WTT Blog

The Duddy Clan and Greater Manchester's Recovering Rivers

Posted on July 13, 2015


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

Diet interactions of brown trout and perch at Malham Tarn

Posted on July 01, 2015

Diet interactions of brown trout and perch at Malham Tarn

It is believed that brown trout and perch were introduced into Malham Tarn by the Cistercian monks in the 12th century. Further stocking of brown trout for recreational fishing started around 1860, continuing off and on until 1994 when the National Trust pushed for a more natural brown trout fishery. Indeed stocking ceased in 2001 and, since 2002, a strict catch and release policy for all fish has been in place.

A few years ago, Jon Payne, now working for one of the fisheries teams at the Environment Agency, looked at the life history and growth rates of brown trout in Malham Tarn and showed very rapid growth compared to other European populations. OK, it’s a limestone lake so the underlying nutrient base for productivity is good, but the elevation and location might suggest pretty harsh growing conditions for fish.

What happens to the funding and volunteer support given to the WTT?

Posted on June 14, 2015

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...

Poacher Turned Gamekeeper: Using Tampons to detect River Pollution from Misconnected Sewers

Posted on March 31, 2015


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:

Restoring Bradford...

What a difference a week makes - contrasting fortunes of headwater streams

Posted on March 10, 2015


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...

Weir and Culvert Removal - why do even "non migratory trout" need that?

Posted on February 27, 2015

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.

Hillsborough College Tenkara in the Town River Experience Day

Posted on December 22, 2014


Through the invitation and efforts of Howard Bayley and Hellen Hornby, myself and long-time Conservation Champion Stuart Crofts enjoyed a day of bringing an exotic note to two groups of students that Hellen teaches about the great outdoors every Friday. Our idea was fairly simple - to show how an interest in rivers that has been fostered through paddling in and learning to fly fish local streams can take you to some unexpected and wonderful places.



Most/all of the students (prior to being involved with Hellen's lessons at the College) have very little experience or knowledge of, or engagement with nature and the outdoors. Consequently, it is exceptionally gratifying when you see their attention held by an activity like fly tying or a slideshow of their local river, which runs by the college, placed next to photographs and videos of mountain streams in Japan (and the people who pursue the same outdoor pastimes as we do in Yorkshire).

This event, and other outdoor engagement activities run through by Hellen, have been made possible via funding donated by Cadbury Trebor Bassetts and I'd like to say a big thank you to...

Latest Wandle progress is truly outstanding

Posted on December 11, 2014

All Photos: Tim Longstaff, Wandle Trust

That was then: Silt-choked channel in pleasant surroundings of Carshalton

Between 2009 and 2011, the Wild Trout Trust spent many hours alongside the Wandle Trust battling to get approval for some simple and cheap improvements that could start to relieve some of the impacts (at least to some degree) caused by poor habitat quality. Due to the location of the stream within a heavily urbanised and densely populated part of London, this process was extremely arduous; as consenting officers were extremely wary of any potential risks to surrounding structures such as walls, footpaths and the ever-present fear of flooding.

The culmination of that part of the process was a wonderful urban conclave event (2011 Urban Conclave) which saw urban stream-care volunteers from around the country gathering to take part in the in-stream habitat improvements that had, at last, been granted permission to go ahead.

At that time funding had also been secured for the installation of a pre-fabricated fish pass onto a high sluice gate (part of a historic mill) which, at the time, was deemed impossible to safely modify. This meant that the potential benefits of such a fish pass were constrained by the...

Prioritising Dredging is a Danger to Effective Flood Risk Management

Posted on November 14, 2014

With the terrible impacts of flooding still very fresh in the memories of the electorate - being seen to be boldly meeting this challenge by deploying machinery to master nature could be a great way to win votes.

However, the evidence tells us that overall flood risk can be increased by dredging (by passing the problem downstream) and could not have prevented the recent extensive floods that had such terrible impacts.

That is just considering the flood risk angle - the problem with dredging is that it carries a lot of additional, automatic and unavoidable costs that can impact on our environment (which we have plenty of selfish reasons to protect - even if we have no regard for nature for its own sake).

Please consider reading this balanced report from Blueprint for Water: Dredging up Trouble

See also these easily digestible videos on a previous post:

Must-Watch Videos on Floodwater Management


Please don't let us sleepwalk into wasting money on an approach that does nothing to improve (and can actually make worse) the situation for people at risk of being flooded. Let us also not return to procedures that destroy the environment that we depend upon to exist.

River Kennet Habitat Improvement Video

Posted on November 06, 2014

As Joint professional category winners in the 2014 WTT Conservation awards (Sponsored by Thames Water) - the Eastridge Estate habitat works project has a lot of interesting things to share. Video is often far more efficient at conveying these messages than lots of technical documentation:



The video above shows some of the works undertaken over this substantial section of the River Kennet which not only created a lot of new spawning, juvenile and adult trout habitat (and a lot of additional river corridor flora and fauna) - but connected huge sections of upstream and downstream habitat that had previously been kept separate for fish migration.

The project had to improve habitat and reduce long impounded (dammed) sections whilst at the same time retaining enough vertical head of water in certain places to be able to flood the SSSI water meadows adjacent to the river. They did this by introducing a series of gravel riffles to retain enough head - but to energise and diversify the flow within the introduced habitat.

Coupling this type of activity with lowering the banks (and narrowing the channel where appropriate) has also increased the connectivity of the main channel with its flood plain - providing a place for...

Simon Cooper's write up inspired by his atttendance at our 2014 Conservation Awards

Posted on November 03, 2014


We will soon be able to bring you a video that details just one of the dozen entries to this year's hard-fought conservation awards. The standards of works submitted were incredibly high - with many projects that could have easily taken the winning spots in previous years of competition.

http://www.flyfishing.co.uk/news/fly-fishing-features/features/fishinguk/6862-chalkstreams-%E2%80%93-it%E2%80%99s-looking-good.html

Emerging Urban Efforts: Holme Valley Vision, Stoke-on-Trent, Porter Brook

Posted on October 24, 2014



Just three examples of the exciting projects that Trout in the Town is supporting at the moment as part of various partnerships that are working to get urban river restoration projects off the ground.

Holme Valley Vision: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/main-topics/general-news/cash-plea-as-huddersfield-valley-unites-to-improve-river-1-6904319, will be launched with an exhibition in Holmfirth Market Hall from Thursday October 30 to Saturday November 1, which will tell the history of the river and its ecology, and ask the public what improvements they want to see. Come along, and if you think it is a good idea, please consider donating to their "River2015" campaign that will support their effort: The aim of River2015 is to make improvements along its route, which takes in Honley, Holme and Holmfirth, starting by recruiting 2,015 people to donate £20.15, £201.50 or £2,015.

Myself and my colleague Tim Jacklin have recently been involved with strategy meetings and also a number of walkover visits on sites in the urban Trent catchment. We, along with Nick Mott of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust will be proposing and designing (as well as helping to deliver) habitat improvement projects in these urban reaches as part of a great Catchment...