Wye 2020

brumyterry

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Whitney have plenty of residents now and just a few seen moving through yesterday and today. Diminished angling effort though as some of the regulars are still having to self isolate and our Welsh members are still lumbered with the travel restrictions.
 

fixedspool

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Still fish on the lower river in reasonable numbers, Several beats are for some strange reason refusing to let out any details of numbers or the anglers catching them. They are entitled to do so I suppose however one can only speculate the reasons why and the numbers being caught which I understand may be considerable. Our angler friendly River Trust!! - WUF seem content to connive with this state of affairs. No doubt they to have reasons of thier own but it does no one any credit whatsoever. Anyone any idea what the new so called Wye Consevators have ever done in a practical way since there inception, apart from take money from its members that is.??
 

fixedspool

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Seems even WUF are surprised.. heaven help us. From todays Trout and Salmon.

IMG_2285.jpg
 
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Grassy_Knollington

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1. I’m not sure we can lay this at the door of an insatiable public appetite for eggs, there’s 65m of us on these islands and they get put into nearly every baking product in one form or another. However, it does seem madness to put so many chickens in one place, feeding into one river.

2. In all of the discussion there seems to be a remarkable lack of measurement data. We all see the blooms and in my short time on the river they have become noticeably worse. However, our views don’t carry the same weight as empirical measurements which show beyond any doubt the impact of increased ‘chicken load’ in the Ithon valley.

3. The Salmon coming back this year migrated in 2018 and hatched in 2016 from spawning in 2015. What we see now are the results of the environmental conditions 4 years ago. Any increase in Chicken load over the last 4 years is immaterial to the Salmon we see now although it clearly doesn’t bode well for the future.

4. The chickens are just the latest horror story and I strongly suspect just one of many causes of the environmental damage that leads to low(er) Salmon abundance than we would like.

5. Lots of good and well intentioned work has been conducted on the river, even since I started fishing. That work has simply failed to deliver the expected improvement, there can be no ifs or buts on this question. I’m not suggesting that it shouldn’t have been done or that there have been no positive results, but the outcome has not matched the initial intent - to restore Wye Salmon populations.

6. Given the level of resources spread across such a wide range of grant-driven projects I don’t think that the outcome was ever realistic. If change is to be delivered - even on a small scale, then there must be a more focussed approach to try and show what ‘good‘ looks like.

7. Without the support and agreement of local politicians, I feel that it is unlikely that any significant environmental change can be delivered and all the good work is simply fiddling around the edges. I suspect that WUF realised this a long time ago.
 

drifterman

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All these write ups, like the one in the mail and these that have been posted seem to be concentrated on free range egg units, well surely the broiler industry is as much to blame, with the amount of piled up chicken shite you see across the countryside, that is then spread on the land right up to the waterways and ditches. I reported an incident last year where a farmer had spent two days spreading chicken manure on 4 stubble fields, he didn't work it in and the rains came and washed it out onto the road in a thick foaming green mess and down the drains and into the ditch only to end up in the river that is approximately a quarter of a mile away. There are just as many broiler farms as egg farms and it's all got to go somewhere.

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fixedspool

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1. I’m not sure we can lay this at the door of an insatiable public appetite for eggs, there’s 65m of us on these islands and they get put into nearly every baking product in one form or another. However, it does seem madness to put so many chickens in one place, feeding into one river.

2. In all of the discussion there seems to be a remarkable lack of measurement data. We all see the blooms and in my short time on the river they have become noticeably worse. However, our views don’t carry the same weight as empirical measurements which show beyond any doubt the impact of increased ‘chicken load’ in the Ithon valley.

3. The Salmon coming back this year migrated in 2018 and hatched in 2016 from spawning in 2015. What we see now are the results of the environmental conditions 4 years ago. Any increase in Chicken load over the last 4 years is immaterial to the Salmon we see now although it clearly doesn’t bode well for the future.

4. The chickens are just the latest horror story and I strongly suspect just one of many causes of the environmental damage that leads to low(er) Salmon abundance than we would like.

5. Lots of good and well intentioned work has been conducted on the river, even since I started fishing. That work has simply failed to deliver the expected improvement, there can be no ifs or buts on this question. I’m not suggesting that it shouldn’t have been done or that there have been no positive results, but the outcome has not matched the initial intent - to restore Wye Salmon populations.

6. Given the level of resources spread across such a wide range of grant-driven projects I don’t think that the outcome was ever realistic. If change is to be delivered - even on a small scale, then there must be a more focussed approach to try and show what ‘good‘ looks like.

7. Without the support and agreement of local politicians, I feel that it is unlikely that any significant environmental change can be delivered and all the good work is simply fiddling around the edges. I suspect that WUF realised this a long time ago.

Would agree with much of what you say Grassy Knollington however some of us have been saying much of this for the last couple of decades. It's called beating your head against a brick wall. No one listens to the anglers,.Those in so called charge all have their own agenda's and no one, but no one, want's to put their heads above the parapet. As you say too many projects tackled , with no measurable outcome or peer review but all without exception claimed a success. Opening up access for instance which has cost a bomb removing weirs on a few tributaries to give further access to fish. This despite the fact that they were not necessary in the huge amount of spawning that the river had in the past. No fish nowadays to ascend or run the small tributaries anyway so there seems little point. WUF and the fishery owners have spent a vast amount of money but the question is was it spent wisely at the whim of basically one person. I think the results speak for themselves
WSA are trying to get a new initiative up and running but engagement with anyone with any real power is I understand proving difficult so far. All they want to do is talk, have meetings and give out action less statements with the promise of more co operation with 'stakeholders' .
Its a mess.
 
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Correct, why do something when you can talk it to death or hope it goes away. Seems the answer to so many things now.
I've stopped watching the News except for the weather forecast to see if its time for fishing. At least I can escape the modern World...for a while.
On a positive note , it would be nice to see a fish or two, or even better to hook one. Something all anglers will appreciate once the Welsh lock down means I can venture more than 5 miles. Can't wait....
 

peterchilton

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I must admit that I am astonished at the whole situation. We are being told, in many circumstances that the phosphate levels are below the agreed level except for the Ithon, the Lugg and part of the main stem below the Lugg junction. this data comes from at best 12 test per year per site and at worst 4. A line is drawn between them and everything is ok, job done.
They are missing the point that if the the algal bloom persists at these levels then the limit is too much ..... more likely is the possibility of spikes inbetween test that fall away as the bloom consumes the phosphate along with the oxygen and then when they come along to test oh look its really low ..... better they come and see the river?
I encourage everyone that sees the river with an algal bloom to report it and don't leave it to others
 

fixedspool

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Seems WUF are advising people not to fish until temperatures return to something like normal. Commonsense one would have though but not to everyone apparently? 74 degrees at Llanstepham 76 degrees plus at Redbrook
k.
 
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Geoffmaynard

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Seems WUF are advising people not to fish until temperatures return to something like normal. Commonsense one would have though but not to everyone apparently? 72 degrees at Llanstepham 74degrees plus at Redbrookk.
It would be a good result to get NRW&EA to agree a water temp and height ceiling to shut down both fishing and canoeing on hot and shallow sections of the river where the fish and wildlife are threatened by these conditions. Some people will take a lot of no notice of anything unless its legislated.
 

sneakypeter

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23.33c (74f) that's way to warm, the chalkstreams have a 19c cut off point, which seems realistic, above that the dissolved O2 level takes a plunge meaning fish recovery is seriously compromised, even the barbel suffer, many will no doubt die due to poor handling, too many trophy shots etc. fishery owners need to take notice, it is their livelihood at stake after all!
peter
 

Grassy_Knollington

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Would agree with much of what you say Grassy Knollington however some of us have been saying much of this for the last couple of decades. It's called beating your head against a brick wall. No one listens to the anglers,.Those in so called charge all have their own agenda's and no one, but no one, want's to put their heads above the parapet. As you say too many projects tackled , with no measurable outcome or peer review but all without exception claimed a success. Opening up access for instance which has cost a bomb removing weirs on a few tributaries to give further access to fish. This despite the fact that they was not necessary in the huge amount of spawning that the river had in the past. No fish nowadays to ascend or run the small tributaries anyway so there seems little point. WUF and the fishery owners have spent a vast amount of money but the question is was it spent wisely at the whim of basically one person. I think the results speak for themselves
WSA are trying to get a new initiative up and running but engagement with anyone with any real power is I understand proving difficult so far. All they want to do is talk, have meetings and give out action less statements with the promise of more co operation with 'stakeholders' .
Its a mess.
I know I have been critical of what I perceive as relentless negativity but equally we must be honest and admit that there is a fair point to be made about poor outcomes.

The whole caboodle (Not WUF specre rewarded for doing work and not delivering results. There’s no real interest in change and hence the talking shops remain talking shops.

I read T&S last night and the Stuart Coates interview this month was very good. The subject clearly rated himself and I think he misunderstands the mandate and powers of the DSFBs in Scotland. However, his views on conservation and delivering successful outcomes are hard to argue with. He highlighted the need to focus effort on winnable subjects, to judge success through outcomes and not to fall into the trap of divide and rule.

If you subscribe to his presentationally-focussed view (and I have some problems with the ethos, if not the logic of it), then the Wye really is a case study of how not to do it. Heavily degraded catchment, multiple signature ‘issues’ (Chickens, Soil, Acidification, Trees, Abstraction, Fertiliser, gravel), divided anglers, multiple interested bodies, little or no local awareness of the problem, perhaps too much deference towards powerful interests and ultimately; poor outcomes from lots of very well intentioned but poorly focused work.

Where to start? Well if I had a few hundred million and some time, I’d give it some thought.

To paraphrase Quint from Jaws:

‘it won’t be easy and it won’t come cheap I’ll piss around for £20m over 20 years, but I’ll nail it down and restore runs for £100m, in cash now, put your fisheries on a paying basis, or live in a Salmon free zone forever’
 

fixedspool

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I know I have been critical of what I perceive as relentless negativity but equally we must be honest and admit that there is a fair point to be made about poor outcomes.

The whole caboodle (Not WUF specre rewarded for doing work and not delivering results. There’s no real interest in change and hence the talking shops remain talking shops.

I read T&S last night and the Stuart Coates interview this month was very good. The subject clearly rated himself and I think he misunderstands the mandate and powers of the DSFBs in Scotland. However, his views on conservation and delivering successful outcomes are hard to argue with. He highlighted the need to focus effort on winnable subjects, to judge success through outcomes and not to fall into the trap of divide and rule.

If you subscribe to his presentationally-focussed view (and I have some problems with the ethos, if not the logic of it), then the Wye really is a case study of how not to do it. Heavily degraded catchment, multiple signature ‘issues’ (Chickens, Soil, Acidification, Trees, Abstraction, Fertiliser, gravel), divided anglers, multiple interested bodies, little or no local awareness of the problem, perhaps too much deference towards powerful interests and ultimately; poor outcomes from lots of very well intentioned but poorly focused work.

Where to start? Well if I had a few hundred million and some time, I’d give it some thought.

To paraphrase Quint from Jaws:

‘it won’t be easy and it won’t come cheap I’ll piss around for £20m over 20 years, but I’ll nail it down and restore runs for £100m, in cash now, put your fisheries on a paying basis, or live in a Salmon free zone forever’

Not sure it's always about money. the main thing is that NRW and the Welsh Government get off their backsides and do the job they are being paid for. They need to ensure that the legislation that is in place on all the factors involved from. sewage to silage to Poultry farm, abstraction and all the rest, is actually enforced stringently. Organisations outwith those two bodies can do absolutely nothing without their permission.
They have to approach the issue with the will, desire and above all the competency to solve the issues which plainly stare them in the face. They have shown none of these virtues so far and without a clear out of some personnel seem unlikely to do so.
In the meantime unless they are willing to engage with WSA and WUF gets its act together we shall witness the continued decline of this once great river.
 

troutmaster

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Hi Guys,
I have fished a few times this year high up on the river, Has anyone heard ,seen or caught anything apart from Shad,which seem to be bigger this year.? I have seen TWO fish one small about 5 lb ish travelling fish and one rose in a big pool couldn't judge size or if it was travelling.
I have caught nothing in the Wye for two seasons but have done ok on the USK last year so don't know what is going on .
 

peterchilton

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One answer would be that the salmon population on the Wye is declining due to the cessation of stocking and maybe other in river matters (phosphates etc), add this to the overall decline especially in the Greenland sea run fish and what you get is what we have got.
 

brumyterry

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I think there is a marked cessation of effort. Having said that, we lost 20 days of fishing in March due to high water. We went on to lose the next 50 odd days to COVID 19 and since 13th May we have been plagued by an algal bloom, low water, and bright sunshine. Look on the bright side, it might be a good spawning year.
 

OURTREV

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I think it is understandable that anglers will be reluctant to fish especially as there are no reports of fish coming from the lower Wye. We at Ross are putting in some significant effort but it is difficult to persuade our anglers from other parts of the country to travel big distances without half a chance of a fish.
For the local anglers flogging away it is obvious that there are not many fish about, I saw one last night but RW reports he saw bu***r all today when he fished.
The River at Ross looks a lot better than it did with the River at the height it is now and you can still swing a fly without catching the crap on the bottom of the River. However when the level drops and the temperatures ramp up again we can all guess what will happen. Trev.:(
 
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peterchilton

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The shocking thing is that NRW 'claim' that their data shows phosphate levels in the Ithon have not been increasing over the last 4 - 5 years and the problem is one of fluctuations and a convergence of a number of environmental factors. I'm sure that this is true everywhere in wales, or maybe not? So everything is ok its nothing to do with farming .....
 

Bullet

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It's just high temperatures and low water, Peter, you should know that by now!
It's the same down here, we get sewage fungus below water company outfalls for the same reasons!
 

Sarcy

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I think it is understandable that anglers will be reluctant to fish especially as there are no reports of fish coming from the lower Wye. We at Ross are putting in some significant effort but it is difficult to persuade our anglers from other parts of the country to travel big distances without half a chance of a fish.
For the local anglers flogging away it is obvious that there are not many fish about, I saw one last night but RW reports he saw bu***r all today when he fished.
The River at Ross looks a lot better than it did with the River at the height it is now and you can still swing a fly without catching the crap on the bottom of the River. However when the level drops and the temperatures ramp up again we can all guess what will happen. Trev.:(
There are fish coming off the lower Wye, in one instance in very respectable numbers but in the interests of accuracy I won't speculate. There are also reports of smaller fish, presumably grilse showing up too. The latter might get to you easier so best not to give up just yet. One off the Golden Mile yesterday too 11lbs on fly.
 

OURTREV

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Thanks Sarcy. I'm just commenting on the difficulty of getting those living far away down to fish. I can report River conditions and prospects to members until the cows come home but anglers look in the angling press and websites for results before commitment of any sort. We have become so used to getting reports every day then suddenly it all stops. The whole picture was there and now it's not.
You only have to look one valley over to the east to see the difference, anglers there have only rumour and heresay to go on and it must have an effect on those willing to give it a go in Afon Hafren. The Forum confirms that 2k views against 52k views for the Wye.
I and others at Ross are not the giving up type. From time to time you do check your sanity having had another session without so much as a tug. But it will be alright tomorrow when you come down and connect! 😁
 

fixedspool

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Live within sight of the river. Personally wouldn't walk across the field to fish it in this area so can well understand those from afar not
wishing to take the chance. However there almost always is a chance but it's a leap of faith anywhere above Hereford. As for Glasbury and beyond even the usual suspects are quiet. Seems there was no run of springer's whatsoever with only a couple if big fish as far as I know, Sad days.
 
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