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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Default Regular river work - putting together a plan...

    Hi all

    I'm putting together a draft plan for our club river committee and am conscious I am new to this I want to start with annual maintenance activity and build the plan from there.

    Would one of you be kind enough to cast a quick eye over the activities/ months below and let me know if it seems sensible? and if anything is missing? The fishery is a small chalkstream with wild trout and grayling...

    Balsam pulling - June, July, August, September
    Weed cutting - July, August
    Canopy raising / tree thinning - September, October, November, December, January, February
    Redd identification - November, December, January

    Limited in water activity: 1 November to 1 April to minimise impact on spawning.

    Fishing is sometimes the best way to cast aside life's stresses. Sometimes it's simply the cause.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Regular river work - putting together a plan...

    Hi Richard , my experiences are based just on freestone Rivers rather than spring fed and can't comment on the weed cut but one thing that might well need ammendment is the balsam bashing . September or even August could well be a bit late . You need to nobble them before the seeds pop (which is an experience if you are in a stand of them when they let go as you knock them! Can get a bit of a chain reaction on the go too ) and fly a great distance. June/July and maybe in to August would most likely be best bet.
    Once you have done some heavily affected areas then revisit a few weeks later to get the most likely new shoots coming up as more sunlight hits the ground.
    Maybe go easy on the canopy/tree cutting if you can , I try to leave well alone unless the waters getting a bit too overshaded and don't know how your instream fly life is but the Rivers I fish seem to be getting more and more dependant on terrestrial bugs coming off the trees and bankside vegetation.
    If a tree/bush etc alongside the water has to be attended too I aim not to cut if off clean but part way through and 'hinged' and dropped in to the water and tucked alongside the bank. Great cover for fish and habitat for fry and bugs. Willows will continue to put leaves on the branches when hinged and some of the trailing branches in the water will sprout root masses and shrimp love holding and hiding in them !

    Hope that helps a bit , have fun and keep up the good work! It's all very rewarding

    BTW, the wild trout trust has a lot of useful info on it's website.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Regular river work - putting together a plan...

    Definitely get advice from the Wild Trout Trust. Is your stream in a conservation area ? If it's a chalk stream it will probably be protected in some way. You may need EA permission to lop or fell trees within 10 metres of the stream. Weed cuts in a stream ? You might need to consult landowners/fishing clubs downstream of you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Regular river work - putting together a plan...

    Before you start chopping down trees etc., you need to ask yourself "why am I doing this? What am I trying to achieve and will the action I am proposing meet my aims?"

    Bear in mind that letting in more light will have side effects, one of which is that the weed will grow more and therefore more maintenance will be required.

    Also, I am sure that most, if not all, chalkstreams will have some form of conservation designation and Natural England as well as the EA will need to be consulted.

    Drawing up a management plan is a good idea. You can ask the questions and consider the issues before taking any drastic steps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    London & SW Wales

    Default Re: Regular river work - putting together a plan...

    Dear Richard,
    I would start work on Balsam FAR earlier: well before it even flowers, let alone seeds.
    So probably May-June: that will give you a month of more to find the bits you missed the first time.
    One particular advantage of early Balsam-pulling is that the roots are smaller and less spread, so far easier to pull early in the season.
    Good luck with the work: wish all clubs were as diligent as you/yours

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: Regular river work - putting together a plan...

    Ten Rules - A Guide to HB Eradication.

    Rule 1 Where you find one plant there'll always be another.
    Rule 2 Don't look, search - be determined to find the very last plant.
    Rule 3 Look behind you - a different angle often reveals a previously hidden plant.
    Rule 4 Keep regular - re-visit every 3 to 4 weeks until clear (or the first frost comes).
    Rule 5 Ensure you have a clean behind - start from the top of the catchment and work downstream.
    Rule 6 Leave your rod at home - eradicating HB requires total concentration (see also river improvement).
    Rule 7 Hang up plants when ground is wet to avoid re-rooting.
    Rule 8 Pulling is generally more reliable than spraying except where there are really too many plants.
    Rule 9 Later in season you can buy some extra time by pulling the flowering "sentinels" - pick the rest a week later.
    Rule 10 Don't give up - remember that "Control" must be achieved before "Eradication" is possible.

    We're 12 years in to our attempts at eradication and now have some 90 miles of riverbank under control - cost a bit though! Good luck.

    One important point to remember with any river restoration is "think fish not fisherman". If your actions are designed to benefit the fish you will not go far wrong.
    Trout fishermen revere the trout; trout, on the other hand, unaware of their sublime standing in man's world, revere nothing, including man, a creature they seem to view with special contempt. Nihilism is a rare trait in fish but trout are full of it. The old men liked that.

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