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Sunday, 13th November 2016
Our Conservation Officer in the farthest north, Gareth Pedley, recently ran a two day workshop on bank protection and habitat improvement on the River Derwent in Cumbria; this was on behalf of the Derwent riparian owners and the Environment Agency.
The days were well attended by staff from organisations like Natural England and the rivers trusts, and there was considerable interest as well from local individuals.
Overall, the workshop was very productive and we’d like to thank everyone who turned up and got stuck in, particularly the EA and National Trust staff who sourced materials and provided technical support.
Watch out for similar events to come in the Cumbria area on these news pages.
Sunday, 13th November 2016
We have just had drawn to our attention, a vacancy for a funded 4-year PhD position at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) on density-dependence in juvenile salmonids in river environments. Sounds really interesting! We'll be keeping tabs on that research.
Anyway, the details of the project are available to download, here
Thursday, 10th November 2016
Recent work to rehabilitate Eastburn Beck (River Aire, Yorkshire), led by one of our northern Conservation Officers, Jonny Grey, and in partnership with the Environment Agency, has had a fair bit of coverage via these news pages, via the WTT blog, and via social media.
It has also received some fabulous coverage in the mainstream media, via The Yorkshire Post Saturday magazine and even beyond the borders of that great county, nationally via The I, courtesy of our talented writer chum, Andrew Griffiths. Jonny spent a great day with Andrew and with renowned Yorkshire fly-fishing guide, Stuart Minnikin, who made his first forays into fishing on Eastburn Beck.
And, if you want the fisherman’s version of that story, then do keep a look out for the upcoming December/January issue of Fieldsports Magazine in which Andrew puts a slightly different slant on the day.
Thursday, 3rd November 2016
Great job opportunity in the fisheries world, as a Project Officer with the Fishmongers Company in London. The role will involve support for policy-work, developing partnerships and networks, convening and managing of events and overseeing Company funded projects.
Closing date for applications is 18 November 2016, with further information available from Cynthia Baddoo at the Fishmongers Company: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, 25th October 2016
As part of a series of projects funded by Yorkshire Water, WTT Conservation Officer Jonny Grey has been working with members of the Bingley Angling Club to improve the habitat on two tributaries of the River Aire near Keighley in Yorkshire.
There were lots of extra helping hands including volunteers from other fishing clubs, the S&TA and non-anglers from Computashare.
Click here for more information.
There will be another session on another tributary nearby this Saturday, 29 October.
If you would like to join the team, please contact Jonny Grey at email@example.com or leave a message on
07969 337808 (he is out on site and in the river most days!).
Wednesday, 19th October 2016
Over 100 guests attended a Wild Trout Trust evening at the Savile Club in Mayfair yesterday evening to present the 2016 awards for the best river habitat conservation projects. The evening was introduced by WTT Chairman, David Fraser and Director, Shaun Leonard, with the awards presented by Yvette De Garis of Thames Water, who generously sponsor the Conservation Awards.
The Conservation Awards recognise and encourage excellence in the management and conservation of wild trout habitat, celebrating the efforts, skills and ingenuity of projects carried out both by professionals and by grass roots voluntary organisations.
The Wild Trout Hero Award recognises an individual who has made a significant difference to the future of the UK’s favourite fish – the wild brown trout.
The winners are:
The Environment Agency, with the angling clubs of the Upper Ribble, won the Contribution to Wild Trout Conservation for their ‘Going Wild’ Project on the River Ribble in Lancashire.
The clubs and syndicates that fish the upper 35 miles of Lancashire’s River Ribble decided to entirely cease stocking the river with farmed trout, first in 2007. They now enjoy wild trout fishing, with one club member reporting a catch (and release) of 27 fish including 6 fish over 2lb! The change in policy was based on a wide range of evidence gathered by the EA and clubs, and this has allowed club committees to make informed, evidence-based decisions on the best use of their members’ monies in the provision of the best possible angling experience. The wholesale shift in stock management policy is also being combined with fencing and river corridor habitat improvement projects involving also the Ribble Rivers Trust, to give the wild breeding populations the best possible chances in life.
The East Yorkshire Rivers Trust ‘Lowthorpe Mill Diversion, Foston Beck’ won the Medium-Scale Habitat Enhancement Scheme.
An ambitious project to create a new channel around an ancient water mill on one of England most northerly chalk streams. The mill structures were acting as a sediment trap and barrier to fish migration, but this was a sensitive historic site that needed a sensitive approach. The solution was to create 250m of new channel which is fished by the Foston Beck Angling Club, who also monitor the river for invertebrate life. The new section of river has already been colonised by wild trout and the number and diversity of rivers flies have increased remarkably quickly. An ambitious project, expertly executed, that is already showing real benefits for trout and other wildlife.
The Rivers Corridor Group Project, River Derwent/Bassenthwaite system won the ‘Large-Scale Habitat Enhancement Scheme’.
This project has achieved enormous change for the Cumbrian Derwent system since 2005, through a remarkable cooperative effort to shift land-use and stream habitat. There is a very broad, level of local involvement that includes schools, farmers and angling clubs as well as the Rivers Trust, the Woodland Trust, National Trust and Government agencies. The group have carried out over 120 habitat improvement projects and addressed issues such as bank erosion that were exacerbated by the 2009 and 2015 floods. A superb example of a diverse, long-term partnership tackling issues on a flood-prone river.
Rob Mungovan, Wild Trout Hero 2016
Rob's day job is as an ecologist with South Cambridgeshire District Council but, for wild trout, he comes into his own working on the rivers across eastern central England. Rob is a truly passionate wild trout fisher and an equally passionate advocate for the conservation and improvement of our rivers, a very worthy Wild Trout Hero.
Monday, 17th October 2016
Gareth Pedley will be running another Practical Demostration Day in Yorkshire as part of the series of events sponsored by Yorkshire Water. The day will be run in conjunction with our chums at Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust, on 26th October.
The site is Skeeby Beck, a tributary of the Swale. All the details are in the attachment, here.
Thursday, 13th October 2016
Monday, 10th October 2016
Two small tributaries join the Aire within the boundaries of the property: one is completely overwhelmed in willow scrub while the other is completely exposed and has been subject to livestock grazing.
The aim is to rehabilitate both to maximise spawning and juvenile habitat potential using simple techniques that conform to exemptions under the new environmental permitting regulations. These are the sort of low-cost approaches that anglers or other groups could easily undertake during work parties on their own waters.
The format of each day (22nd and 29th October) will be similar, running from 1000-1500 (meeting 0945 in the lower car park at East Riddlesden Hall). Participants need only bring suitable outdoor clothing and wellies, and gardening gloves. Loppers, pruning saws, or bow saws could be useful but not essential.
Please contact Jon Grey if you are interested, to help cater with numbers.
Wednesday, 5th October 2016
Weirs are a problem for both resident trout and sea trout as they act as barriers for them to migrate upstream to spawn and downstream to go to sea or find new territories as they grow to adult size. Weirs also disrupt the way that sediment would naturally be eroded and deposited in a river, creating pools of sediment above the weir and excessive erosion below. For more on the impacts of weirs, click here.
Projects that re-connect rivers fragmented by weirs and other barriers is a core part of the WTT’s work. Wherever practical, the preferred solution is to remove the weir or make a 'notch' to reduce the height and concentrate flow, rather than install (often expensive) fish passes.
Here are a three of examples of WTT projects that have removed weirs or notched weirs in August and September 2016. One is a small project on the River Meon in Hampshire delivered by Andy Thomas (details below).
The second is a larger project on the Brailsford Brook in Derbyshire managed by Tim Jacklin which removed 5 weirs in under three hours ! For some before and after photos of that project, click here.
The third project involved notching weirs on the Eastburn Beck in Yorkshire. This project was carried out by Jonny Grey of the WTT and Pete Turner of the Environment Agency, with help from volunteers from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Bradford Environmental Action Trust. Click here for the story of that project.
River Meon, Hampshire
Access for migrating fish has been improved along with 150m of channel on the upper Meon at Riplington. WTT delivered an advisory visit to this site in 2014 and identified an old concrete weir structure that was responsible for both holding up fish migrations and also degrading local habitat.
Last week the invert of the concrete weir was finally removed back to the original bed level. The wings of the weir were retained to act as a flume to ensure that the existing downstream plunge pool doesn’t become completely silted up. In addition to the weir removal, a further six pool & run features were created using a tracked excavator. Pools were deliberately created in the lee of existing hawthorn trees to provide optimum holding habitat for pre and post spawning brown and sea trout.