Wales rivers so low,

icejohn

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Ventured out to wales today. Can't believe how low the rivers are. Never saw a fish and I wander about the insect life as the river bed is 3/4 dry very much doubt there is enough food to keep the river going even if levels come back. God knows where the fish went just hope they there somewhere.
 

diawl bach

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I was looking at the Ely above the M4 earlier today, it was at a summer low, mid April too.

I'd stopped for a quick recce after I'd finished taking out some tree stumps with my nephew, the ground was absolutely dry, it made the job easier but it's a good indicator for the amount of rain that's needed to make a difference. Presumably we'll get a month's worth in three days again, man made climate change is really kicking in.
 

icejohn

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Well I wander about the fly life dying as the taff used to have large fish population and reckon with 3/4 of the river bed exposed you can forget the may fly season cause all the larve are dead already. The ground is literally dry as a bone.

Even if water levels go up, it's too late for insect life cycles. The fish that currantly survive won't be getting larger to lack of food and be lucky to get to next season.

Didn't see any birds fishing usually a cormorant or heron somewhere.
 
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bobmiddlepoint

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I wouldn’t write off all the inverts just yet. Prolonged low water does, obviously, reduce the amount of available habitat for inverts but most are capable of moving as the level drops and will spread out again when the water rises.

We had a long drought here last year (July to Sept) with the river close to a record low for much of that period, with yards of dry river bed. This spring at normal water level every stone from bank to bank is covered in grannom cases. Months of low water last year has had little effect on their numbers.

Andy
 

nickthomas

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The Taff has certainly been affected by the weather pattern over the past couple of years. High rainfall in the autumn and winter has brought much flooding with associated changes in the river bed. Many places that were good holding spots have now gone. Take the run on the south bank below Radar weir, that’s now gone, replaced by a bank of gravel. The stretch further down above the station bridge used to have two deeper channels, now it’s pretty uniform gravel all the way across. Much easier wading than it used to be, but I’m not so sure it hold the same number of fish. The current dry cold weather isn’t helping either, I’ve never fished it with water levels so low and with very low water temperatures at the same time. Last year post-lockdown was a good trout year for me, no so much in numbers, but in average size. I’ll have to wait a month of so to see if this year is the same.
 

BobP

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Freestone rivers are a mobile environment that the fish are used to. If you want to see how rivers change due to floods etc. go to Austria. My cousin has a new river to fish every year after the snow melt and there is no shortage of fish either.
 

Mr Notherone

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I've always wondered where they go going during the heavy floods and extreme droughts, but with some exceptions, they bounce back. Yesterday the river was at summer low levels, but the water was still pretty cold. The juveniles had started feeding subsurface in the faster heads of the pools (10 days ago they weren't) and there was more surface activity during a few short hatches.

Yes we could do with a few days rain, but there's no reason (yet) to think we won't have a good season...
 

iainmortimer

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I have been thinking the same thing, what has happened to the April showers - it feels like this month has been VERY dry.
 

iainmortimer

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Was this not the same scenario as last April/May - The trouble is - when it begins to rain it forgets to stop!



Douglas
I think it was later last year. More the end of May
Was this not the same scenario as last April/May - The trouble is - when it begins to rain it forgets to stop!



Douglas
yes it looks like it. A couple of wee rises over the whole of April and then a decent lift around the 1 May and that was about it for the summer!
 

lavo85

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Rivers the same here in the north of ireland, weve virtually had no rain in about a month.

Rver freezing and very little hatching.
 

ohanzee

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I've always wondered where they go going during the heavy floods and extreme droughts.

One example, a medium sized river with an artificial drought every day or so due to a hydro dam, when the sluice gates are closed it's a nice stony little river you can wade up, small fish up to a pound, getting smaller as you go up, when water is released the river to twice the level and more, and as it does bigger trout from the lower reaches swim up, fish size where you would catch a maximum of a pound is 2 or 3lb's, they are there and feeding by the time the river has settled.

As it drops back to low level the bigger fish slowly drop back down, I reckon this happens in every river in various ways and times.
 

icejohn

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Insects in the water are my concern. There are lakes that are fairly rocky bottoms. The buzzer belt of weed alge is 30-40 m from the shore edge. Water levels drop far below this and the fish that are stocked have nothing to feed on. Brenig is an example of this.

A river can't be that different. Ie rocks coat the river bed are normally coated with alge insects feed on it. Caddis build houses. Their eggs wash into silt. So 3/4 drop means eggs dry out. Loss of 3/4 of your larder is not good! So assuming that's thinking the bugs who can walk stay in the moisture zone. What percentage is that? 50% make it? Also depends what stage the insects are in their life cycle. Eggs, the tiny little guys reckon they all dead. That just can't be good for the fish and the future season.

The taff used to have a steady "working flow" fish held in locations there was an even distribution of fish. Means you saw trout alge clear spots on the bottom means fish is actively holding feeding in that area putting on weight. If i sound worried it's cause the rivers are not looking good at all.

Ps the working/Base flow is the level of a river that never drops below.
 
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diawl bach

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You're right to be concerned IJ, the combination of global warming and the indiscriminate use of pesticides is having a considerable detrimental effect on the abundance of terrestrial and aquatic insects, it's an effect which will work up the food chain and reduce the populations of the animals which feed on them, inevitably the quality of fishing will decline.

It'll be dry and sunny for Cardiff all the way through to next week according to the met office, April showers are an endangered species.
 

shortcircuit

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April has been very dry here in Ireland too, uncharacteristically. Been very cold though too.

1618820221855.png

The Bride in Cork is currently very near to its summer level, which is nice in a way beacuse it makes for easier wading.

You can see the steady downward trend in the level all month, with no little spikes (which correspond with a decent rainfall). I believe there is some rain forecast for today and tomorrow and then back to dry weather from Wednesday on.
 

rabmax

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Was watching the local news.We have had 2% of the rain we should get in April in Ayrshire.
 

justmike

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I fish the Vyrnwy and the Banwy and I have also looked at a couple more this week, rivers on their bones,no fly life to speak of and barely a sign of fish save the odd small rise prob grayling.
 

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