News

Thursday, 8th November 2012

The European Anglers Alliance in collaboration with the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association have released a new video to inform people about the impacts of small hydro schemes.

Click here to see the video. 

Thursday, 25th October 2012

The Enviroment agency has published it's Regulatory position statement on eel passage. The paper sets out the EA's powers under the Eels regulations to achieve eel passage targets. The EA can do this by compelling responsible persons to ensure eel passage at obstructions & ensure that water intakes are screened to protect eels. The full paper can be seen bly clicking the link below:

 

EA safe passage for eel statement

Thursday, 25th October 2012

The WTT featured prominently in this Octobers EA South East Fisheries & biodiversity newsletter.

Featured snippets are EA fish surveys on the WTT/GWCT habitat improvements on the Candover brook, WTT enhancement on the upper Stour and the WTT's recent edition of the survival guide. For further information please see the following link:

 

EA South East Fisheries and Biodiversity newsletter

Thursday, 25th October 2012

On Tuesday 23 October, the WTT ran a 'Habitat Masterclass' to train local volunteers in the art of chalkstream river  restoration  on the River Chess. The day involved improving a stretch of overwide and shallow river with very little habitat for adult trout. A wide range of partners attended from the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust to the Chiltern Chalkstreams project. Click the link below for the full story:

WTT River Chess day

 

Wednesday, 24th October 2012

Closed containment aquaculture could prove less harmful to migratory salmonids that the cage based aquaculture that is practiced in places such as the West coast of Scotland. This could have the potential to help sea trout stocks recover.

For more information on the AST's visit, see the following link:

Atlantic Salmon Trust

Thursday, 11th October 2012

Over 100 guests attended a Wild Trout Trust evening at the Savile Club in Mayfair to present the annual awards for the best trout habitat conservation projects. The evening was introduced by WTT Director, Shaun Leonard, with the awards presented by Richard Banbury of Orvis, 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 winners of the 2012 Orvis Wild Trout Trust Conservation Awards are :

Michael Edwards Memorial Award (Amateur Category)  WinnerKells Anglers receive their Conservation Award

The Kells Angling Association in Ireland, for carrying out habitat enhancement measures along the Kells Blackwater. 
This project demonstrates the tremendous commitment and enthusiasm that the Conservation Awards are designed to recognise. The team of volunteers have installed boulders, flow deflectors, christmas tree revetment, and riffles with the aim of reducing the impact of past drainage measures. The success of the scheme for salmonids was clearly demonstrated through the Association’s methodical monitoring programme.  

 

Photo left to right: Dan Conaty, Noel McLoughlin and Ceiran O'Kelly receive the award from Richard Banbury of Orvis.

 

 

 

Professional Category Winner  

The Eden Rivers Trust for their work on the River Petteril, in partnership with local farmers and with the support of funding from the Environment Agency.

ERT team receive the award in the professional category, 2012The River Petteril is a tributary of the Eden and was once the jewelled trout fishery in the crown of the Eden catchment, but has suffered significantly from  diffuse pollution. Novel and determined approaches were taken to resolve problems of farm waste management, rainwater separation and to create buffer-strips. Integrating the improved land-use practices with river-corridor habitat improvement and tackling connectivity issues are examples of best practice that will be of benefit to a wider audience. Click here for more details on this project.

Photo Front row, left to right: Simon Johnson, Olly Southgate, Trevor Marsh, Jeremy Westgarth
Back row left to right: Shaun Leonard, Richard Banbury.

Professional Category Runner Up

Irwell runners up CA 2012

The Irwell Weir Project carried out by the Irwell Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency.
This project removed 15 weirs between 2011 and 2012 from the Irwell system at a cost of only £180,000, demonstrating that weir removal and the associated habitat and connectivity improvements  can be undertaken at the catchment scale with radically minimised costs by taking creative and risk based approaches. 

Photo left to right: Matthew Schofield, Gary Morris,Olly Southgate, Richard Banbury.

Friday, 5th October 2012

The shrimp Dikerogammarus haemobaphes is closely related to the 'killer shrimp' found in Grafham water. It has been found on the RIver Severn at Tewkesbury and Bevere near Worcester as well as two canals in Worcestershire.

Shortly after the discovery was reported to the EA, populations were discovered on the Stafforshire and Worcestershire canal, the sites are spread over a distance of 38km.

The shrimps is known to be invasive in mainland Europe and the EA and Canal & Rivers Trust are urging all water users to help slow the spread of this invasive species by helping to publicize the 'Check, Clean, Dry' campaign (see www.nonnativespecies.org/checkcleandry.)

 

If you think you have seen an unusual shrimp (see picture below) , please email a photograph to alert_nonnative@ceh.ac.uk for identification.

 

                           

Wednesday, 3rd October 2012

 

A number of animal species predate wild trout - mammals (e.g. otter, mink), birds (e.g. cormorants, sawbill ducks) and other fish (e.g. pike, larger trout). Predation is just one of a complex of factors impacting on wild trout populations; for many populations the effects of unsympathetic land use, poor in-river habitat, low water quality and water quantity and poor river management regimes will be of greater significance.

WTT recognises that predation can be problematical for fish populations and for fishery interests. Since the 1970’s, there has been an increase in the inland over-wintering population of cormorants and an increase in the geographical range of goosanders, though there is evidence in 2012 that cormorant numbers have stabilised or even slightly decreased.

Unequivocal, scientifically-derived information establishing direct relationships between wild trout and predator populations in aggregate is lacking and difficult to obtain, especially for rivers. However there is anecdote from various parts of the British Isles indicating effects of intense, localised predation pressure from piscivorous birds.

We believe that the primary focus for fishery interests in tackling predation problems should be the creation and maintenance of complex and varied habitat that gives fish a much greater chance of avoiding predators. A WTT presentation to an Environment Agency Wales Conference in May 2012 outlined some of this work and described a range of methods to create varied and complex habitat. A copy of the presentation can be downloaded as a 4MB PDF file  (click here  to download)  and an information paper on predators and wild trout is in preparation by WTT.

Fishery interests can additionally deter predators through a range of scaring and/or exclusion techniques (see appendix A below), though these may be more applicable to small stillwaters rather than rivers or large lakes and their efficacy relies on persistence and variety of scaring method.

Direct control (culling) of species whose impact is deemed to be impossible to otherwise mitigate is used by all kinds of institutions with many and various ends. For example, deer are culled by forestry, farming and conservation organisations for different reasons when their numbers reach levels that impact on other objectives. This happens despite the existence of tree guards, deer fences and other deterrents and avoidance tactics. It is, therefore, not a surprise when calls come for permission to control species predating on fish populations which, like crops and wood anemones, also have economic and conservation value. When, unlike deer, the predators are themselves locally abundant but nationally or internationally scarce and therefore protected, the moral arguments for culling are further complicated.

It is for exactly these circumstances that we have regulation, and it is for the regulator (government and its agencies) to take all the evidence of local and national predator impacts into account alongside all the alternative means of protecting prey populations when making locally sensible decisions about direct control. Decisions on culling species that have national protection because of their wider conservation status should be a local debate informed by evidence; our only suggestion is that this should be with a regulator who has been given the discretion to take a locally informed view whilst maintaining a national and international conservation perspective.

Appendix A

The booklet Protecting Your Fishery from Cormorants describes a number of methods aimed at deterrence or reducing the success of cormorant feeding (see www.environment-agency.gov.uk). In the case of some persistent piscivorous birds, shooting to kill remains an option, when licensed through appropriate government agencies, such as Natural England (www.naturalengland.org.uk), Welsh Assembly Government (www.ccw.gov.uk), Scottish Natural Heritage (www.snh.gov.uk), the Dept of the Environment for Northern Ireland (www.doeni.gov.uk) and in Ireland, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (www.npws.ie).

Friday, 21st September 2012

 

The latest edition of the Wild Trout Trust’s habitat and fishery management guide is now available from our shop,  price £10.00. Click here to buy your copy.

 

This is the third edition of this practical reference book, essential reading for anyone with responsibility for a river. The Survival Guide takes a step-by-step approach to understanding how a river ‘works’, recognising the key elements of habitat for spawning, juvenile and adult trout, and then identifying and carrying out improvement projects.

The new edition has been updated to include the latest changes to legislation, guidance on trout stocking, up to date references and many new photographs to illustrate the text. 72 full colour  pages.

The guide was written by Vaughan Lewis and was produced with the support of the Environment Agency and the River Restora

Tuesday, 18th September 2012

Two Rivers Trusts are offering job opportunities:

There's a job on the Wandle in London - click here for further information

and another post with the South East Wales Trust - click here for further information

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