I did the invertebrate check at New Inn yesterday morning. This is always an enjoyable way to spend an hour or so and yesterday was doubly so as I was joined by the Hon Sec. Having someone there to chat to whilst you sample and process adds further satisfaction as well as reassurance that your identification of the various families is robust and accurate. We found things pretty much as I expected for this time of year and state of the river (fairly low). Fewer heptagenia, but plenty of baetis and caddis, both cased and free swimming. We got a good few tiny bullheads in one of the kick samples as well as a limpet and true mayfly shuck. Just as we were leaving the river the Hon Sec spotted something wriggling in the water by the bridge abutment. On fishing it out we saw that it was a worm resembling a thin strand of wire. These have been commented on by one of our farmers at the Hot Pot supper, but I have not seen a specimen before. On checking the identification keys I find that this is a hair and I plan to find out a bit more about this strange beastie later today.
The club has invested in a couple of landing nets. A new boat net and a hand net. These will be placed in the hut today and are part of our continued efforts to protect this vulnerable habitat from imported alien species and disease. Please do use these nets if your own gear is still wet from fishing any water apart from the Tarn or you have visited any other water, including our own river, prior to fishing the Tarn.
Those of you who saw Countryfile last evening will have sen the piece on crayfish and the devastation that red signal crayfish can inflict on a fishery. As you know, a group here are expending much time effort and money to bring native crayfish back to the Ribble and we can support their efforts through sensible and simple bio security measures that do not impact on our enjoyment of the fishery and contribute to the long term health of our waters.
Conditions here today are warm and damp. There's a lot of cloud and almost no breeze so the midges are out in force. The river is low, but still fishable and plenty of fish were seen rising down by the pipe pool yesterday.