Ribble 2021

budge

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I've been carrying out research surrounding this topic for my MSc in Environmental Science at the University of Liverpool - so far I've found that there is a strong relationship between March flows and the number of fry present during electrofishing surveys. Also now looking into the impact of stocking - in particular the Witcherwell hatchery closing in around 97/98 and the drop in Salmon seen in recent years - i.e was the system stocked to an artificial high and are we now seeing the 'crash' - would be interested to hear any thoughts.
If nothing else a hatchery might help protect a large number of eggs and fry from the ever increasing winter floods we get now.

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Tayrod

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If nothing else a hatchery might help protect a large number of eggs and fry from the ever increasing winter floods we get now.

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In reflection, I still cannot believe that this hatchery was ever allowed to be closed down. The hatchery was built as a ‘condition’ for allowing the creation of Stocks Reservoir. How on earth the necessary body (presumably united utilities) we’re allowed to walk away from the responsibility of running this hatchery beggars belief. Was this ever challenged at the time of closure?
 

luney

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In reflection, I still cannot believe that this hatchery was ever allowed to be closed down. The hatchery was built as a ‘condition’ for allowing the creation of Stocks Reservoir. How on earth the necessary body (presumably united utilities) we’re allowed to walk away from the responsibility of running this hatchery beggars belief. Was this ever challenged at the time of closure?
That's a very good point, I for one would like to know the answer
 

budge

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That's a very good point, I for one would like to know the answer
You couldn't make it up really could you ? Destroy huge spawning area by building a dam, promise to compensate by stocking fry from a hatchery, close the hatchery 30 years later due to costs then blame/penalise anglers and netsmen when the runs collapse keeps the shareholders happy though.

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SP8

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There was an article on a TV program where they had caught a fly tipper for dumping a whole heap of asbestos. They caught him by CCTV, and he was fined £1500, and they said they were delighted with the result. However, he's quids in, because proper asbestos disposal would have cost more. He wasn't even fined the cost of the clean up and correct disposal, so how can it be any form of deterrent?

The fine for no motor insurance is less than the cost of motor insurance, for nearly everyone. From the DVLA Website:

"The police could give you a fixed penalty of £300" I mean, wtf!

Sure, you get some points, but if you're the sort who would, you wouldn't care anyway, and, it only says "could".

At the top of our road, currently, is a fridge, a mattress, a cupboard, and various assorted large pieces of other rubbish. Such nice people.

Anyway, this £2000 fine is beyond a joke, and do not apologise for having brought it up. I have signed the petition, and thank you for linking it, but sadly, I suspect it's doomed to failure.

Let's imagine it succeeds, how much per fish would be appropriate. Considering the entire fish kill was estimated to be around 15,000, and I would think the minimum the fine should have actually been would be £30,000. Does £2 per fish seem reasonable.

Better fines would be the entire cost to the environment agency of the clean up, and fish restocking exercise. I could imagine that could easily stretch to several hundreds of thousands of pounds. Then again, they'd never see it. The firm would just declare itself bankrupt, and it would be written off by a court. They would then reopen, with a new name, with new registered directors, and that would be that.

Very sad.
Your car is likely to go to the crusher if driving without insurance but I agree the fines need to be realistic and the cost of clean up must be factored in

SP8
 

Tayrod

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You couldn't make it up really could you ? Destroy huge spawning area by building a dam, promise to compensate by stocking fry from a hatchery, close the hatchery 30 years later due to costs then blame/penalise anglers and netsmen when the runs collapse keeps the shareholders happy though.

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What a shocker - at the very least should have gone to a consultation before implementation?
There is also a case for the monetary impact to both the Ribble and Hodder fisheries - fishery valuations can only go down as they are based on fish returns.
The above worries me as everyone must be aware of the forthcoming United Utilities project “HARP” - six years of works and disruption in huge project to repair 109km Lancashire water pipes?.
 

Andrew B

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It does seem strange that the "scientists" think salmon are better left to reproduce and repopulate naturally rather than given a helping hand whilst doing the exact opposite with otters ?

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Kinda reminds me of “trust the science” as oppose to just trusting science. I don’t claim to have any answers or knowledge but my BS detector always goes off when their science is all adamant on one thing and never goes after the fish farming industry.
Some rivers I’ve fished in the past such as the Mawdach were very proud of their hatcheries?
 

playhappy

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What a shocker - at the very least should have gone to a consultation before implementation?
There is also a case for the monetary impact to both the Ribble and Hodder fisheries - fishery valuations can only go down as they are based on fish returns.
The above worries me as everyone must be aware of the forthcoming United Utilities project “HARP” - six years of works and disruption in huge project to repair 109km Lancashire water pipes?.

"repairs" to pipes - more like to sell water to the south of Manchester - their profits are over 600 million ( down from 740million). They do things for one reason only - to make money for their shareholders. Private water had over 400,000 thousand sewage spills in 2020

Analysis of the figures shows that the longest overall spill duration for a single plant was at United Utilities’ Sedburgh wastewater treatment works, which discharged for 8,490 hours. Aprox 352 DAYS !


Second longest was a United Utilities’ plant at Keswick, which discharged for 8,275 hours.


Private water aint helping our rivers

On the subject of the hatchery - taken from -

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE RIBBLE FISHERIES CONSULTATIVE ASSOCIATION 2017/2018

For a time, the Witcherwell facility was rented to Lakeland Smolts, the company rented the facility
purely as back up for their salmon smolt rearing activities. It was never used by them for this
purpose. The hatchery was then used by the Hodder Consultative for the rearing of smolts. The E.A.
decided to cease their operations and close the hatchery but allowed for a short time, the Hodder
Con. to use it in a smolt rearing process in conjunction with the Dunsop Trout Farm. Fish were
trapped with the help and guidance of the E.A. The eggs were hatched and the fingerlings reared
and subsequently stocked out to a number of smolt release facilities.


The Agency recently issued national stocking guidelines which meant the numbers of fish
consented by the E.A. we’re not viable. Although the Agency did not technically stop the Hodder
Propagation Scheme, the new guidelines and the withdrawal of E.A participation in the collection of
brood stock, made it impossible to carry on.



So it would appear to be crackers - the companies entrusted to look after our waterways are failing big time - yet still taking our money.


Salmon farms are ok in the eyes of the gov - yet stocking a river to be sustainable in a more natural and environmentally sane way is some how a non starter.

You know what a good salmon farm is - a healthy river.

In the case of private water and salmon farms - money has clouded the waters and business not the environment is the winner.
 
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happy days

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"repairs" to pipes - more like to sell water to the south of Manchester - their profits are over 600 million ( down from 740million). They do things for one reason only - to make money for their shareholders. Private water had over 400,000 thousand sewage spills in 2020

Analysis of the figures shows that the longest overall spill duration for a single plant was at United Utilities’ Sedburgh wastewater treatment works, which discharged for 8,490 hours. Aprox 352 DAYS !


Second longest was a United Utilities’ plant at Keswick, which discharged for 8,275 hours.


Private water aint helping our rivers

On the subject of the hatchery - taken from -

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE RIBBLE FISHERIES CONSULTATIVE ASSOCIATION 2017/2018

For a time, the Witcherwell facility was rented to Lakeland Smolts, the company rented the facility
purely as back up for their salmon smolt rearing activities. It was never used by them for this
purpose. The hatchery was then used by the Hodder Consultative for the rearing of smolts. The E.A.
decided to cease their operations and close the hatchery but allowed for a short time, the Hodder
Con. to use it in a smolt rearing process in conjunction with the Dunsop Trout Farm. Fish were
trapped with the help and guidance of the E.A. The eggs were hatched and the fingerlings reared
and subsequently stocked out to a number of smolt release facilities.


The Agency recently issued national stocking guidelines which meant the numbers of fish
consented by the E.A. we’re not viable. Although the Agency did not technically stop the Hodder
Propagation Scheme, the new guidelines and the withdrawal of E.A participation in the collection of
brood stock, made it impossible to carry on.



So it would appear to be crackers - the companies entrusted to look after our waterways are failing big time - yet still taking our money.


Salmon farms are ok in the eyes of the gov - yet stocking a river to be sustainable in a more natural and environmentally sane way is some how a non starter.

You know what a good salmon farm is - a healthy river.

In the case of private water and salmon farms - money has clouded the waters and business not the environment is the winner.
One of the most accurate posts I’ve ever read on here
 

MCXFisher

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At least we now know about the infractions. When they were nationalised there was no disclosure; they could avoid prosecution by claiming Crown Immunity; and trying to sue them was almost impossible owing to the bureaucracy.
We need to campaign hard for tighter post-BREXIT standards.
 

sutty

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On Tuesday, my friend caught a trout on maggot, maybe a little over a pound. It had two deep holes behind the gill, maybe an inch and a quarter apart, with fresh blood, and white flesh showing. A torn dorsal fin, a missing pelvic fin, and many scratches, in a zig zag down its side. We figured it had been caught by an otter, taken to the side, and as it thought it had it, it released its grip in the mouth, and was pinning it down with its paws. The trout then maybe gave a sudden thrutch, and wriggled free from under the paws, making the scratches down its side, from where it then completed its escape, probably by flopping back into the water.

What do you think, does that sound like otter marks? We do have a visiting otter, which we see periodically, so it seemed likely to us.

Anyway, just to complete the tale. I went fishing again yesterday, and believe it or not caught the same fish on fly. It had made considerable progress in its healing. The holes were now filled with black scab like material, and level with its body, and it looked happier in general, with most of the side mark scratches having almost gone.

That's some fast healing right there, and an adventurous week that little trout has had. I almost feel bad going again, in case I maybe catch it once more. It's probably thinking, 'stuff me, no matter what I do, I keep getting hauled out of the water, and then managing to just make my escape'.

Swam off, seemingly perfectly happy though, after nothing more than about thirty seconds of resting.

Never occurred to me to properly photograph the damage on the bank at the time, but did photograph it in the water, whilst it was resting up. Obviously with it being in the water, it's not such a clear photo, but you can see the dorsal fin, and the missing pelvic fin. The holes were on the other side.

EDIT: It wasn't Tuesday, for the first time, it was last week. On Tuesday we both drew a blank (just remembered). Makes more sense, considering the healing.
 

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Ratman

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On Tuesday, my friend caught a trout on maggot, maybe a little over a pound. It had two deep holes behind the gill, maybe an inch and a quarter apart, with fresh blood, and white flesh showing. A torn dorsal fin, a missing pelvic fin, and many scratches, in a zig zag down its side. We figured it had been caught by an otter, taken to the side, and as it thought it had it, it released its grip in the mouth, and was pinning it down with its paws. The trout then maybe gave a sudden thrutch, and wriggled free from under the paws, making the scratches down its side, from where it then completed its escape, probably by flopping back into the water.

What do you think, does that sound like otter marks? We do have a visiting otter, which we see periodically, so it seemed likely to us.

Anyway, just to complete the tale. I went fishing again yesterday, and believe it or not caught the same fish on fly. It had made considerable progress in its healing. The holes were now filled with black scab like material, and level with its body, and it looked happier in general, with most of the side mark scratches having almost gone.

That's some fast healing right there, and an adventurous week that little trout has had. I almost feel bad going again, in case I maybe catch it once more. It's probably thinking, 'stuff me, no matter what I do, I keep getting hauled out of the water, and then managing to just make my escape'.

Swam off, seemingly perfectly happy though, after nothing more than about thirty seconds of resting.

Never occurred to me to properly photograph the damage on the bank at the time, but did photograph it in the water, whilst it was resting up. Obviously with it being in the water, it's not such a clear photo, but you can see the dorsal fin, and the missing pelvic fin. The holes were on the other side.

EDIT: It wasn't Tuesday, for the first time, it was last week. On Tuesday we both drew a blank (just remembered). Makes more sense, considering the healing.
There was a litter of otter cubs born only a couple of hundred yards upstream early this spring, there were dead ducks and pheasants all around the hole into a rock face. Anything is fair game to an otter.
 

Ratman

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Just upstream from where I am? :eek:
Yes bottom end of lancs fly water. The river is full of them. Caught a nice brownie last time I went that had a narrow escape, claw marks right down its flank. They often play with pray, I've had mallard with their beaks and feet bitten off left to die a slow death. Sadly the majority of folk don't realise the damage they do and don't realise how many of them there are in the river.
 

doubletaper

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Don't mind seeing otters personally and haven't they been around since the last Ice Age?? Personally think that mans actions are 95% of the problems with fish populations and I think other animals can bear the blame for the terrible way we treat the planet and eco system. Just my thoughts as Mink Pollution Climate Change etc etc is all down to us! I bet no one minded seeing them when the Salmon and Sea Trout runs were prolific years ago as they should probably be now? Killing FEBs & Otters isn't the answer in my book it's us that need to change our way we manage the planet. Contentious post I know so I'll go and get my tin hat :)
 

Ratman

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Don't mind seeing otters personally and haven't they been around since the last Ice Age?? Personally think that mans actions are 95% of the problems with fish populations and I think other animals can bear the blame for the terrible way we treat the planet and eco system. Just my thoughts as Mink Pollution Climate Change etc etc is all down to us! I bet no one minded seeing them when the Salmon and Sea Trout runs were prolific years ago as they should probably be now? Killing FEBs & Otters isn't the answer in my book it's us that need to change our way we manage the planet. Contentious post I know so I'll go and get my tin hat :)
I don't mind seeing the odd otter but numbers are going through the roof. You can see them across the whole river system. The predator prey balance is getting top heavy. I'm not talking about the fish they take but more the wildfowl, when I was a kid you could find dozens of moorhen nests, stretches of the upper ribble near where I grew up had hundreds of mallard on them but not anymore. Many years ago before the massive decline in otter numbers due to pesticides otters were hunted. I think hunting creates a healthy population, removing the old and weak, reducing numbers without big declines, just keeping a healthy balance.
The same applies for FEBs. If they were added to the general licence they would be controlled not eradicated.
 
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budge

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Maybe the otters will find a natural balance over the next few years with a sustainable population ? Most predators have a territory and won't tolerate others on their patch. They certainly seem to have reduced mink numbers on the Ribble as seeing them is a rarity for me nowadays.
They are here to stay so we have just got to learn to live with them as hunting them will never return.

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sutty

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I don't mind seeing the odd one, in fact it's quite nice, but I simply didn't want a whole tribe of them just upstream from where I am. Not in my back yard, lol. I don't see the above post as contentious. It's hard to see how you won't simply get a natural balance of prey vs predator numbers. Too many predators, too few prey, and that's the end of the predators. There must have been huge numbers of otters when the Ribble was so full of salmon that you weren't allowed to feed farmhands salmon more than three times per week. Or, when on one of the other local rivers, maybe the Hodder, though I forget which one now, according to the records at the priory, they carefully monitored the catch, to take care of not over fishing the river, yet on one day caught over 400 sea trout, on the short stretch that passed though the priory grounds. I have in my head that it was 465, though I could be wrong. Whatever the number, it was huge. At least, this according to one episode of river walks, on the BBC, that I recall. With past numbers like that, it's fairly obvious that predators can't be responsible, and it must be our actions that have caused the dramatic decline.

The stretch I'm on I now see regularly, an otter, two herons, up to three little egret, a cormorant and a kingfisher. The fish certainly have to have their wits about them, but the presence of these predators, right now, tells me only one thing, there are plenty of fish to be had in the river.
 

Rennie

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Not fished Ribble getting on for 2 months now, low water and 2 Weeks on the Tay, so chomping at the bit. Thing is I know I missed a flush through, but has there been anything happening?, should I get the car packed up and shoot over, sadly my fingers are off the pulse and my ears been prised from the ground.
Yours flee tying- just in case. Pedro.
 

budge

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Not fished Ribble getting on for 2 months now, low water and 2 Weeks on the Tay, so chomping at the bit. Thing is I know I missed a flush through, but has there been anything happening?, should I get the car packed up and shoot over, sadly my fingers are off the pulse and my ears been prised from the ground.
Yours flee tying- just in case. Pedro.
You haven't missed a thing Pedro one or two caught just after the last flush through but there's a distinct lack of fish at present. Just hoping the bulk of the run is still at sea but it's a bit worrying.

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sutty

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I've been going at least weekly, and haven't seen a fish all season. Went up for one trip on a good water, as I mentioned earlier, and fished really hard. Saw no salmon, and felt nothing, at least nothing salmon like. Not that we expect to catch them, but when they are there, they leap out from time to time, for whatever reason, and they haven't. Brother in law did see a big swirl in the water on one trip, but it could have been any big fish I suppose.

I shall be going again tomorrow, and will not be fishing for salmon, unless of course I see evidence of same, but I expect that to be very low probability. Happy enough catching the odd trout or grayling here and there, but would like the chance to actually try, with the hope of success.
 

KeithH

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No expert at all but been around 10 times this year to Mitton. Generally only seen the occasional salmon on each visit apart from 7/8 on one day in early July. Not had a take at all. Will be going again this week in hope rather than expectation
 

Ribble Rod

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Not fished Ribble getting on for 2 months now, low water and 2 Weeks on the Tay, so chomping at the bit. Thing is I know I missed a flush through, but has there been anything happening?, should I get the car packed up and shoot over, sadly my fingers are off the pulse and my ears been prised from the ground.
Yours flee tying- just in case. Pedro.
Stop where you are Pete. Nothing on our waters worth driving over for. Your best bet is book the exchange rods, more fish down there. Whether they take is another matter.
Fred
 

Warwick I

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Weather forecast for Clitheroe today was for cloud, yes ill give the trout a go just to get on the river, but of course that forecast was wrong when I arrived brilliant sun. So I spent most of the time watching the pools, that small lift at the weekend had moved a few Salmon up the river they showed in a couple of the pools including one big lump at the head of one pool in the fast water. Not for taking though.
 
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