Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Simmering anger at Woody Debris

It has been brought to my attention that there is someone masquerading as me in the April issue of Trout and Salmon, an older brother perhaps? Whoever he is, he has far less hair than myself and appears far less virile. My daughter suggested the facial expression conveyed anger, determination or simmering madness. On reading the Wild Trout Trust article on Woody Debris in the same issue I think it is possibly the first and the last.

I can only speak from my own experience of managing a chalkstrem, where woody debris has its place and in some situations can be of some benefit to a stream. There has been woody debris in place on some parts of this river that predates the formation of the Wild Trout Trust, although on chalkstreams where weed cuts are heavy and coordinated so that everyone cuts weed at the same time, its uses are limited.

The Wild Trout Trust is undoubtedly well intentioned, but applying general rules to all rivers does not smack of “knowledgable river management” rather a “little bit of knowledge being a dangerous thing”.
I don’t believe that all successful management practices implemented on one river would work on every other river, and to issue the cry “To the woody debris everyone” is irresponsible.

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