27 July 2007

So much for showery weather yesterday.  By mid morning we had  a fair deluge that kept me trapped in the hut long after the students left.  Still, it was more than pleasant to sit in the warmth from the stove and chew the fat with Peter M and the venerable member.

Despite the atrocious weather the course went very well with another large group of highly motivated students who processed a very large number of native crayfish.  We had nearly a hundred in the 14 traps that Paul set out on Wednesday.  These were large, healthy individuals which reinforced the findings we got on Monday that the population at the Tarn is thriving.  One of the traps produced a surprise, a 1.5lb rainbow trout.  Whether this had entered the trap after the crayfish or had been attracted by the mackerel bait in the trap I cannot say, but there it was looking extremely peeved and a bit ragged round the fins after a night spent confined in the trap.  It was uncooperative when I tried to release it and insisted on attempting to return through the funnel back the way it came in.  It was eventually persuaded to leave by a better route and after a brief rest to recover it swam off without a word of thanks. If anyone catches a medium sized fish with ragged pectorals you know who it is and where its been!

Paul mentioned to me a disturbing situation from down south which may have a devastating long term impact on out native crayfish.  More on this tomorrow after I have had time to read up on the situation and can get a good picture to show what the problem looks like.

We have a cloudy and very blustery morning here in the valley and a river that is quite high and coloured after all the rain that fell yesterday.  The forecast for the weekend is promising though and there should be good conditions on the river as it falls and clears during today.


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