For the first time since April there was enough water in the river to do an invertebrate sample at New Inn and Turn Dub. The results from Turn Dub showed that the prolonged drought seems to have had little or no impact on the populations of the seven invertebrate families that we regularly monitor. In fact I was staggered to find two E. danica in one kick sample. This “true” mayfly is not a common sight on the upper Ribble as the bouldery bed and spate nature of the river is far from their preferred habitat of muddy bedded sluggish chalk streams, but they do turn up very occasionally. I have never found more than one in a sample before though.
New Inn was slightly more disappointing. Plenty of stone flies and cadddis with good numbers of olives. What was lacking was a big population of flat bodied mayflies which normally turn up in high numbers. What was noticeable here is how cobbley the bed has become over the summer. Almost all the smaller stones and gravel has gone leaving a substrate that is almost impossible to kick in without breaking toes.
Friday's crayfish course went well and the students seemed mightily impressed with both the habitat at the Tarn and the chance to handle good numbers of native crayfish. All seems healthy and females have released young now so the population will be many times what it was a few weeks ago.
We had some rain yesterday afternoon and last night that has refreshed the river a bit. With the promise of more rain today conditions for fishing should remain good into the early part of the new week.