29 December 2014

Its been far too long since the last posting here and my only excuse is sheer lack of time in the run-up to Christmas.  However, I’ve not been idle on the fishery and here is a brief catch up on whats been happening.

Following the council meeting at the beginning of the month I sen a letter to the EA outlining our experience to date with our no stocking policy for the river.  This letter was supplemented by a much more detailed report prepared by Gavin.  My understanding is that these documents have gone viral within the EA and the hope is that this will lead to additional focus on habitat improvement on the upper Ribble in 2015.

I also referred to our continued stewardship of the Tarn, the ancient conundrum of overwintering fish, cormorant predation and the mystery coarse fish sometimes seen by the lodge.  It seems that this too has triggered much EA interest and it may be that we will get some substantial support to do a thorough environmental, ecological and fish survey in the new year.

Conditions here have now turned cold and are ideal for trout spawning and eventual hatching.  The river is in good water after he prolonged heavy rain we had just before Christmas and overall conditions could not be better for his time of year.  he only dark spot is a sewage leak into the bottom of Brants Ghyll which I received a phone call about on Boxing Day.  UU were quick to attend to fix the problem and I have several photos should we need to take this up with the EA.

The EA have emailed me to tell me that they are about to make the application process for fish stocking into still waters a good deal easier.  In future we shall just need to apply for a permanent licence to stock and provided that there are no substantive changes year on year the licence will be valid indefinitely.  These changes come into effect on 19 January so I shall defer ordering Tarn fish and applying for permission until after that date.

The new HD webcam at the Tarn is sending back brilliant images of he top end to supplement the HD images of the lower end.  So far I have seen few cormorant over the holiday period (perhaps they are visiting relatives) so the scarer seems to be doing its job.

Finally, PBA is working with the BBC again next week filming non-native, invasive crayfish for Winterwatch with Chris Packham.  So you may see some familiar faces when the programme broadcasts.

Happy New Year.

Ian

9 December 2014

The measures taken to deter cormorants at the tarn seem to be working and with some adjustment even better results may be had.  The plan is to link the scarer to the day / night sensor on the camera so that it comes on earlier as the birds arrive.

Council met on Sunday and had a good meeting with much discussed, decisions reached and plans made.  The AGM has been set for 15 March 2015 here at Horton and in a spirit of fairness the Golden Lion will be booked this year.  This was, for many years, the spiritual home of the MAA and it will be interesting to return there for this meeting.

Tarn stocking has been agreed with an additional batch of fish being put in in August to see fishing through to October.  More on this later.

Arrangements are also being made to improve maintenance on the fishery.  This will involve strimming access routes in late season to deter rank growth whilst preserving good cover and further tree trimming.

We are also hoping to encourage further habitat improvements, particularly the beat between Newhouses and the bridleway bridge.  Again, more on this later.

Ian