Sunday, 5 April 2009

Week 65

Week 65

It just gets clearer and clearer!

Not some lucid period of middle age enlightenment, but the river. Sparkling in the spring sunshine it is crying out to be fished. No Hawthorn hatch yet, but an increasing trickle of Olives draws the interest of the Trout through the middle of the day. The Grayling, distracted by the rigors of spawning, declining the offer of food. The Carp in the pond have moved into the shallows, their minds affected by lusty thoughts, blind to the Heron who will stab away at their crashing and thrashing amongst the tree roots.

A bit more chalking, and construction of an oak table for the fishing hut to seat four. Very “Arts and Crafts” with a liberal dash of rustic, the table’s a dead cert for the Antiques road show 2080. Also knocked up a small shelter half way up the river. More of a seat with a lid, or advance base camp for those fishing the upper reaches, it will provide shade from the sun, shelter from the rain, and negate the mad dash for the fishing hut when the weather breaks.

Another letter in Trout & Salmon magazine detailing concerns about the National Trout and Grayling strategy. Brief words with a few keepers at the recent invertebrate monitoring course echoed my concerns. For this river, it still doesn’t make sense, it remains an “Airy fairy” do what you can policy that will achieve little and doesn’t do what it says on the tin. Several voiced concerns about the influence of The Wild Trout Lobby and their ability to influence policy over those who have live beside, and managed a particular stretch of river for much of their lives.

This strategy is not a done deal. If ever a river system cried out for a regional policy it is this one. If these post Christmas spawning Brown Trout, that denote a genetically distinct population exist, then lets get out there and take their babies. This river has enough hatcheries and manpower from source to sea, not to mention the leading Fish Farming and Fishery Management College to target this late spawning population of Brown Trout. Strip the fish, hatch out the eggs, first feed the fry, and release back into the river in spring. It mirrors many Salmon stocking policies and in many cases works. We have carried it out on this stretch of river for over a decade, and it works, alongside a sensible stocking policy of takeable sized fish. Under the strategy we will be unable to continue with this stocking policy on account of broodstock selection.

The crux?

Is a fish derived from locally sourced Broodstock and stocked into the river between six and nine months old and survived several years in the river to sexual maturity, inferior to original stock?

He/She may differ slightly in DNA, but I’m damned if I can tell the difference!

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