State of our rivers?

SirHarryLewis

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Joined
Jul 2, 2020
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132
I fish the River Suir, not far from Cahir. A well regarded river, Im sure most of you who would know it can agree.

However to most locals with only a passing interest in fishing, they regard its glory days as long gone. I am 45 and when I learned to fish 35 years ago, the biggest problems fishing the Suir was getting space. The river bank was alive with locals, of all ages (many fishing the bubble method) who would show up for the rise every summer evening and usually walk away with 4 or 5 trout. It was all too easy. Over the years, the rises were less, the fish got more particular, the people disappeared. Now I would encounter perhaps only one or two other fly rods on the river. From my perspective, Im not sure what happend. Water should be cleaner now surely?

So which of these is true?
1) The trout numbers have clearly been reduced. Probably due to ongoing effect of modern farming on insect life
2) There is a greater abundance of insect life within the river, leading to fish actually feeding differently. They simply rely more on deeper aquatic life and less on the rise.
3) Drainage, infrastructure work means that water levels on the rivers tend to reach extremes more often. This has had a knock on effect on fish life.
4) I am recalling something from a short period of time....its not the normal over decades and most other rivers have not changed.

And do other rivers have a similar story.
 

GEK79

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Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
1,320
Location
Irleand
I fish the River Suir, not far from Cahir. A well regarded river, Im sure most of you who would know it can agree.

However to most locals with only a passing interest in fishing, they regard its glory days as long gone. I am 45 and when I learned to fish 35 years ago, the biggest problems fishing the Suir was getting space. The river bank was alive with locals, of all ages (many fishing the bubble method) who would show up for the rise every summer evening and usually walk away with 4 or 5 trout. It was all too easy. Over the years, the rises were less, the fish got more particular, the people disappeared. Now I would encounter perhaps only one or two other fly rods on the river. From my perspective, Im not sure what happend. Water should be cleaner now surely?

So which of these is true?
1) The trout numbers have clearly been reduced. Probably due to ongoing effect of modern farming on insect life
2) There is a greater abundance of insect life within the river, leading to fish actually feeding differently. They simply rely more on deeper aquatic life and less on the rise.
3) Drainage, infrastructure work means that water levels on the rivers tend to reach extremes more often. This has had a knock on effect on fish life.
4) I am recalling something from a short period of time....its not the normal over decades and most other rivers have not changed.

And do other rivers have a similar story.
Possible a combination of all on your list.. I have fished my river only since lock down.. I know it has been over fished polluted a d generally not taken care of. I can't speak of your river.. But I know that the fly life in mine even tho has been polluted is still excellent..
 

mrnotherone

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Jul 19, 2013
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3,688
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Monmouthshire
Probably a combination of 1 to 3. I don't think 4 is right...unfortunately your observations in Ireland are likely mirrored in many rivers across the UK.
 

SirHarryLewis

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Jul 2, 2020
Messages
132
I'm exactly the same age and have been fishing for exactly the same length of time as the OP! 😁
Anyway.... A combination of 1 to 3 is my guess.

Yeah, starting to sound like an oap alright.
I really think the water level is a big culprit. Pollution an water quality due to farm run off used to be worse the 80s.

What's really continued unabated is the improved drainage of land over the years. This appears to lead to lead to very low water levels as well as some flooding most years at some point.
 

taffy1

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Joined
Feb 26, 2014
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10,903
Location
Well within my comfort zone
Insectisides have taken their toll, when was the last time anyone had to clear the bugs off a windscreen? I haven't seen a smiling motorcyclist with gnats on his teeth for ages...:cool:
 

rabmax

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Joined
Sep 11, 2009
Messages
1,589
Location
Ayrshire
I would say 1 & 3 on the rivers i fish.A steady drip of pollution from dairy farming doesn't do much good.I do notice most rivers i fish are highly silted up.Modern farming practices causing loss of top soil to rivers.In 30 years we won't be able to farm as there will be no top soil .Very few anglers fish the rivers these days.The only place i am likely to ever meet others is the Clyde.
 
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