Trout in the Town Blog

28/03/2013 - 08:34
Although the weather shows no signs of warming up just yet, do check out the writings of Kathryn Maroun - previously a very active angler and now battling with stage 3 Lyme disease that is transferred via tick bites and, improperly treated, kills you by attacking the body's organs (including the brain).

Kathryn Maroun is one of a handful of Canadian women to be certified as an FFF casting instructor. She is the award winning executive producer of What A Catch Productions. The 52 show series highlights Kathryn's fishing adventures from around the world. Kathryn exposes never talked about hazards of the sport, conservation, culture, as well as showcasing exotic game fish in her series. Her show first aired in the US before being internationally distributed.
Kathryn is featured in the collection of two prominent museums for her significant contribution to the sport of fly fishing.
Kathryn Maroun is the president and founder of Casting for Recovery Canada, past director of Trout Unlimited Canada and past member of the Canadian World Fly Fishing team. Along with creating a line of clothing for women at work in the outdoors, Kathryn has fished around the world and has a number of world record fish to her name.

http://www.womensoutdoornews.com/2013/02/kathryn-maroun-stage-3-and-me-an-update-from-the-front-lines-in-the-battle-of-her-life/
28/01/2013 - 16:31
We trout in the town types occasionally come in for some snide comments regarding playing round the edges of things at a local scale when we do volunteer balsam bashes and contract knotweed stem injection work. Well, as our own experiences with recovery of native seedbank plant species following the removal of Himalayan balsam concur, there is also now peer reviewed published science that indicates Global plant diversity can hinge on local battles against invasive species. It also explains why some of the previous literature can, sometimes, give conflicting conclusions depending upon the scale at which studies measured diversity.

RT @bes_invasive: Global plant diversity hinges on local battles against #invasivespecies ow.ly/h7myP and ow.ly/h7ngR

— BES (@BritishEcolSoc) January 25, 2013
24/01/2013 - 11:17
A number of projects that I am involved with in the UK have ambitions towards "daylighting" sections of urban rivers. I eagerly look forward to the full production of the film whose trailer appears below. There will always be sections of river that cannot be brought back up out of the underground tunnels. However, I hope that we will be able to witness more and more sections of river as they get their first glimpse of daylight in over a century...

Lost Rivers - OFFICIAL TRAILER from Catbird Productions on Vimeo.

18/01/2013 - 16:42
I saw that Theo Pike had posted this in his urban trout blog (http://www.urbantrout.net/film-night-fly-fishing-the-urban-potomac/)and just think that the film and Theo's synopsis nails it.

This is the underlying passion that Trout in the Town needs to kindle and ignite in communities that live around some of the best, most valuable and most un-loved wild trout and grayling populations in the UK.

08/01/2013 - 15:55

trout with egg sac

 

So, at this time of year, trout streams across the UK will play host to some genuine - and almost entirely hidden - miracles. Much of this will be played out in the microcosmos found in the tiny breathing spaces between irregularly-shaped gravel chips. It doesn't matter whether the trout stream is in the middle of a busy city or in pristine countryside - new life is currently finding a way. In fact, I can think of a bus stop only a few hundred meters from where I currently sit that the queues of passengers will be standing almost within touching distance of a new generation of tiny trout. Each occupying parallel but completely separate universes.

Our (largely) warm and wet winter of 2012 will mean that lots of streams would have seen spawning efforts starting perhaps in November. The males chasing rivals away from prime spawning sites and the females fluttering their bodies sideways to thrash and scrape small depressions in the gravel bed.

The eggs shed and fertilised by the most persistent (or sneaky!) males in these depressions have then been buried by further thrashing. The resultant mounds of gravel covering the scooped out nests containing the fertilised eggs are called "redds" and come with a remarkable ventilation system. The raised "bump" profile (that can initially be seen as a much brighter patch - until the regrowth of algae camouflages it again) forces water to flow between the gravel particles. This keeps the eggs supplied with vital oxygen. However, especially at the early stages of egg development, the redds are very sensitive to disturbance. Anglers wading on top of or through such redds can easily kill the majority of eggs inside. Also, if the gravels become smothered with fine sediment at any point when either the eggs or the baby fish (alevins) are sheltering inside - they will suffocate and die.

As the baby trout develop within the spherical egg membranes, the eyes, spinal columns and yolk sacs of individual fish become visible. The longer this development goes on, the more mobile the little trout become inside their protective shells.

An arduous hatching procedure ensues in which the tiny trout (just over a centimeter long) wriggle, gasp and thrash their way out of a split in the egg membrane. These newly-emerged baby trout (complete with large yolk sac for nutrition) are programmed to STAY WITHIN THE GRAVEL until the large yolk sac is entirely absorbed (which will take them through to spring).

Emerging from the gravel in spring is a huge step into the big wide world - and with no yolk sac to rely on - independent feeding must take place to avoid starvation. For now though let us consider that from November through to somewhere roughly around April the gravelly beds (especially at the tails of pools) of our trout streams will hold the future generation of trout that can live up to the wildest of fly fishing dreams.

Even for a totally selfish angler, stomping on these areas of refuge is a bad idea for the prospects of future encounters. The fact that, even after the eggs have hatched, the tiny trout are hiding in the cramped spaces between gravel chips make them extremely vulnerable to being trodden on. Probably more insidious though is the threat of suffocation caused by siltation. This could be the result of channel modification/presence of weirs that promotes silt accumulation, rampant bank erosion due to one of two main causes (invasive plant species that die back in winter or unrestricted heavy grazing and trampling by livestock), badly implemented drainage of roads, construction sites, buildings, forestry plantations or agricultural fields - the list goes on.

The video is a short insight into what goes on in the gravel (and why people should think twice about disturbing or smothering it).

Troutearlylifeblog from Paul Gaskell on Vimeo.



04/12/2012 - 14:25
Three local guides - Paul Gaskell and John Pearson (both of SPRITE and Discover Tenkara) along with Orvis guide Stuart Crofts - gave a free guided tenkara experience valued at over £500 on Saturday. The event was run as a thank-you to people who have supported SPRITE over the last few years. We were delighted to receive very generous donations direct to SPRITE charitable funds from two attendees (one a brand new member and one existing member) that totaled almost £100. Very many thanks for such generous donations (whether volunteering "in kind" or in cash) as all will be focused on continuing to look after the river and educate people in the value of their urban rivers and wildlife.

Some selected quotes from attendees include:

"I've learned more this morning than in the last 5 years of fishing"

"Just wanted to thank you for a fantastic 'Tenkara Day' on Saturday. I had a great time, learnt masses and masses and I was really touched by how generous everyone was with their time and knowledge – regardless of how many questions that I asked!!"

"Hi Guys, Just a note to say I really enjoyed the Tenkara day on Saturday. I
have made a donation through paypal"


My moustache from "Movember" was still very much in effect (as seen in some of the pictures below!) and any last minute donations to that worthy cause should be aimed here: http://mobro.co/paulgaskell2.














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