December 13, 2010
Well the highlight of the week came on the last day, and I’m not talking about the Trust Xmas do either! But I’ve 4 other days to get through first!
Monday I dropped off our Pinpoint plans to the two farms who had been visited earlier in the year. I went through them and it seems as though a couple of our suggestions may occur. The afternoon was all about report writing, which is difficult to do in an office that has email and phones! So my plan is to save this for my Xmas holiday and work on it in the relative peace and quiet of my own home.
Tuesday was a rather difficult day. I was out kick sampling with the EA around Clitheroe. The snow and ice made for some interesting conditions! We got some good results that will continue to help identify sources of pollution. We did find an enormous salmon redd right at the bottom of Mearley Brook which was a nice find as by Thursday I was getting really concerned about the lack of spawning.
Wednesday was a real office day, going through invoices and sorting out our current finances. But I did put some work in on 2 projects for next year, and I hope that we are going to see both funded and done!
Thursday I worked on my presentation for Ribblesdale Anglers Association. The presentation was both to show our work from 2010 but also to say thank you as all members of Ribblesdale are members of RCCT. In the Afternoon Philip and I walked the banks of the Hodder from Knowlmere down to Dunsop to get to know a potential Trustee. It was a good day and the highlight was watching a dipper hunting under the ice for Cased Caddis then breaking them open on top of the ice (I got some video footage of this, but it’s in the editing phase and I hope to have it online shortly). It shows how important clean rivers are not just to our fish!
Friday was a half day and we had some work in the office to sort, and whilst on the phone to someone from LCC I found out he had watched me on the TV that morning – to my surprise! And it turns out Friday the BBC had decided to run our piece on the new Fish pass in Barrowford. It was a really good piece and they managed to get in more than I feared they would. We have been promised a copy and we will get this up on the Website for all to see as soon as it’s online. This is the publicity that we need, something to get the interest of more anglers, but more importantly the General public as it will help to show how important the work we are doing is to everyone who enjoys rivers, from those who fish – to those who just enjoy looking over the edge of a bridge as the walk across.
Friday afternoon… well we are allowed to let our hair down once a year and we did just that!
December 6, 2010
Well the cold really has set in, and our rivers are showing their winter coat! With so much ice it’s been hard to do much redd counting or any meaningful surveys, but we have been trying! That said the cold did really incentivise me into clearing the paper work all over my desk!
Monday it was an office morning, then a trip to quaker bridge to look at the area we’re going to fence and plant trees on. It was pretty as a picture, but it’ll be some time before we put any trees in there!
Tuesday I had a visit to West Bradford to check on the works there, and meet with the EA to discuss a few little snags and repairs we need to do. In the afternoon I started with the data analysis for the Gayle and Cam beck research project. I also managed a form of retail therapy – buying the rest of our Discovering Urban Rivers equipment, Waders, weatherwriter, water proof paper, and life jackets. These are now all in our cupboard ready for next years work!
Wednesday I met with Paul Bradley and team in settle to discuss the results from our research project on Gayle and Cam beck, and talk about possible partnership projects to try and under take some improvements up there. After a quick sandwich on the banks of Giggleswick beck I looked at the redds there in. Wow!! there were two that were absolutely enormous, either salmon or a very big sea trout had cut those (and at the size I think they may have had some help from a JCB!!!). There were also some beautiful small redds that were of the sizae of trout spawning for the first time. I had the pleasure of meeting Settle Anglers bailiff whilst I was there, and it was nice to make a good contact further up the catchment.
Thursday was paper work paperwork and more paperwork. The grants we got for the 2010 year were phenomenal and meant we could do some amazing projects, but I had put off the sting in the tail – the paperwork. That said it is far less than many of the completion certificates and claims from other grants, so Ican’t grumble – to much!!
Friday was one of the coldest days of my (and my dogs) life. I agreed to be the third team member of a EA group counting redds and specifically looking for salmon redds on Pendle Water. I drew the Barrowford to Roughlee stretch and cames across one confirmed redd (I retrieved an egg for analysis by the EA) and two redds that were either false redds or the eggs were much better covered. The walk was enjoyable despite the freezing cold and having to walk in the water/ice much of the way. The highlight of the day was actually watching a dipper “hunt”, it successfully retrieved a bullhead from the ice cold water, where it then climbed atop of a rock, put the Bullhead out of is misery and swallowed it whole. I did reach for the camera, but the Dipper was to hungry to wait for the camera! It was a beautiful reminder of how fish are important to more than just anglers; dippers will eat trout eggs, alevins (and fry given the chance), bullhead (which also eat trout eggs and alevins), stoneloach, and not to mention all those inverts. Not far upstream from my dipper encounter I stopped to inspect tracks in the snow, and am fairly certain they were otter, the paws were indistinguishable from many other mammals, but the tail swipe every so often is pretty unique. When I looked up I looked straight into the eyes of young roe deer, that after a pause bolted. How important it is to stand still (or even crouch in the snow) to appreciate fully what nature can show us – perhaps this is what attracts so many to angling.
My finish at Roughlee was a joy as the weir/waterfall was quite spectacular in the snow and ice…