Wye 2021

Grassy_Knollington

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No, of course it's not. The farmers don't make the rules which allow this to happen. So the farmers aren't to blame.
They never have been custodians of the countryside. They are businesses out to make a profit.

Neat philosophical point there Walleye. If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, does it fall? If a farmer doesn’t get caught for breaking the rules, is it ok?

I suppose this lot on the Wear are also totally blameless:

River Wear - 2019

I think everyone gets the point that the regulator is ineffective. That does not excuse the actions of those who push and break the boundaries.

I think everyone also gets the point that the consumer bears some responsibility for demanding more more more for less less less. If we want change people need to make some sacrifices. However, like Farmer Salmon the market for Nando’s, chicken nuggets er al has been supply led as much as by demand. Most of the farms with units must have existed before the unit, this is just a way of maximising profit.

The subsidies farmers have received generous subsidies not just because they were businesses but because they are also purportedly ‘custodians of the countryside’. I think they have pushed that beyond reason in the Wye valley.

Walleye, you make some good points, but you don’t need to hammer everything until it’s dead. Trevor has put a great deal of personal time and effort into gathering empirical evidence of the Phosphate levels in the river. Together with others (WSA?) He’s taken this further and helped get Wye phosphate pollution into the local and regional press. He gets it and he’s put far more of his personal capital into trying to sort the situation than either you or I.

I think he’s entitled to expect more of and get frustrated at farmers without getting a GOFBO* from somebody with no stake in or experience of the river.


*Glimpse of the F(£&@ing Blindingly Obvious
 

salarchaser

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However, like Farmer Salmon the market for Nando’s, chicken nuggets er al has been supply led as much as by demand.
There are multiple steps in a supply chain. If by supply led you mean Nandos, that isnt the first step in the chain. The farmer isnt leading by supply, he's servicing demand from Nandos.
Most of the farms with units must have existed before the unit, this is just a way of maximising profit.
The farming units may have originally existed, but are unlikely to have been so intensively exploited.
I doubt if profits have materially changed. Costs will increase, unit price driven down. No doubt turnover will be up, but margin will be down.
 

Walleye

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Neat philosophical point there Walleye. If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, does it fall? If a farmer doesn’t get caught for breaking the rules, is it ok?

I suppose this lot on the Wear are also totally blameless:

River Wear - 2019

I think everyone gets the point that the regulator is ineffective. That does not excuse the actions of those who push and break the boundaries.

I think everyone also gets the point that the consumer bears some responsibility for demanding more more more for less less less. If we want change people need to make some sacrifices. However, like Farmer Salmon the market for Nando’s, chicken nuggets er al has been supply led as much as by demand. Most of the farms with units must have existed before the unit, this is just a way of maximising profit.

The subsidies farmers have received generous subsidies not just because they were businesses but because they are also purportedly ‘custodians of the countryside’. I think they have pushed that beyond reason in the Wye valley.

Walleye, you make some good points, but you don’t need to hammer everything until it’s dead. Trevor has put a great deal of personal time and effort into gathering empirical evidence of the Phosphate levels in the river. Together with others (WSA?) He’s taken this further and helped get Wye phosphate pollution into the local and regional press. He gets it and he’s put far more of his personal capital into trying to sort the situation than either you or I.

I think he’s entitled to expect more of and get frustrated at farmers without getting a GOFBO* from somebody with no stake in or experience of the river.


*Glimpse of the F(£&@ing Blindingly Obvious
I'm sorry if this is yet another GOFBO, but I am sure Trevor can and will stick up for himself and I am also doubly sure that my posts on this subject would not affect any of the great work he is doing.

Regarding your link, it's the same problem. Report anything like this and nothing happens. The usual feedback is "couldn't locate the problem" even when it is visible with the naked eye from a couple of miles away. If farmers knew there was even a reasonable probability of getting caught, they would stick to what few rules there are. The majority do so, its the odd ones that let most of them down.
 

peterchilton

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isn't it weird that the farmers are taking subsidies from everyone and then damaging the environment by pretending its a business, which it would be if it wasn't for all the subsidies from the public purse.

Grassy Knollington, WSA started the current round of phosphate testing because as usual on the Wye, we can all see what's happening and yet no one, not even WUF who claim to be 'improving water quality' had any idea how bad the phosphate situation had got. Trevor from Ross AC has brilliantly joined in with WSA's initiative and taken it to the masses, well done Trevor (y).
Other groups have also joined in, some not even fishery based.
 

OURTREV

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I'm sorry if this is yet another GOFBO, but I am sure Trevor can and will stick up for himself and I am also doubly sure that my posts on this subject would not affect any of the great work he is doing.

Regarding your link, it's the same problem. Report anything like this and nothing happens. The usual feedback is "couldn't locate the problem" even when it is visible with the naked eye from a couple of miles away. If farmers knew there was even a reasonable probability of getting caught, they would stick to what few rules there are. The majority do so, its the odd ones that let most of them down.
I'm just a foot soldier, not a pin sharp high flyer like many of you out there. I'll carry on doing what I can to limit the effects of the change in the way things are done down on the farm these days in the hope that there will still be a living breathing River Wye at the end of all this, if there is an end.

I don't really care for the direction of this debate because it so easily could develop into a case of angler on angler when the real foe is both the agricultural sector and the market in which it operates and I'm a bit sorry to have put on the post which appears to have started this war of words.

I had sight of a learned paper written in support of opponents of yet another IPU application. This paper points out that poultry "farming" has become the most profitable direction many of these farmers have ever taken and despite the undoubted high costs of building these factories the average income from chickens is over £100,000, much much more for the big units and much more again than chasing sheep about with dogs on hillsides.
I'm sure that all this is driven by big business and profit and it is massive. Anyone can understand farmers wanting a piece of the action. But we all must do our bit to push the politicians, the regulators and the authorities who are supposed the police the rules into doing what they are charged with doing. I have no beef with farmers making a profit but not when it means that everything around their operation turns into an ecological desert.

The rise and rise of these IPUs' is in effect a new industrial revolution. It has been snuck in under the guise of farming with all the bucolic picturesque connotations that still go with the word "farming". Many of these things are hidden away out of sight of roads away from the man/tourist in the street. So people don't see them and they don't therefore register in the grey matter in their heads.

So I think it is up to us as anglers (coarse or game), nature lovers, ecologists, bird watchers, canoeists, stand-up boarders, wild swimmers or whatever to get the word out there even if it means resorting to old fashioned methods like flyer distribution in supermarket carparks or riverside parks on a sunny bank holiday weekend or any other way to put the public in the picture. So pick your speciality, if it is writing letters, write them. If it lies in understanding the law challenge those who are supposed uphold the law, just do something! Too many of us are prepared to shrug our shoulders and shuffle away.

We don't need nor deserve hundreds of fish floating dead in the Wye as I witnessed in the Trent as a kid in the 1960's. Flying foam coming from sewage outfalls and unspeakable detritus being caught in my keepnet as I scratched for a few stunted roach or gudgeon.

Trev. :cry:
 

fixedspool

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The horse has they say
I'm just a foot soldier, not a pin sharp high flyer like many of you out there. I'll carry on doing what I can to limit the effects of the change in the way things are done down on the farm these days in the hope that there will still be a living breathing River Wye at the end of all this, if there is an end.

I don't really care for the direction of this debate because it so easily could develop into a case of angler on angler when the real foe is both the agricultural sector and the market in which it operates and I'm a bit sorry to have put on the post which appears to have started this war of words.

I had sight of a learned paper written in support of opponents of yet another IPU application. This paper points out that poultry "farming" has become the most profitable direction many of these farmers have ever taken and despite the undoubted high costs of building these factories the average income from chickens is over £100,000, much much more for the big units and much more again than chasing sheep about with dogs on hillsides.
I'm sure that all this is driven by big business and profit and it is massive. Anyone can understand farmers wanting a piece of the action. But we all must do our bit to push the politicians, the regulators and the authorities who are supposed the police the rules into doing what they are charged with doing. I have no beef with farmers making a profit but not when it means that everything around their operation turns into an ecological desert.

The rise and rise of these IPUs' is in effect a new industrial revolution. It has been snuck in under the guise of farming with all the bucolic picturesque connotations that still go with the word "farming". Many of these things are hidden away out of sight of roads away from the man/tourist in the street. So people don't see them and they don't therefore register in the grey matter in their heads.

So I think it is up to us as anglers (coarse or game), nature lovers, ecologists, bird watchers, canoeists, stand-up boarders, wild swimmers or whatever to get the word out there even if it means resorting to old fashioned methods like flyer distribution in supermarket carparks or riverside parks on a sunny bank holiday weekend or any other way to put the public in the picture. So pick your speciality, if it is writing letters, write them. If it lies in understanding the law challenge those who are supposed uphold the law, just do something! Too many of us are prepared to shrug our shoulders and shuffle away.

We don't need nor deserve hundreds of fish floating dead in the Wye as I witnessed in the Trent as a kid in the 1960's. Flying foam coming from sewage outfalls and unspeakable detritus being caught in my keepnet as I scratched for a few stunted roach or gudgeon.

Trev. :cry:
The horse as they say , or the chicken in this case, has already bolted. Whats happened has happened in plain sight. Big business controls the whole system but it's only being led by customers desire for low prices and the massive profits available. Apparently millions of eggs are destroyed every year by customers who stick rigidly to the sell by dates on supermarket eggs when they are perfectly viable, and thousands of chickens die in the hell holes of the chicken sheds themselves. Battled over decades together with the once powerful Wye owners and others to get some action from EA/NRW on various issues affecting the river Wye. They listen politely but do nothing year on year. Iv'e written letters, spoken to those in charge and even put leaflets in supermarket shelves warning people of the dangers of farmed salmon.
I became a councillor on our local community council to try and stop a proposed chicken farm being proposed in our own village. I may as well have pi===ed into the wind. That farm was built by the company selling their franchise not by the farmer himself that's for sure. That community council was controlled by local farmers and their supporters who blocked any objections that we raised. It's a fact that Powys CC and WAG is virtually controlled by the farming lobby anyway and any regulations made has virtually no one to enforce them. They are in many ways a law unto themselves. Where one has to ask are the bodies concerned with animal welfare?. No one visiting a large chicken shed could not be appalled at what goes on. Farmers have to make a living of course but they should be governed by the rules and conditions like everyone else and they need to be enforced.
The only ray of light is the fact that other groups, social media and recently the press and TV are in on the act but talk is cheap as they say It needs some big hitters to get on board and as was previously mentioned something like a judicial review. Write all the letters you want but at the end of the day there must be another way found to get at those in authority who stand by and do nothing and having the finance to pursue them is needed before it's too late.
 

fixedspool

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A ray of light perhaps -perhaps not????


Wednesday 26 May, the House of Commons debated the Government's Environment Bill, which would introduce new laws on the natural environment and environmental protection.

You can watch the debate back here:
https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/cfd414ea-50e3-44ac-8300-2b7a94c9ab89?in=12:40:14&out=18:09:32

You can read the transcript of the debate in the House of Commons here:
https://hansard.parliament.uk/commo...F-CB67-4C16-BAEC-1D1B71FF837E/EnvironmentBill

Ahead of the debate, the Government announced plans to introduce changes to the Bill relating to sewage discharges into rivers. These would impose new legal duties on the Government and water companies to take action on this issue.

Specifically, the Government has said it plans to introduce a duty on government to publish a plan by September 2022 to reduce sewage discharges from storm overflows, and to report to Parliament on progress on implementing this plan. It also plans to introduce a duty on water companies to publish data on storm overflow operation on an annual basis.

You can read more about the Government's plans to reduce sewage discharge into waterways here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-environment-bill-provisions-to-tackle-storm-overflows

The Bill will now be considered by the House of Lords, where the Government has said these new provisions will be added to the Bill. You can find out more about the Bill, and the timetable for when it is next due to be debated in Parliament, here:
https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/2593
 

peterchilton

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A few have been caught over the last few days? Some lovely 20's but not many photos.

May is on 55? against a 5 year average of 157 and only half the 5 years average 2002 - 2006 (112 according to WUF)
 

Auldghillie

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A few have been caught over the last few days? Some lovely 20's but not many photos.

May is on 55? against a 5 year average of 157 and only half the 5 years average 2002 - 2006 (112 according to WUF)
Makes one wonder if there’s a critical mass factor in the smolt-run.
 

peterchilton

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Makes one wonder if there’s a critical mass factor in the smolt-run.
That will certainly be one thing, it does seem to be more of a trickle than a run .... Nothing much is counted on the Wye so we don't really know if its good bad or indifferent. The local rivers trust has just changed the way that the electrofishing is counted and in one swipe have wiped out all the historical data from the spawning areas, I wonder who that benefits?
 

Auldghillie

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That will certainly be one thing, it does seem to be more of a trickle than a run .... Nothing much is counted on the Wye so we don't really know if its good bad or indifferent. The local rivers trust has just changed the way that the electrofishing is counted and in one swipe have wiped out all the historical data from the spawning areas, I wonder who that benefits?
Well shoaling is the main defence v predators and looking at the numbers you quote above, the assumption that a higher percentage capture rate occurs during low abundance, you may have just dribs and drabs of a smolt-run as you suggest.

So far as I’m aware though, the only research at sea is old and suggested groups of c 20 smolts running north on the NW shelf. Locally, though, shoal size might be a vital factor say with bird predation and the like.

I‘ve no doubt this river would be closed if it was in Norway.
 

Walleye

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Well shoaling is the main defence v predators and looking at the numbers you quote above, the assumption that a higher percentage capture rate occurs during low abundance, you may have just dribs and drabs of a smolt-run as you suggest.

So far as I’m aware though, the only research at sea is old and suggested groups of c 20 smolts running north on the NW shelf. Locally, though, shoal size might be a vital factor say with bird predation and the like.

I‘ve no doubt this river would be closed if it was in Norway.
What would be the point in closing it? Anglers aren't the problem so closing it to anglers defies logic.
 

Grassy_Knollington

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The horse has they say

The horse as they say , or the chicken in this case, has already bolted. Whats happened has happened in plain sight. Big business controls the whole system but it's only being led by customers desire for low prices and the massive profits available. Apparently millions of eggs are destroyed every year by customers who stick rigidly to the sell by dates on supermarket eggs when they are perfectly viable, and thousands of chickens die in the hell holes of the chicken sheds themselves. Battled over decades together with the once powerful Wye owners and others to get some action from EA/NRW on various issues affecting the river Wye. They listen politely but do nothing year on year. Iv'e written letters, spoken to those in charge and even put leaflets in supermarket shelves warning people of the dangers of farmed salmon.
I became a councillor on our local community council to try and stop a proposed chicken farm being proposed in our own village. I may as well have pi===ed into the wind. That farm was built by the company selling their franchise not by the farmer himself that's for sure. That community council was controlled by local farmers and their supporters who blocked any objections that we raised. It's a fact that Powys CC and WAG is virtually controlled by the farming lobby anyway and any regulations made has virtually no one to enforce them. They are in many ways a law unto themselves. Where one has to ask are the bodies concerned with animal welfare?. No one visiting a large chicken shed could not be appalled at what goes on. Farmers have to make a living of course but they should be governed by the rules and conditions like everyone else and they need to be enforced.
The only ray of light is the fact that other groups, social media and recently the press and TV are in on the act but talk is cheap as they say It needs some big hitters to get on board and as was previously mentioned something like a judicial review. Write all the letters you want but at the end of the day there must be another way found to get at those in authority who stand by and do nothing and having the finance to pursue them is needed before it's too late.

Do you know if WSA are co-ordinating action with other interested groups to bring this to the attention of locals in general and local politicians in particular?

I’m afraid letter writing is about all I can do to help this situation and I’m keen to reinforce a message, rather than be a single, easily ignored voice - like all previous letters have been.
 

fixedspool

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I Think everyone in the Wye valley is aware of the problem, and not only anglers by any means if not regarding the lack of salmon numbers then certainly the problem of pollution which is regularly on the agenda with various local organisations voicing their concerns WSA collaberates with anyone it can who might be useful but again it seems to be the age old problem of getting the various issues addressed or indeed recognised by the useless NRW and Welsh Government.
Could I suggest that joining the WSA would be a good idea and reinforce your concerns by sheer weight of numbers. You could get some fishing too!!.
Go to www.wyesalmon.com
 

Roag Fisher

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Any recent pictures of the Lugg where the "landscaping" took place, or any update on possible court proceedings against Mr Farmer Bulldozer?
 

fixedspool

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Don't think so. Anyway your supposed to have forgotten that and the previous Lynffi pollution and the one before that. All brushed under the carpet and forgotten about by NRW. Soon perhaps will shall have the brown algae back on the middle/lower river. Again much hand wringing but hey, it will go away again in the autumn so that's OK.
One has to ask just where are WUF in all this. Our very own \Rivers Trust is as impotent as its always been despite working hand in glove for decades with the NRW whose Principal Fishery officer is still in place having overseen the rivers decline over that time. Even joining forces to close down the WSA hatchery initiative without so much as an apology.
One has to ask just where do WUF Trustees figure in all this. Silent to a man while pretty much everything goes down the drain. Had their own business's seen the outcome we have on our river after £25 million plus and counting, ,spent over 25years they would be bankrupt and out on their backsides. We have been let down at every turn by the EA NRW, WUF and many of the owners and somehow I can't see it changing in the short term. Can anyone see a ray of light at the end of the tunnel.
 

steved

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Bloom from Ithon being reported by WUF , well it is June
 

peterchilton

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yes i have been up there today to take phosphate readings of 0.29 at Llanbister and 0.19 at crossgates, river is very murky browny green, water temp at 14.3C and 14.7C
 

Stuart Smith

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Do you know if WSA are co-ordinating action with other interested groups to bring this to the attention of locals in general and local politicians in particular?

I’m afraid letter writing is about all I can do to help this situation and I’m keen to reinforce a message, rather than be a single, easily ignored voice - like all previous letters have been.
Grassy,
If writing to key people to apply pressure can work. However, if you are not a member join WSA and lend us your support.
PM or email me to discuss in more detail?
Stuart
 
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