19 September 2007

It started raining here at about 8.30 last evening and is still going strong so we now have a very high, rising and coloured river which bodes well for salmon fishing when the rain finally stops and the river begins to fall.  The forecast is for more rain over the next two days so conditions should (in theory) be just right at the weekend.  That's a bonus for me as I am meeting a chap from Burnsall fly fishers on Sunday to talk about creating a wild fishery and it would be nice for him to see the river in her best form.

I spent much of yesterday morning searching out all the papers and documents I either wrote or accumulated in the process of setting out a management plan and strategy for the fishery.  When you pull it all together it comes to a tidy bundle.  It was quite a rewarding exercise as it showed just how far we have come and how much has been achieved by the club in the past 3 years.  It represents a fundamental shift in the way in which the fishery is managed.  The change is not without its critics, some have very valid points, but there are now signs that the faith that so many had in the proposed changes has not been misplaced.  Evidence shows that there are good stocks of native brown trout and that these seem to be recruiting well since catches include fish whose sizes range from fingerlings to well over a pound.

There is emerging evidence that food is available for these fish throughout the fishery, but we also know that things can still be improved both in terms of habitat and encouraging increased numbers of invertebrates.  The latter is vital especially for our larger fish as the absence of crayfish which must have made up a sizable portion of the diet of our adult brown trout are missing and big trout are big feeders.

Weed I think is part of the answer (we have too much in the Tarn and too little in the river).  I need to explore ways of getting more weed (or an artificial equivalent) into suitable places where fish are known to lie.  It's too late this year to do much as we are entering the spate season, but there is certainly time to plan and organise ready for next spring.  I must get cracking on this.

Ian

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