Environment Agency January 2010 Newsletter and Logbook Scheme
As a subscriber to the EA Coarse Angling Logbook Scheme, Pete of The Fishing Archives has received the lastest EA Fisheries Newsletter. Details abouthow to take part in the logbook scheme and to help the Agencycollate the vital information it needs to improve fisheries in the region is given in the Newsletter below:
The Environment Agency, along with several other partners are taking part in a large, European project called Living North Sea. The project is looking at improving our understanding of fish species including sea trout and eels which range over several countries. Further information can be found at the project website, it is worth noting that this is an early version and will develop over time so it’s worth re-visiting as the project and website take shape. It can be found at: www.abdn.ac.uk/living-north-sea/
We are currently in the process of revising the ‘Where to fish’ guide for our area. If anyone would like their own fishery included or are aware of any significant omissions please let us know.
To date, anglers have returned around 140 completed logbooks for the 2009 fishing season. Data recorded in these books is now being analysed. Initial results indicate, in line with fish count data for the Tyne, that catch rates of both salmon and sea trout are down on figures for recent seasons.
In early November, more than 70 people attended the open days at our Riding Mill Fish monitoring facility where they were able to view the fish counting and trapping facilities, as well as learn more about how stocks of game fish in the Tyne are performing.
Sampling of adult fish during the broodstock collections for the Kielder hatchery has been completed, with around 500 fish sampled over the winter. This work is providing essential data on the species and age composition of the spawning stocks of salmon and sea trout in the Tyne.
The winners of the Prize Draw for the Angler Scale Sampling Scheme in 2009 were Mr G. Hillary from Stocksfield, who won a Hardy Cascapedia reel donated by Hardy & Greys Ltd, and Mr F. L. Prescott of Richmond who took home a Wychwood Truspin spinning rod supplied by Bagnall & Kirkwood Ltd.
Findings from salmon and sea trout sampled as part of the Angler Scale Sampling Programme as well as results from the Angler Logbook Scheme and fish count data for 2009, are being presented at Close House, Heddon-on-the Wall, on Wednesday 21st January. To book a place, please contact Gemma Alecks in our External Relations Team on 0191 203 4105 or firstname.lastname@example.orgWear
The Wear River Trust has recently advertised the post of project officer. Once filled, the successful candidate will be responsible for developing the work of the trust to improve the river habitat and ecology for all users and wildlife. More about the trust can be found at: www.wear-rivers-trust.org.uk
North East Fisheries Bulletin
The Tees River Trust is also involved in a process to recruit a projects officer to manage the start up activities of the trust including identifying projects, partners and possible funding streams.
We operate a fish trap on the Tees at the barrage; this enables us to obtain information such as species, size, sex and condition of fish using this migration route. The trap provides data from one of four routes for fish passage and its efficiency is highly dependant on factors such as water flow and tidal cycle. During 2009 a total of 225 salmon were caught and sampled, this represents the fifth highest total since construction in 1995 and is only marginally lower than the long term average of 232. During the year, a smaller than average spring run was followed by a significant run in July associated with a period of high river flows, salmon migration then followed a pattern similar to that seen in previous years during the autumn months.
Sea trout numbers were lower than the long term average (372) with 119 fish recorded. As in previous years the data show that sea trout begin to arrive in the Tees during late May with numbers building through the summer months, reaching a peak in October.National updates
As of 1st August 2009, you must have registered your fishery with CEFAS in order to be able to introduce or remove fish. For more information visit: www.efishbusiness.co.uk/default.asp
Environment Agency documents detailing our current strategies and how we would like to develop fisheries can be found at: www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/31495.aspx
Details of the changes being made to byelaws including those concerning coarse fish removal, and brown trout close seasons on stillwaters have been widely advertised and can be seen on our website. The link below also gives details of how interested parties can offer support or object to the new byelaws: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/114281.aspx
We are currently seeking consultation on changes to the rules governing Net and Trap Licenses and Authorisations, these can be viewed at: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/113264.aspx
Coarse anglers are reminded that they can contribute to our knowledge of coarse fish populations in the area by completing a coarse anglers logbook. These are available by contacting Robbie Stevenson on 0191 203 4266 or email@example.com
Following the success of our survey competitions on the Tyne and the Wear in recent years, we have decided that a number of tickets will be retained by the Environment Agency and anglers who take part in the coarse anglers’ logbook scheme will be given first refusal on these tickets. It is hoped that this will be viewed both as a reward for anglers taking part in the scheme and encourage more anglers to take part.
Angling surveys (EA coarse fishing championships and angler logbooks) have shown evidence that spawning and survival of young fish has been patchy in recent years, mainly due to environmental conditions such as cool springs and high summer flows. As part of our work to develop river coarse fisheries in the area several fish introductions took place during November. In total 6000 young roach were introduced to the river Wear around Durham and Chester-le-Street.
A stocking of 5000 fish also took place to the river Skerne; these were a mixture of dace, chub and barbel.
Continued improvements to water quality in the river Team have meant that we have introduced 1000 Roach to the river. We will be monitoring in the future to show how well these fish have faired.
Other fish introductions to Charltons pond in Billingham, Headlam Hall fishery and Hemlington Lake have helped support the development of these fisheries to encourage more angling in these areas, especially among young people.
Work to resolve continuing problems at Wydon water have now been completed and fish have been introduced. It is anticipated that the fishery will be open to anglers in April 2010 through Hexham Angling Association and Tyne Anglers Alliance.
The second River Tyne Estuary survey took place on 28th December, unfortunately the adverse weather made for a very difficult day. The 13 hardy anglers who took part in the survey struggled to catch any coarse fish and only a few trout were caught.
The Environment Agency is committed to delivering environmental improvements. We want to work with partners on projects to improve river habitat in the area for the benefit of wildlife and fish. If anyone knows of possible sites, please get in touch. Once we have decided whether we could, in principal, fund the proposal it will be added to a register. This register will allow us to plan work over the coming years. The type of work could include restoring riparian and instream habitats and creation of buffer zones through fencing and tree planting.
Wear Fisheries Development plan is aimed at giving anglers an opportunity to decide how they want to see the Wear fishery develop in future. A meeting is being held Lindisfarne Centre, St Aidans College Durham on 6th Feb at 9:30-14:00, with a buffet lunch provided. To book a place, please contact Paul Frear on 0191 2034321 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Following the recovery of otter populations in the river Tees corridor, still waters have been utilised by otters for feeding. Halnaby Hall Lake did contain a good proportion of specimen carp prior to otter predation events, but stocks have since been greatly reduced. The aim of the project is to prevent otters from gaining access to the lake via appropriate fencing, which will then allow the club to restock the lake, which in turn will stimulate interest in the venue again. Yarm Angling Ltd took the opportunity to apply for a grant from the Environment Agency to help install otter proof fencing. The Environment Agency has made funds available following discussions with Natural England and the Angling Trust that allow clubs to apply for up to 50% funding towards fencing installation. For more details on how to apply for a grant please contact us.
Planning is underway for our programme of projects for 2010/11. If anyone has any suggestions for projects that might be considered please do not hesitate to contact the fisheries team who will be able to give you more information about the type of project that would be considered.Regular features
The fish counter on the river Coquet is currently inoperable as continuing poor conditions prevent the necessary repair work being carried out following the extensive damage caused by several flood events.
The total validated upstream count through the counter on the river Wear at Durham was 14950 for 2009.
The total validated upstream count for the Tyne in 2009 was 22,731. This was below both the 5 and 10-year average figures for the river (36,618 and 30,336, respectively) but appeared to form part of a general downward trend in counts evident in recent years. It was also broadly in keeping with adult fish returns observed elsewhere in E&W during 2009.
All the latest data from the fish counters in the North East can be found at: www.environment-agency.gov.uk/research/library/publications/33953.aspx
Please remember that the Fisheries Forum offers an opportunity to discuss local fisheries issues in greater detail. The next forum will be held on 8th February at a venue to be decided in the Durham area. If you have any issues which you would like to raise, or would like to attend, please let us know by noon on 29th January.
If you know of anyone who would like to receive this bulletin they should provide their email address to the details below.
For more information contact:
Fisheries Technical Officer
Email: email@example.com Tel: 0191 203 4266