July 2, 2010
Well it’s been nearly three weeks since my last blog post, to those of you who have been checking it each week I apologise. Things have been just a little busy. Rather than give a conclusive run down of everything that’s been sucking up my time I’ll try and summarise, but many of you will know how long my summaries can be!!
Starting with way back on the 14th of June!! We spent three days (very long and hot days I might add) conducting detailed habitat walkover surveys on the two main streams that join to make the Ribble – Gayle and Cam Beck. These two water bodies are failing to achieve good ecological status, and through the association of Rivers trusts we have secured funding to carry out research to determine why. In all honesty we had a very good idea, but this allows us to confirm what the main issues are an formulate a plan to tackle the problems. 7:30 starts and 19:30 ends walking long distances at snails pace recording data is harder than it might sound and all of us were glad to see the end on Wednesday! However we gathered good data which combined with aerial photography and mapping data we will hopefully have a conclusive report completed by October/November time.
Thursday Tim Jacklin of the Wild Trout Trust visited to carry out a brief walkover of our project site on Stock Beck to advise us on the best way to go about adding substrate and creating suitable flows to improve the heavily dredged channels
Friday was a good old fashioned office sort out day. And gave me a chance to recover (slightly) from a long exhausting week!
Monday the 21st and all of that week we made an excellent start on electro fishing surveys on the Upper tributaries of the Calder. We had some surprise (both good and bad) results, as well as some expected ones. Admittedly on the Wednesday I did sneak off a little early to watch the England game.
Saturday we held the second of our Riverfly monitoring training days, and another brilliant 11 volunteers were trained an equipped to go out and help us monitor invertebrate populations. That’s 24 this year!
Monday gone was more of the same, but in the evening I met with Philip to bring him up to date on projects and progress following his time away. It was very positive and we are almost fully on track to get everything done, in budget and on time (I’m holding on to a big lump of wood as I type this!).
Wednesday afternoon we stopped electro fishing early as we were having a demonstration of newly available electro fishing kit. I was very impressed, and now I only have to raise the money to buy it! At 17:00 we decided though that we had to stop electro fishing until the catchment had freshwater, as the water temperature for the week had averaged around 18 degrees Celsius and I was concerned about recovery times of caught fish. This does fit well as I have had to spend the last two days getting tender documents prepared for our big project (Barrowford 3) and sorting out some correspondence.
There will also be another break in the Blog posts as I am off on Holiday for a week (somehow I managed to persuade the Trustees to let me have some time off!!), in which time I hope the river has some rain and gets the temperatures down ready for electro fishing when I get back! Just out of interest, I saw a piece on BBC breakfast news for the north west this week, where they showed that the average rainfall for January to June was something like 517mm and we had only 360 mm, so we’ve missed out 150mm or 15 cms .. or nearly 6 inches of rain, so I hope you’re all doing your best to conserve water!