I doubt if I really need to mention the biblical floods that have left so many homes and businesses stricken over the past 48 hours. As most of you will have seen on the news bulletins the Ribble has been particularly affected although, surprisingly, up here the flood was less severe than that in early December. So far the visible damage done to the fishery seems minimal, but I’ll check the fences and stiles again tomorrow, particularly those below Horton.
What we don’t know is the extent of any detrimental impact on fish. The trout are in the midst of spawning and the colossal spates of the past few weeks will no doubt have played merry hell with the gravel beds and kept most fish tucked into shelter. Only time will tell whether any fish have spawned this year.
The Tarn remains full to the brim and I suppose that this is the silver lining on a very dark cloud. The rate of Tarn water replenishment this winter will be very rapid and combined with the stirring effect of the frequent gales I am hopeful that we will go into he new season with the Tarn in spanking condition cleansed of nutrients that cause algae and filament weed to bloom in summer.
I do hope that all members have managed to keep above the floods and remain so for the as long as this deluge lasts.
Not much has changed in the past week. It remains very wet with frequent spates on the river and the Tarn is as high as I have ever seen it. In fact when I was at the Tarn last Monday the water level was just lapping the bottom of the I beams supporting the lodge, a good foot above normal level.
I have moved on the occasional solitary cormorant although this particular bird, if the same one each time, seems to be a rather reluctant feeder spending most of its time staring morosely at the water.
The odd thing is that only one swan has been present now for a couple of months. I’ve found no corpse and have seen a solitary swan down on the river so perhaps there has been a bit of a “domestic”.
We had a flush of snow over the weekend that coated the fells and thawed within a couple of hours and the first touch of frost yesterday
Oh for a decent cold, dry winter.
Its been so wet here this past month that I have seriously thought about building an ark. Yesterday just about put the cap on it. It began raining on Friday afternoon and finally stopped at around 8.30 am today. By yesterday afternoon the river was half way up the meadow opposite the house and the ford at Newhouses was well over the clapper bridge.
The flood is subsiding now, but its bound to have had some impact on both fish and the fishery. Indeed, I heard last week that numbers of dead salmon and sea trout had been seen further down the Ribble. How anything can survive in the torrent that was heading through Horton yesterday is beyond my understanding. Only time will reveal the full extent of the impact of these severe floods on our wild brown trout. My main concern is that our fish will be running to spawn right now. Still, brown trout have been in this river longer than we have been around so whatever damage has been done it’s likely to be only a temporary setback.
I was stunned to find the Tarn webcam had sprung back to life this morning, but less happy to see a cormorant drying its wings on the rock by the cross wall. Its going to get a shock in a short while as I’m now off to the Tarn.