That’s the end what always seems to me to be the longest month of the year. With the persistent wet, dull weather it has seemed even longer this year. We are now on the final straight towards spring and already the rooks in the sycamore are beginning to refurbish last year’s nests. It beats me how these heaps of timber remain in the tree despite frequent gales that will strip your coat off if you stand still. Perhaps we should train rooks to build flood defence barriers. I guarantee that they would never wash away.
We have had some high water this past couple of weeks, but nothing like the severe floods of December. It’s possible that late spawning trout will get away with undamaged redds. However, water temperatures this winter have been quite high and this will have an impact on egg viability.
There has been a refreshing absence of cormorants at the Tarn this week. It’s probably to early to say for certain that they have got the message that they are unwelcome although it is unusual not to find a single bird there for a week at this time of year. I have no doubt that having written this I shall find a host of the damn things busy feeding tomorrow.
A reminder that there is a working party assembling at the lodge on Saturday 20 February. and the AGM is in Horton on Saturday 19 March. Last years turn out at he AGM was pretty pathetic so it would be good to see a few more members present this year.
The first Tarn stocking of the new season will be on Saturday 12 March when I’ll put in 100 rainbow and 50 brown trout. That will give three days for them to spread out and acclimatise before the season begins on 15 March. The fish usually arrive with me at around 10 am and members are always welcome to come along and watch what for me has now become a fixed point in the year. Looking back I see that my first Tarn stocking was way back in 2003 so based on an average of 500 fish a year I will have netted in around 7000 fish on 12 March and with each fish weighing about 2lb that’s 14,000lb or 6.35 tons. No wonder I feel knackered sometimes.