River Wear 2020

Lgraydonflyfishing

Well-known member
Messages
948
Reaction score
982
LGraydon is on the right lines....a lot of these things affecting stocks have gone on for at least the last decade, even longer.
I remember a huge flash flood in 1987 that massively changed the river but didn't lead to big declines.

I can't find the thread just now but anyone interested in why numbers have collapsed should search the forum for a recent thread with a paper from a group who do a lot of good research (CWGA??) about why there has been a crash in numbers of parr around the country.

Anyway, any excuse for the EA to fiddle while Rome burns so I'm expecting them to introduce CCR this upcoming close season, based on the counter numbers alone, even though it will make not one iota of a difference because there is zero evidence that CCR has ever led to a stock recovery.
Such a shame walleye, can poaching and a by catch from trawling have this much effect from 22k to 4k in 5years? Has that many FEBs populated the river in that time? Has spawning time every year coincided with a massive flood every year in that time? Crazy how its down 3/4 in that time.
 

Lgraydonflyfishing

Well-known member
Messages
948
Reaction score
982
If the ea think ccr will have any effect whatsoever on stocks they are sadly mistaken. I fish c+r anyway and have no problem with any man taking any fish they want, apart from hen fish full of eggs obv. Like walleye says in previous posts if it is the flooding hopefully it can bounce back. Our August count this year was double on last year and the year before all we can do is hope
 

Lgraydonflyfishing

Well-known member
Messages
948
Reaction score
982
2010 counts at 21 thousand fish the next year down to 8 thousand something drastically happened in that time but what?? There must be something happening in that time to cause such a downturn. But if it was flooding the numbers certainly bounced back to 12k 13k 22k 19k the following seasons
 

Walleye

Well-known member
Messages
3,192
Reaction score
2,139
2010 counts at 21 thousand fish the next year down to 8 thousand something drastically happened in that time but what?? There must be something happening in that time to cause such a downturn. But if it was flooding the numbers certainly bounced back to 12k 13k 22k 19k the following seasons
That was a very wet year with loads of salmon going around the counter. Floods every week during the summer. There was a normal amount of fish around that year. I think that year is an exception.
 

Walleye

Well-known member
Messages
3,192
Reaction score
2,139
If the ea think ccr will have any effect whatsoever on stocks they are sadly mistaken. I fish c+r anyway and have no problem with any man taking any fish they want, apart from hen fish full of eggs obv. Like walleye says in previous posts if it is the flooding hopefully it can bounce back. Our August count this year was double on last year and the year before all we can do is hope
Agree with you on the CCR.
A couple of things have changed these last few years...the CGWCT(??) paper was I think about exceptionally warm winters although I haven't read it.
The other thing to change in that timeframe is the hydro at Freeman's reach.
One the EA can't do anything about, the other one the EA sanctioned so won't do anything about.
 

Lgraydonflyfishing

Well-known member
Messages
948
Reaction score
982
Are these warm winters having a detrimental effect are the salmon getting to the spawning redds and unable to spawn due to low water/unseasonal warm water/redds been washed. Does the hydro screw have an effect in high water? We could go on and on couldn't we. Personally i think as bushwacker said in previous posts, if the fish are spawning well but the FEBs are chomping them all up on the way to sea there's definitely nothing coming back. I only fish Middle reaches and can only speak for BADAC water and reports of smolts and parr this year were really good, but how many made it all the way to the estuary. If the birds eat 2-3lbs of fish and theres flocks of them the guns are the only way, then license for them are limited to a handful so we don't stand a chance ?
 
C

cgaines10

Guest
So Kill otters & have more parr/adults.
Kill cormorants & have more parr.
Stop poaching so there’s more adult fish.
Get rid of the nets so there’s more adult fish.
But anglers can keep fish.

I have no idea why that model hasn’t taken off

It’s worthwhile having a read in the RSPB forum as that’s the opposition & they don’t mess about.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Lgraydonflyfishing

Well-known member
Messages
948
Reaction score
982
So Kill otters & have more parr/adults.
Kill cormorants & have more parr.
Stop poaching so there’s more adult fish.
Get rid of the nets so there’s more adult fish.
But anglers can keep fish.

I have no idea why that model hasn’t taken off

It’s worthwhile having a read in the RSPB forum as that’s the opposition & they don’t mess about.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
But grouse beating every season is absolutely fine? If and a big if it can be proved that the birds could wipe out a species from a habitat surely there would be no argument chris mate?
 
Last edited:

Walleye

Well-known member
Messages
3,192
Reaction score
2,139
Are these warm winters having a detrimental effect are the salmon getting to the spawning redds and unable to spawn due to low water/unseasonal warm water/redds been washed. Does the hydro screw have an effect in high water? We could go on and on couldn't we. Personally i think as bushwacker said in previous posts, if the fish are spawning well but the FEBs are chomping them all up on the way to sea there's definitely nothing coming back. I only fish Middle reaches and can only speak for BADAC water and reports of smolts and parr this year were really good, but how many made it all the way to the estuary. If the birds eat 2-3lbs of fish and theres flocks of them the guns are the only way, then license for them are limited to a handful so we don't stand a chance ?
The salmon thrives despite being an essential food source for many other creatures throughout it's lifecycle.
I'm more concerned about the impact of sewage, fertilisers (especially the raw sewage solid waste spread o. Fields to leach into watercourses), pesticides etc on the capacity of the river to sustain fish populations.

But again, everyone has their own opinions and rightly so. I'm not sure anyone has the right answer.
 

Lgraydonflyfishing

Well-known member
Messages
948
Reaction score
982
The salmon thrives despite being an essential food source for many other creatures throughout it's lifecycle.
I'm more concerned about the impact of sewage, fertilisers (especially the raw sewage solid waste spread o. Fields to leach into watercourses), pesticides etc on the capacity of the river to sustain fish populations.

But again, everyone has their own opinions and rightly so. I'm not sure anyone has the right answer.
Yeah like chris highlights it sounds crazy when broken down to what we want but there must be a balance between wildlife and a detrimental impact imposed upon other wildlife
 
C

cgaines10

Guest
But grouse beating every season is absolutely fine? If and a big if it can be proved that the birds could wipe out a species from a habitat surely there would be no argument chris mate?

A lot of work goes into the grouse from the owners themselves. So hard to compare & I don’t know enough of the ins & outs.

Absolutely, but I can’t see it being proved due to the predator/prey balance that is well documented. You could only possibly prove that they would have an impact, how big or little would be hard to guesstimate. I’ve looked at this in detail at seals at the barrage & the first challenge that comes back is there is anglers taking fish so we won’t sign off on any sort of cull, plus their protected status means it’s a minefield.

Also there’s no data to show taking fish equals more adults. If there is data I’m happy to change my opinion.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Lgraydonflyfishing

Well-known member
Messages
948
Reaction score
982
A lot of work goes into the grouse from the owners themselves. So hard to compare & I don’t know enough of the ins & outs.

Absolutely, but I can’t see it being proved due to the predator/prey balance that is well documented. You could only possibly prove that they would have an impact, how big or little would be hard to guesstimate. I’ve looked at this in detail at seals at the barrage & the first challenge that comes back is there is anglers taking fish so we won’t sign off on any sort of cull, plus their protected status means it’s a minefield.

Also there’s no data to show taking fish equals more adults. If there is data I’m happy to change my opinion.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I'm with you mate feels like we are pissing in the wind doesnt it. If only we had a governing body to oversee our waterways and do there part on pollution,incidents and vast habitat improvements instead of collecting our money yearly. Some great people at the EA im sure of it but why can't they see what we see is beyond me
 

Walleye

Well-known member
Messages
3,192
Reaction score
2,139
So Kill otters & have more parr/adults.
Kill cormorants & have more parr.
Stop poaching so there’s more adult fish.
Get rid of the nets so there’s more adult fish.
But anglers can keep fish.

I have no idea why that model hasn’t taken off

It’s worthwhile having a read in the RSPB forum as that’s the opposition & they don’t mess about.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
There is no need to kill any salmon predators. Only industrial man wipes out species, through pollution. If we want more wildlife so we can catch more salmon, we need to stop polluting the environment.
CCR...predator control...all just distractions from the big issues. Until we stop damming rivers and then polluting them while modifying the land for a quick buck, and allowing huge amounts of sewage into the rivers, fish numbers will not increase.
All this can be learned from recent human history. There are many examples out there, including the Tees which has a ridiculously placed dam at the entrance to the river.
 

Walleye

Well-known member
Messages
3,192
Reaction score
2,139
From memory, Tees has three major dams in the headwaters, two more upstream of two of those, impacting the headwaters and spawning grounds. One stupid dam at the entrance, and an industrial centre at the estuary. Most of the damming has been done in the latter half of last century and it takes time for dams to impact hydrology. Add in the major impact to the moorland in the upper Tees and the increase in intensive agriculture and I wouldn't be expecting a recovery of Tees salmon any time soon.

Wear has dams on two major spawning burns. A huge unnatural plantation along the length of the major spawning trib, constant cutting of drainage channels throughout the catchment and major modifications of the moors in the last 60 years.

It's not hard to see where the problems are.
 

jimmythefish

Well-known member
Messages
394
Reaction score
474
Location
Scotland
I'm with you mate feels like we are pissing in the wind doesnt it. If only we had a governing body to oversee our waterways and do there part on pollution,incidents and vast habitat improvements instead of collecting our money yearly. Some great people at the EA im sure of it but why can't they see what we see is beyond me
Could not have put in better myself,hope the powers that be are reading this lads post ,because he and mr walleye have got this exactly right. Now come on men and do the right thing and get this water sorted.......jimmythefish
 

Beefly Dave

Active member
Messages
290
Reaction score
167
Storms Des & Frank (late 2015) presumably f***ed the redds and/or prevented a lot of the fish reaching them in the first place. The lack of fry the subsequent spring /summer on many of the affected rivers are documented in various EA reports for those who can be bothered digging them out. Said reports predicted poor runs in 2019 & 20 and whatever your views on the EA, their predictions have proved correct. The runs 2016 onwards weren't hit in the same way and even this February's big flood didn't shift the gravel about like the earlier ones. My instinct says that while the 2015 big floods were hugely damaging, they'll have actually improved the gravel for later spawnings. So, I'm waiting to see what next year brings as it should be the first run unaffected by Des and Frank. Certainly been catching more parr the last couple of years, dunno if others have too. My guess is the counters will be comfortably back into five figures for 2021, my hope is nearer 20k than 10.
 

Walleye

Well-known member
Messages
3,192
Reaction score
2,139
Many of the issues up the dale are caused by allowing the many gabbions and dams to be washed away through no maintenance.
The river is readjusting, not necessarily in a bad way. Rivers change course all the time.
The Wear has a long way to go. It has been canalised along much of its length with fields pushed as close to the river as possible and the river being straightened in many places.
 

Beefly Dave

Active member
Messages
290
Reaction score
167
True enough. Push the grazing back from the banks, get grasses, fllowers and trees back and you've got cover, shade, fish food, less silt and none of the insecticides put through sheep and cattle to control internal parasites and that are expelled from their back ends. Once you've got tree lined banks the river'll create the deeper holding pools itself rather than the ever lengthening riffles we're seeing now in parts.
 

greenlaner2009

Well-known member
Messages
709
Reaction score
502
Agree with you on the CCR.
A couple of things have changed these last few years...the CGWCT(??) paper was I think about exceptionally warm winters although I haven't read it.
The other thing to change in that timeframe is the hydro at Freeman's reach.
One the EA can't do anything about, the other one the EA sanctioned so won't do anything about.
why would the e a want to do anything about the hydro at durham, do you see it as any problem. If as they say the hydro is a fish by wash meaning they can travel down stream through it what stops them swimming upstream through it.
 

Walleye

Well-known member
Messages
3,192
Reaction score
2,139
why would the e a want to do anything about the hydro at durham, do you see it as any problem. If as they say the hydro is a fish by wash meaning they can travel down stream through it what stops them swimming upstream through it.
The fish cannot swim upstream through it because the trailing edges of the tribune blade don't allow it. It's impossible, they just get spat back out by the trailing edge. They've done quite a bit to stop adult returners getting into the bottom of the hydro. Going up the hydro won't mince up fish because they are met by the trailing edge of the blades, they just get bashed about quite a bit. Most will figure it out and pop up the pass or over the wall next to the hydro which is always a good fish spotting place.

The top end for downward migrating fish is a different matter. Any fish, adult or juvenile, is met by the leading edge of the screw blades which can and will damage (mince) fish as they enter the hydro at the top end.
So for downward migrating fish, the hydro is a mincer because there is nothing to block their passage - to do so would mean the top end screens would need to be cleaned every day which is too expensive.
So downward migrating adult salmon, adult sea trout, smolts, eels etc all run the gauntlet of the mincer.

It might sound dramatic but I did the sums a while back. The turbine has two blades and is about 3m diameter. At 30rpm (I think it runs faster than this at full speed) the tips of the blades are travelling at 11mph. It doesn't sound much but that thin steel leading edge will feck you up if it catches you. A blade comes across the inlet 60 times (more at top speed) every minute so that doesn't allow much time at all for a fish to dart through. It's like the very worst obstacle course for fish with failure being death or severe damage.

In low water, more water goes through the hydro than the fish passes. The only way into the old fish passes is via the 3 foot wide box right at the top end hidden right at the side of the river behind the weeds, logs etc. Any downward migrating smolts over most of the width of the river will be channeled all the way down the big wall and into the hydro. The pass at the hydro is ~2 foot wide and hard up against the other bank while the hydro entrance is many times wider and has a much greater flow.

I'd say the vast majority of smolts have been migrating through the hydro in lowish water ever since the hydro became ooerational. Anything lower than 4-6" of water is low water for migration at Durham - there is virtually no flow over the big dam wall at that height.

How many of them get hit is anyone's guess but pop down at the right time and the ducks feed at the hydro outlet, not the old dams outlets.

Obviously I have no evidence of the damage it's doing but it is just about the worst possible placement for a hydro on the Wear as all smolts are channeled right down into it in anything other than a decent flood.

Upwards migration - no problem.
Downwards - I think it is a real problem.
 

Lgraydonflyfishing

Well-known member
Messages
948
Reaction score
982
The fish cannot swim upstream through it because the trailing edges of the tribune blade don't allow it. It's impossible, they just get spat back out by the trailing edge. They've done quite a bit to stop adult returners getting into the bottom of the hydro. Going up the hydro won't mince up fish because they are met by the trailing edge of the blades, they just get bashed about quite a bit. Most will figure it out and pop up the pass or over the wall next to the hydro which is always a good fish spotting place.

The top end for downward migrating fish is a different matter. Any fish, adult or juvenile, is met by the leading edge of the screw blades which can and will damage (mince) fish as they enter the hydro at the top end.
So for downward migrating fish, the hydro is a mincer because there is nothing to block their passage - to do so would mean the top end screens would need to be cleaned every day which is too expensive.
So downward migrating adult salmon, adult sea trout, smolts, eels etc all run the gauntlet of the mincer.

It might sound dramatic but I did the sums a while back. The turbine has two blades and is about 3m diameter. At 30rpm (I think it runs faster than this at full speed) the tips of the blades are travelling at 11mph. It doesn't sound much but that thin steel leading edge will feck you up if it catches you. A blade comes across the inlet 60 times (more at top speed) every minute so that doesn't allow much time at all for a fish to dart through. It's like the very worst obstacle course for fish with failure being death or severe damage.

In low water, more water goes through the hydro than the fish passes. The only way into the old fish passes is via the 3 foot wide box right at the top end hidden right at the side of the river behind the weeds, logs etc. Any downward migrating smolts over most of the width of the river will be channeled all the way down the big wall and into the hydro. The pass at the hydro is ~2 foot wide and hard up against the other bank while the hydro entrance is many times wider and has a much greater flow.

I'd say the vast majority of smolts have been migrating through the hydro in lowish water ever since the hydro became ooerational. Anything lower than 4-6" of water is low water for migration at Durham - there is virtually no flow over the big dam wall at that height.

How many of them get hit is anyone's guess but pop down at the right time and the ducks feed at the hydro outlet, not the old dams outlets.

Obviously I have no evidence of the damage it's doing but it is just about the worst possible placement for a hydro on the Wear as all smolts are channeled right down into it in anything other than a decent flood.

Upwards migration - no problem.
Downwards - I think it is a real problem.
What was the date of installation of the screw lads? Do we think this is playing a massive part in smolt survival
 

greenlaner2009

Well-known member
Messages
709
Reaction score
502
The fish cannot swim upstream through it because the trailing edges of the tribune blade don't allow it. It's impossible, they just get spat back out by the trailing edge. They've done quite a bit to stop adult returners getting into the bottom of the hydro. Going up the hydro won't mince up fish because they are met by the trailing edge of the blades, they just get bashed about quite a bit. Most will figure it out and pop up the pass or over the wall next to the hydro which is always a good fish spotting place.

The top end for downward migrating fish is a different matter. Any fish, adult or juvenile, is met by the leading edge of the screw blades which can and will damage (mince) fish as they enter the hydro at the top end.
So for downward migrating fish, the hydro is a mincer because there is nothing to block their passage - to do so would mean the top end screens would need to be cleaned every day which is too expensive.
So downward migrating adult salmon, adult sea trout, smolts, eels etc all run the gauntlet of the mincer.

It might sound dramatic but I did the sums a while back. The turbine has two blades and is about 3m diameter. At 30rpm (I think it runs faster than this at full speed) the tips of the blades are travelling at 11mph. It doesn't sound much but that thin steel leading edge will feck you up if it catches you. A blade comes across the inlet 60 times (more at top speed) every minute so that doesn't allow much time at all for a fish to dart through. It's like the very worst obstacle course for fish with failure being death or severe damage.

In low water, more water goes through the hydro than the fish passes. The only way into the old fish passes is via the 3 foot wide box right at the top end hidden right at the side of the river behind the weeds, logs etc. Any downward migrating smolts over most of the width of the river will be channeled all the way down the big wall and into the hydro. The pass at the hydro is ~2 foot wide and hard up against the other bank while the hydro entrance is many times wider and has a much greater flow.

I'd say the vast majority of smolts have been migrating through the hydro in lowish water ever since the hydro became ooerational. Anything lower than 4-6" of water is low water for migration at Durham - there is virtually no flow over the big dam wall at that height.

How many of them get hit is anyone's guess but pop down at the right time and the ducks feed at the hydro outlet, not the old dams outlets.

Obviously I have no evidence of the damage it's doing but it is just about the worst possible placement for a hydro on the Wear as all smolts are channeled right down into it in anything other than a decent flood.

Upwards migration - no problem.
Downwards - I think it is a real problem.
The archimedis screw turbine used at freemans reach is suitable for use as a fish bywash, therefore a fish screen upstream of the turbine is not required, as fish can pass safely downstream through the turbine. That is from the company who designed it. Earlier in the year when i was fishing durham very early mornings i climbed over onto the turbine cage for a quick look and i just can not understand what stops a fish swimming up it
 
Top