Thursday, 28th April 2016

This year’s winners of the prestigious UK River Prize and Nigel Holmes Trophy are the Rivers Eden, Derwent and Kent. The work being carried out across Cumbria is a great example of what can be achieved through working in partnership to achieve multiple benefits such as natural flood management, water quality and biodiversity.

Congratulations to the project partners: Eden Rivers Trust, West Cumbria Rivers Trust, South Cumbria Rivers Trust, Natural England and the Environment Agency.

For more details click here.


Monday, 25th April 2016

Fisheries ‘enhancement’ (specifically mitigation stocking) has often been used to offset fisheries or environmental pressures in marine, diadromous, and freshwater fish species, despite relatively scant data to support its efficacy. When considering salmonids, there is a large (and growing) body of literature on experimental studies which points to substantial risks where enhancements are intended to protect, support, restore, or enhance wild fish populations through the introduction of cultured (farmed) or non-native (transferred between systems) fish. We outline some of the problems on our library page on trout stocking, here.

Within the UK, one such long-term, seminal study site is the Girnock Burn, part of an intensively studied research catchment on the Aberdeenshire Dee, in north eastern Scotland. Scientists from Marine Scotland published a paper last year which presents the findings of an experimental conservation stocking programme designed to increase the freshwater production from a declining population of Scottish ‘spring’ Atlantic salmon. The study can be accessed, here.

The stocking programme was in response to a long-term (~30 year) decline in returning female numbers, culminating in three successive years when egg numbers were estimated to be considerably lower than the threshold considered necessary to sustain production. It was designed in line with best practice guidance to maximise egg survival, minimise juvenile competition, and increase overall production. Hence, protocols were developed to:

  1. retain genetic integrity and diversity through the use of indigenous (ie returning) fish and by allowing multiple mating attempts;
  2. minimise overwinter mortality and promote natural rates of embryo development; and
  3. minimise local density-dependent mortality by distributing eggs at uniform densities throughout the catchment.

The Marine Scotland team assessed the relationship between stock (egg deposition) and freshwater production (juvenile emigrants), and determine whether the combination of incubation methods and stocking protocols used in the study resulted in detectable changes in emigrant production relative to natural conditions. They could do this using the wealth of long term data derived from adult and juvenile emigrant data collected over 34 years of natural spawning (1966–1999) in conjunction with 8 years of conservation stocking (2000–2007).

Despite stringent application of all the above, the results indicated that the stocking programme failed to increase salmon production, an important conclusion especially for a river where wild populations remain and where suitable habitat exists.

Tuesday, 12th April 2016

The Institute of Fisheries Management (IFM) will be hosting a two-day specialist conference at the Rheged Centre near Penrith looking at a range of different subject areas linked to faming practices and their interaction with the aquatic environment.

The full programme for the conference and registration details can be found on the IFM website 

Key note presentations will come from John Zablocki of the Nature Conservancy who will look at some of the large scale projects carried out in the USA and what we can learn from them.
This will be followed by Prof. Jonathan Grey, of Lancaster University and the Wild Trout Trust, who will provide an overview on the impacts of land management on UK rivers. 

Further papers include

·        Prof. John Quinton, (Lancaster University). Keeping soil on the land and out of the rivers = better crops and a cleaner environment

·         Dr. Ian Winfield, (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology). An historic brown trout fishery and a new environmental governance: nutrient management at Loweswater, UK

·         Prof. Chris Stoate, (Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust). The Water Friendly Farming project – a landscape scale experiment to investigate mutual benefits to farming and water

·         Phil Lyth (Yorkshire Farming and Wildlife Partnership). The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – Experiences of Working with Farmers & Landowners to Improve the Water Environment

Conference Sessions will cover 

Setting the scene

Ecological impacts of sediments

Diffuse Pollution and its impacts 

Working together (partnership projects and case studies) 

Finding a solution (practical measures to mitigate the impacts of sediments and nutrients) 

Open forum

The conference will be held at the Rheged Centre in Penrith; which is the largest earth covered building in Europe, and aims to provide a forum for discussion and networking for people working in both the farming and fisheries sectors.

The third day of the conference will be taken up by a field trip kindly hosted by the Eden Rivers Trust. Delegates will visit partnership projects in the Eden Catchment undertaken by the Eden RT and landowners.

The full programme for the conference and registration details can be found on the IFM website 



Tuesday, 12th April 2016

The River  Annan Trust are looking to recruit a self-motivated and enthusiastic Project Assistant to help action Re-wilding the Annan Waters (RAW) management priorities. Initially the post has been funded for 6 months and there is the possibility of an extension if additional funding can be secured during the initial term.

The Project Assistant will be based at the River Annan Trust, a charitable organisation with a remit to improve and protect the rivers environment, engage in research towards better management of the resource, generate sustainable access to the river and to educate the general public on the importance of the river.

Click here for more details.

Tuesday, 5th April 2016

This is a simply brilliant day of fishing and camaraderie, with lots and lots of laughter, in the stunning setting of the Meon valley in Hampshire, all raising excellent funds for WTT.

The competition first prize is a top class Sage rod. 

We use the money raised at this event for practical river improvement projects along the river Meon.

More information is available here or contact the organiser, Neil Mundy on or 07964 379988.

Sunday, 3rd April 2016

Fishing for Forces, the excellent charity working for wounded forces' veterans, is holding a special fundraising lunch at the Knightsbridge Barracks of the Household Cavalry on Wednesday 4 May 2016.

The lunch will be preceded by a tour of the farrier's workshop, the stables and the Barracks Museum. Booking in advance is essential and to do so, contact Bill Howell on or 07850 373760.

Sunday, 3rd April 2016

The UK River Prize is an award run by the River Restoration Centre which celebrates the best in river restoration and catchment management.
After much deliberation the judges selected the four category winners;

The overall winner of the Nigel Holmes Trophy will be announced on the 26th April during the awards dinner at the River Restonation Centre Annual Conference in Blackpool.

Monday, 28th March 2016

Missed out on the Wild Trout Trust auction ? Read on.....

Kind friends and supporters of Wessex Chalk Stream and Rivers Trust have very generously donated some exciting and rarely available fishing days for the Trust to sell in order to raise much needed funds.

Many of these fabulous fishing days are on private or club waters which cannot normally be accessed by the general public – so a real opportunity for keen fishermen and women in 2016.

The fishing days range from four rods on the Itchen at the beautiful Grange Estate to a day’s guided fly fishing on the noted Wilton Club waters of the Lower Wylye with a picnic lunch on the river bank included.

To find out more and buy these incredible fishing opportunities please click here.

Wednesday, 9th March 2016

A group of conservation groups in North West England has made a funny short video highlighting the possible impact on rivers of domestic septic tanks. This appears to be an emerging (and under appreciated) issue for pollution of our rivers.

For example, work at Southampton University is showing significant loads of phosphorous in the River Itchen likely coming from domestic sewage tanks. That phosphorous promotes algal growth much to the detriment of the natural fauna and flora of the river.

See the Call of Nature video at below and website:



Friday, 4th March 2016

An interesting talk will take place on Friday 8th April 2016 at 8pm at Forest Row in East Sussex.

The illustrated talk is about Broadstone stream, Forest Row by Guy Woodward and Alan Hildrew from University of London. Probably the world’s longest running (40 years) continuing detailed study of a stream. A fascinating insight into the effect of environmental changes on the invertebrates and on food chains in this Ashdown Forest Stream

Venue: Community Centre, Hartfield Road, Forest Row, RH18 5DZ.”

This talk is organised by the Friends of Weirwood Nature Reserve Society

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