WTT Conservation Awards 2019

Posted on March 29, 2019

If you’re doing work for our rivers and their trout, we want to hear and tell about it. Apply now for the WTT Conservation Awards 2019 – click here for an information sheet and here for the application form. 

We’re looking for practical improvement projects of all sizes (could be a big-scale river restoration project, a weir removal or small-scale but highly effective improvement of an angling club water) and we’re keen to recognise broader work for our rivers and their trout, for example how an angling club is changing for the better how it manages its fishing and its anglers.

The application form is simple and easy to complete; if we like what we see, we’ll arrange a judges’ interview to discuss your work with you in more detail, before announcing our winners at the Awards’ ceremony in London on 16 October 2019. During this evening, we’ll ask you to tell our audience about your work and give you the opportunity to display your project through a poster and/or fliers for guests to take away.

Cheriton Stream Enhancement - EA Partnership Project

Posted on March 05, 2019

Cheriton Stream Enhancement - EA Partnership Project

The Cheriton Stream is widely recognised as the primary headwater of the River Itchen in Hampshire. This section of river was one of the country’s first ever Wild Fishery Protection Zones, where no stocking is permitted by the Environment Agency. It is crucial therefore, that habitat quality is good enough to support a healthy and vibrant wild trout population. Unfortunately, historic channel modifications, coupled with excessive grazing pressures, has left a wide, uniform and very shallow river channel.

Following a successful project delivered by the WTT further downstream last year, the Environment Agency have funded a further phase of work at the very top of the Tichborne fishery. This fishery is managed by the Tichborne Fly Fishers and volunteers from the club, led by WTT Conservation Officer Andy Thomas, have been busy improving a 100m section of channel to create enhanced habitat for all the life stages of brown trout, as well as providing improved cover for native white clawed crayfish.

Derbyshire Wye Trout Fishing Weekend for WTT Members

Posted on February 16, 2019

Derbyshire Wye Trout Fishing Weekend for WTT Members

The Haddon Estate, through its Peacock Fly Fishing Club, has kindly offered access to its fisheries again as a fundraising and social event for WTT, on 20th and 21st July 2019. This is an excellent opportunity to fish for wild brown, wild rainbow and grayling across four rivers including areas usually only available to club members. The Estate ceased stocking its waters on the Wye, Lathkill and Bradford in 2004 and since then, has operated a thriving, catch & release wild fishery. The Lathkill, Wye and Bradford are strictly bankside fishing and dry-fly only, but on the River Derwent, nymph fishing and wading are permitted. Local advice will be available to help you get the best out of your day. To find out more about the Peacock Fly Fishing Club, how the Estate’s fisheries are managed and what they offer, you are invited to meet the river keepers for a chat and BBQ (at no extra cost).

A limited number of rods are available to WTT members at a cost of £50 per rod per day, so do book soon. Contact Christina in the WTT office via: office@​wildtrout.​org / 023 9257 0985. 

Not a member ? You can join here.

Coarse Fish Close Season in England

Posted on February 07, 2019

The EA in England is consulting on the coarse fish close season, seeking views on continuation of the current close season, shifting it to 15 April to 30 June or its abolition.

We at WTT have responded (a copy of that response HERE).

We are recommending maintenance of the status quo i.e. a close season on rivers and some canals and stillwaters from 15 March to 15 June: not perfect but practical and protects most species, most of the time. We believe that rivers and their wildlife need a break and thus do not support the abolition of the close season. We do not believe that the close season should be moved, to protect coarse fish spawners, especially in the light of predicted climate change and likely earlier shifting spawning times and because of the risk to salmonids (juveniles and adults) that are feeding hard as the river wakes up and are vulnerable to capture and mortality from bait fishing.

Sponsor tracking a salmon smolt on the Tweed

Posted on February 06, 2019

Sponsor tracking a salmon smolt on the Tweed

In effort to maximise the number of salmon smolts that reach the sea, the Tweed Foundation will be using acoustic tracking to answer some key questions:  

  • How many smolts make it to sea
  • How barriers in the river prevent smolts from completing their journey downstream
  • Where smolts get lost in our river system
  • How river levels affect the smooth passage of our smolts’ journey out to sea

If you would like to support this research by sponsoring an acoustic tracker, contact the Tweed Foundation. 

Eradicating mink consultation

Posted on January 31, 2019

Eradicating mink consultation

Views and advice are sought by a group of conservationists on whether a programme to eradicate mink from the island of Great Britain is feasible or desireable.

They say:

Mink were imported to Britain for fur farming and are now widely established in the wild. Voracious predators, they can be especially damaging to water vole populations, and have consequently been controlled across the country for years. Eradication, i.e. the removal of every single mink, has long been discussed, but previously was considered too difficult, too expensive, or both. Developments over recent years may have changed that picture, however, perhaps bringing the prospect of a mink-free GB into reach, and we believe the time is right to re-assess the situation.

Stuart Crofts caddis fly courses and a new book

Posted on January 21, 2019

Stuart Crofts caddis fly courses and a new book

News from WTT friend and ace bug-man, Stuart Crofts: 

1. Entomology courses at the Freshwater Biological Association (Windermere)

    Adult Caddisfly Identification Workshop (new for 2019) with Stuart Crofts: Saturday April 27th 2019

    Fisheries Management Scotland Conference 2019

    Posted on December 20, 2018

    Fisheries Management Scotland has announced its annual conference for 29 March 2019 in Edinburgh. The event will focus on salmon in the International Year of the Salmon, but there’s plenty too that is significant to trout, not least the discussions around regulation of the Scottish salmon farming industry and its impacts on wild fish. Further details on the FMS website. Or download the conference flyer.

    North East Salmon Net Closures

    Posted on December 19, 2018

    The Environment Agency has announced closure of some of the NE English net fisheries, as part of a suite of measures contained in new byelaws to protect imperilled salmon stocks. Details of the announcment are here. Whilst these measures will hit hard a number of licensed netsmen in the area, the drift net fishery especially seemed anachronistic in the context of salmon populations in crisis. The new byelaw also introduces angling restrictions, with ‘At Risk’ and ‘Recovering’ salmon rivers under mandatory catch-and-release from June 2019 and renewal of the 1998 Spring Salmon Byelaws.

    However, we are concerned that NE sea trout stocks will see increased fishing pressure from the T and J nets. The Agency’s own assessments for the NE’s principal salmonid rivers suggests that sea trout may possibly be in a worse state than salmon, yet the trout net fishery continues. The Agency believes that cessation of the drift nets, a shorter netting season and non-replacement of expired licences will see a progressive reduction in the numbers of sea trout killed. We’re working with sister NGOs to try to ensure that sea trout get a better deal.

    WTT Annual Draw 2018

    Posted on December 12, 2018

    WTT Annual Draw 2018

    On 11 December, Shaun Leonard, Christina Bryant and few others were at the Ship & Bell in Horndean for our Annual Draw which took place over a glass of wine.

    Thank you to all who bought tickets for our annual draw and to our generous prize donors, we raised an incredibly useful £4,598.

    The tickets were drawn by Christina’s daughter, Felicity, and the winning numbers are:

    Peter O’Reilly RIP

    Posted on December 07, 2018

    Peter O’Reilly RIP

    We are sad to report the death of Peter O’Reilly, hugely respected fly fisherman, caster, tier, guide and advocate for wild trout, in his role as a WTT Vice-President. Condolences from all at WTT to Peter’s many friends and family.

    Southern sea trout conservation- update 2

    Posted on December 07, 2018

    Southern sea trout conservation- update 2

    There is a consultation underway regarding net fishing management along the south coast from the Devon/Dorset border to the Hampshire/Sussex border including the Isle of Wight. The proposals will potentially affect sea trout and salmon which may be caught as a ‘by-catch’ in nets targeting other fish such as mullet and sea bass. WTT has responded to the consultation and we would urge others to do so in order to protect our valuable fish stocks.

    The consultation is being run by the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) and it closes on 7 December.

    UPDATE: The Angling Trust have produced a good, robust response to this consultation and a press release.

    Garfield Weston Foundation grant for WTT

    Posted on December 07, 2018

    We are absolutely delighted that the Garfield Weston Foundation has awarded WTT a grant of £20,000 for a project called ‘Wild Trout Trust Futures’. We’ll use the money to fund parts of our core work of advice and project delivery. For example, we will invest some time in understanding the impact of our work by carrying out post-project reviews and ‘lessons learned’ and communicating the impact of that work to a wider audience; we’ll look too to where our conservation role might be in future years.