal.  For more information and to get involved contact Lisa Barlow via the Severn Rivers Trust website.

Click here for a selection of the WTT's free, online advice.   Click here for the Severn Trent website

3-fly competition raises £2,400 for the Wild Trout Trust

Posted on July 17, 2013

3-fly competition raises £2,400 for the Wild Trout Trust

The annual 3 fly competition held at Meon Springs in Hampshire has raised £2,400 for the Wild Trout Trust.  A fantastic result!

The winner was Dave King of the John  Lewis Partnership Fly Fishing Club. He takes home a Sage rod as first prize as well as an engraved glass tankard. Tim Kennard took second place and Neil Mundy (pictured below) came third.

Our thanks go particularly to Neil Mundy who invented the competition and organises the day from breakfast bacon sandwiches to prize giving.  Our thanks also to all the competitors who took part in the event, to Meon Springs who were the excellent hosts,  and to Sage for the rod as first prize.

Moray Firth Trout Initiative featuring Mayfly in the Classroom

Posted on July 15, 2013

The Summer Moray Firth Trout Initiative newsletter is out and features a piece on Mayfly in the Classroom, the result of a MiC training course delivered by the WTT in February.

View the newsletter by clicking here.Click here for more information on the WTT's Mayfly in the Classroom programme, or contact  Ben Tyser :