31 July 2006

    For some days now I have been following reports of a major pollution incident on the Ribble below Clitheroe.  About 26 July a substance identified as kitchen effluent was poured into a storm drain on the A59.  It seems that this was a similar substance to that found at Barrow off the A59 a couple of weeks before.  The second incident caused fish deaths at Swanside and the EA erected a dam to try to contain the spread of the effluent.  Unfortunately the same effluent was poured into the drain a few days later overwhelming the dam and polluting the Ribble as far as Grindleton Bridge.  This incident caused the death of many fish including a number of large sea trout.

By yesterday the plug of pollution had reached Brungerley and there were a large number of dead sea trout and salmon by the bridge.  Fortunately the concentration of the pollutant seems to be lessening but the fear is that the effluent may have gone to the bottom of the deeps with who knows what consequences.  The EA together with the RFCA are monitoring the situation and doing what is necessary to minimise the impact of these incidents and we owe a debt of thanks particularly to David Hinks RFCA Chair and MAA member and his colleagues for all the time they have spent on this.  I have posted up a photo taken by one of Davids colleagues to show the impact of this senseless and selfish act by some idiot tanker driver.

The response to this really does show how vital fishing associations and their co-ordinating bodies are in helping to monitor and preserve the pristine nature of our waterways.  As David Bellamy said, fishermen are vital to the future conservation of our rivers and lakes.  It's surely the most unarguable defence we have against the sustained pressure from PETA and its ilk to ban sport fishing.  It does not get enough publicity.

We had a fair bit of rain last night here at Horton and again it's much fresher (cool even) this morning.  Currently there is quite dense cloud cover well down on the hills so more rain is a distinct possibility.

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