Friday, December 5, 2008

Week 48


Week 48

Much colder weather this week, snow fell heavily in many parts of the country although here it fell as heavy rain, turning the river chalky grey. Little fly hatching at any time of the day and fish difficult to spot in the coloured water. The river had cleared by the end of the week; too much silt and colour in the water can affect the hatch rate of the Trout eggs, a fine layer of silt settling on the eggs inhibiting their ability to absorb oxygen eventually killing them. The eggs in the hatchery are eyed up and the developing fish can clearly be seen. The spring water that they are raised on has no suspended solids and is a constant temperature and rate of flow resulting in a far higher number of them hatching compared to the eggs in the river.
First job this week was to sort out a Christmas tree to stand outside the pub in the village. The Christmas tree plantation has two sizes of tree, massive and miniscule. This year I backed the pickup up to a fifty footer and dropped it straight onto the back of the pick up, chopping twenty five feet off the bottom to use as fence posts. The top twenty-five feet was then driven up to the pub and delicately erected between a spiders web of telephone and electricity wires. The Roe Deer have hammered some of the smaller Christmas trees and some will not make a good shaped tree at all. Later I will have to search out trees for the shop, church, village hall and myself.
I have spent much of the week refilling the wood shed with some of the wood that I cut up at the start of the year; some of it is still quite wet and has not seasoned much at all over the summer. Up until a few years ago the central heating in our house ran off the wood burner and we would get through around six tonnes of wood a winter, recently we have had oil central heating linked up which has eased the pressure a little on this stretch of river to produce logs. Over the past ten years some very mature trees have passed on, one ash in my employers garden was enormous, over a hundred and fifty years old it took a team of four the best part of two days to fell and kept both my employer and I in logs for one and a half winters.
I am seeing considerably fewer Pheasants on my morning feed round, many are sat in a block of Maize on a neighbouring bit of land, with luck they will shoot this drive before our next day shooting sending some of our pheasants back. Numbers of Duck visiting the pond continue to fall, and, with heavy rain this week, there are plenty of splashes out on the meadows for them to overnight on. The Canada Geese have turned up on the water meadow upstream from here and should be around for our next day shooting.I have received several messages of support this week about my letter to the Trout & Salmon Magazine in which I aired my concerns about the implementation of the National Trout and Grayling Strategy, principally with the enforced stocking of Triploid Trout into this river. The whole strategy is incredibly muddled, ill thought out and out of date. The Strategy was flawed at inception with the decision to develop a National Strategy and not a regional one. Far bigger noises than myself have raised their objections to the strategy in the angling press over the past year and I feel that is important that the pot continues to be stirred to force change to several aspects of the strategy.

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