High water

Juneau

Well-known member
Points
18
I see that it’s peaked. The Teith’s really big as well . These big spates aren’t any good . Big gravel shifts, washed out redds and pools getting filled in come to mind.
And new ones created for you to learn when the level falls.
 

fruinfisher

Well-known member
Points
18
Location
West central Scotland
You’ll like to think that. Where I fish on the Teith though , big progressive spates have just manage to level everything out . Pools have got shallower, they’ve lost their ability to hold fish ( salmon) and it’s basically turning into one big spate river. And with the lack of fish returning, looses of the eggs getting washed out is a major concern.
 

diawl bach

Well-known member
Points
83
The monitoring station at Upper Boat on the Taff recorded its record flood level this month with the river hitting an all time high of 5.49 metres, 18 feet, pretty amazing for a relatively short spate river which is just 40 miles long.

taff record.JPG

We also experienced a record level on the Teifi in the October floods of 2018, a bigger river, 73 miles long but still relatively small as they go, the river flooded at a height of 5.99 metres, just under 20 feet. Last week it was running at 15 feet which is damaging enough.
Extremes are becoming the new norm and we seem to be totally unprepared. When I travel to the headwaters of both systems I see a monoculture of grassland with very few trees. It seems obvious to me that reintroducing woodland and removing the sheep would play a key part in mitigating the peak events we're experiencing.
No doubt its the same in Scotland, bare hills and overgrazing from sheep and deer with sharp rises and falls in river height. We won't change the climate emergency quickly but we could tweak the environment to help manage it.
 

fruinfisher

Well-known member
Points
18
Location
West central Scotland
In Scotland forestry’s a big problem with drainage ditches causing a fast run off . Planting trees would help prevent sheep and cattle grazing and eroding the riverbank , causing the redds to silt up and gives cover and shade for the parr . The introduction of beavers doesn’t help though. On the other hand they say their dams help hold water back though .
 

bobmiddlepoint

Well-known member
Points
83
Location
STAYING AT HOME!
No doubt its the same in Scotland, bare hills and overgrazing from sheep and deer with sharp rises and falls in river height. We won't change the climate emergency quickly but we could tweak the environment to help manage it.
The overgrazing issue seems to be getting through slowly in Scotland. In the north it seems the lack of shade causing high water temps is the main concern at the moment and tree planting to combat this is being pushed. Even if ti doesn't reduce temps it will have all the benefits from slower runoff to improved feeding.
But it isn't easy getting through to everyone. Last season I got stick from some of the ghillies here for not strimming the bank edge to a bowling green standard. I pointed out that a bit of overhanging vegetation might be helpful for the bugs (and fry and parr). This brought the reply "The rods come here to fish for salmon not bugs" I tried pointing out that salmon are made of bugs but really what do you do in the face of such stupidity?


Andy
 

rabmax

Well-known member
Points
48
Location
Ayrshire
My father used to say the rivers we fished used to rise much slower.After the 2nd world war there was a push to drain moorland.This was to make unproductive land more productive.But now moorland doesn't soak up water & release it slowly anymore.
 

Andrew Rourke

Well-known member
Points
8
Location
London
The overgrazing issue seems to be getting through slowly in Scotland. In the north it seems the lack of shade causing high water temps is the main concern at the moment and tree planting to combat this is being pushed. Even if ti doesn't reduce temps it will have all the benefits from slower runoff to improved feeding.
But it isn't easy getting through to everyone. Last season I got stick from some of the ghillies here for not strimming the bank edge to a bowling green standard. I pointed out that a bit of overhanging vegetation might be helpful for the bugs (and fry and parr). This brought the reply "The rods come here to fish for salmon not bugs" I tried pointing out that salmon are made of bugs but really what do you do in the face of such stupidity?


Andy
Walk away slowly, marvelling at the level of moronity some can achieve in a single sentence, Andy.
That's about all man can do.
 

Andrew Rourke

Well-known member
Points
8
Location
London
My father used to say the rivers we fished used to rise much slower.After the 2nd world war there was a push to drain moorland.This was to make unproductive land more productive.But now moorland doesn't soak up water & release it slowly anymore.
In general, more concrete, tarmac and "drainage" can really only mean one thing.
It's quite incredible that more people don't see it.
 

bobmiddlepoint

Well-known member
Points
83
Location
STAYING AT HOME!
The weather here last night and today is wilder than either Storm Ciara or Dennis. No name for this system??? :unsure:

Col

The Storm With No Name.

I think it just goes to show how localised our weather is. Here on the North Coast it is wilder today than anything yet this year and yesterday afternoon had a brief mental spell. When I was on Uist I suffered damage to the garage during un-named blowy spells which were far worse than any of the named storms.
Topography and luck play a large part too.

Andy
 

Paul_B

Well-known member
Points
63
Location
South Yorkshire
My father used to say the rivers we fished used to rise much slower.After the 2nd world war there was a push to drain moorland.This was to make unproductive land more productive.But now moorland doesn't soak up water & release it slowly anymore.
The same thing happened in the dales, they cut ditches to drain the moors so sheep could graze but it meant that the rivers flooded quickly. We fished the Ure and it did indeed come down at a rate of knots.
Now they are blowing up deep holes in the moorland to hold onto the water and so it drains more slowly.
 

JohnH

Well-known member
Points
38
Location
Near Southampton
Here's one that puzzled me. I was away in Cornwall for a social / rugby watching weekend from Friday 21st to yesterday. When I could, I grabbed a look at the West Country rivers I crossed on the journey, the Dart, Teign, Axe/Yarty and Otter; I omit the Tamar because it's an estuary at the Saltash crossing. All these rivers, while flowing strongly, were within their banks and there seemed not to be much casual water lying around on fields, sports grounds etc. Contrast that with Wessex where the latest report I heard was that the Hampshire Avon between Ringwood and Fordingbridge is in places about 700 yards wide, ie right out over the flood plain, and there is a lot of water in the fields around the Test and Frome.

They've had at least as much rain in Devon and Cornwall as in Hampshire. Can only assume that with the impervious bedrock, the rain that's fallen in the West since the autumn is already in the sea, while it's hanging around in our clay / peat / chalk areas. Any better ideas out there ?
 

BobP

Well-known member
Points
48
Location
Wiltshire
Here's one that puzzled me. I was away in Cornwall for a social / rugby watching weekend from Friday 21st to yesterday. When I could, I grabbed a look at the West Country rivers I crossed on the journey, the Dart, Teign, Axe/Yarty and Otter; I omit the Tamar because it's an estuary at the Saltash crossing. All these rivers, while flowing strongly, were within their banks and there seemed not to be much casual water lying around on fields, sports grounds etc. Contrast that with Wessex where the latest report I heard was that the Hampshire Avon between Ringwood and Fordingbridge is in places about 700 yards wide, ie right out over the flood plain, and there is a lot of water in the fields around the Test and Frome.

They've had at least as much rain in Devon and Cornwall as in Hampshire. Can only assume that with the impervious bedrock, the rain that's fallen in the West since the autumn is already in the sea, while it's hanging around in our clay / peat / chalk areas. Any better ideas out there ?
You're not far off there John. Freestone rivers will rise quickly and then return to more normal levels when the peak flow has passed. Our chalk rivers on the other hand are slower to respond to rainfall, but once those springs are up and running it will take a lot longer for the rivers to drop back,

There is a minor river running down the road in my village, there is water coming up through drain covers and from under houses. The village square has water coming up through the drains where it has infiltrated the sewers. Thames Water are pumping into tankers constantly and taking it down to the sewage works where it promptly overtops the bank and flows into the stream they are trying to prevent it going down in the first place! I keep wondering when the penny will drop but doubt it will be any time soon.

With regards to the Avon don't forget there are five rivers that meet near Salisbury including the Avon itself. Five spring fed rivers so that's one heck of a lot of water that won't be going anywhere fast for some considerable time.

I'm beginning to wonder whether the River Test One Fly will be able to go ahead in seven weeks time. It's going to be an interesting season what with high waters and coronavirus.
 

JohnH

Well-known member
Points
38
Location
Near Southampton
Thought so, Bob. When I made the same trip for New Year's Eve celebrations, the roadside spring at Winterborne Abbas, between Dorchester and Bridport so towards the western edge of the chalk country, was absolutely hammering out water and there's been a lot of rain in the 2 months since. As you say an "interesting" chalk stream season in prospect....
 

ed_t

Well-known member
Points
63
Here's one that puzzled me. I was away in Cornwall for a social / rugby watching weekend from Friday 21st to yesterday. When I could, I grabbed a look at the West Country rivers I crossed on the journey, the Dart, Teign, Axe/Yarty and Otter; I omit the Tamar because it's an estuary at the Saltash crossing. All these rivers, while flowing strongly, were within their banks and there seemed not to be much casual water lying around on fields, sports grounds etc. Contrast that with Wessex where the latest report I heard was that the Hampshire Avon between Ringwood and Fordingbridge is in places about 700 yards wide, ie right out over the flood plain, and there is a lot of water in the fields around the Test and Frome.

They've had at least as much rain in Devon and Cornwall as in Hampshire. Can only assume that with the impervious bedrock, the rain that's fallen in the West since the autumn is already in the sea, while it's hanging around in our clay / peat / chalk areas. Any better ideas out there ?
I'm reading a book: How to read water, by Tristan Gooley at the moment. Explains pretty much what you observe. Hard rock areas will likely have spate rivers that rise and fall rapidly. Soft chalk will soak up water and rivers rise more slowly. Once everything is waterlogged and the chalk is saturated you'll get the floods.

I was in northern Denmark last month and the ground was utterly waterlogged. Winter crops ruined.

On a ship coming into the Thames the other day and the pilot observed how the rains were causing increasing tides and currents and the winds were compounding problems causing big shifts in predicted high and low heights.

I do wonder about these "record" high water levels though- plenty old buildings with record flood markings that haven't been topped round here. I suspect "record" is modern living memory and instrumented like the SEPA gauge network that didn't exist a few years back.
 

diawl bach

Well-known member
Points
83
Noah would have said the same.

I heard the other day that 12% of Americans think Joan of Arc was Noah's wife - it just goes to show.
 
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