October 8, 2010
Well although I’m finding this high water quite irritating and demoralising, I took stock of the number of sites surveyed so far..250! Which made me feel a lot better. We’ve got 28 priority sites left, which are half intensive quantitative surveys and half less intensive semi quantitative surveys. My electro fishing kit went down earlier this week, and is in the repair shop, but hopefully I’ll get at least one of the two kits back today, to make a start on these sites on Monday!
One of our more interesting finds last week was a shoal of sizable gudgeon who were holding in a tiny beck, that is more suited to Salmon and Trout. I have only caught one gudgeon in all my surveys before this, and suddenly my gudgeon score went through the roof, a match winning total by many a coarse anglers standards!
I must thank our volunteers who have been helping out with the electro fishing, as without them we couldn’t gather a huge amount of this data, which the value of is immeasurable. We’ve identified many more problems and suspicious results to investigate and rectify, but we’ve also found some great results showing where improvement has taken place both thanks to Trust and EA work, but also naturally.
I’m looking forward very much to the winter, not to get back into my office, but to get out and undertake some spawning surveys and redd counts all over the catchment. I will also collate our data, which will be shared with partner organizations as well as trust members.
We’ve also used the down time from electro fishing this week, to go and look at some of our potential project in Burnley. There are many weir and god awful habitat on the Calder and Brun but through a new project we hope to get funding for – URES.. Urban River Enhancement Scheme – we hope to tackle the 5 weirs that can be tackled and open up the whole of the Calder to it’s source to migrating fish, and 50% of the Brun catchment. But we’ve our work cut out, working in Urban areas poses many pit falls and complications and so we will have some real fun with this project.
It was really exciting to see our fish pass at Barrowford taking shape this week, in the form of the in Channel metal baffles being installed:
Soon sea trout, salmon, eels, brown trout and a raft of other species will be able to move up to Roughlee, for the first time in over a hundred years. Speaking of Roughlee, I have often wondered if the Weir their was built on an impassable natural waterfall, there was clearly a natural set of falls there before the weir, but whether it was impassable or not would be interesting to know. Anyone who could give me any more information please get in touch, more from a pure interest point of view, than anything else.