Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Have we got a Price?

At the cost of over £1,000 our Irish Caravan Club were evicted. Soon after a chain fence was erected to stop them getting to the same area of ground again. Less than one week later the same group arrived back in Bakewell Showground and although initially put out that they couldn’t set up camp in the same spot they quickly found another patch, on a private car park and on the banks of the river.

Out came their rods and lines. During the following couple of days we had reports of them fishing along the river in town. On Sunday 28th September, Jan, in the presence of a Police Officer caught two pony tailed men fishing with a handline. When questioned, the eighteen year old said to his accomplice‘.. they cant do any thing anyway’.

We are arranging a summons for the two men to appear at Chesterfield Magistrates Court to answer charges of Fishing with an illegal instrument (Salmon and Fisheries Act 1975) and unlawfully fishing without permits. These summons will be served personally by us in the presence of Police Officers. If they do not attend the Court hearing which is listed, the court will order a warrant for their arrest. Upon arrest the Police will give them a second hearing to attend. If they fail to attend then, the court may find in their absence or may issue a warrant, not backed by bail, to ensure that on the second arrest the can be retained in custody before appearing in court.

Otter id

No one alive can remember seeing otters on this estate. We aren’t ideally suited, having no eels or coarse fish but this pad mark seems to indicate an otter putting its head and front paw into both ends of the clay raft. The smaller tracks are the fifth member of a family group of mink, the previous four having been already trapped in the area. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Weir Removal

It’s a full year since the EA survey team electro fished a short length of river. Among their recommendations were the import of small stones so the young fish would have something to sit amongst.
Going one step further we finally decide to remove the 100 year old weir sill, rear pitchings and front flag stones. This had a number of advantages;

  1. Remove the weir sill across two sections of the weir whist keeping the furthest bay fully boarded up. This would create a sharp turn in the river, increase its flow through the section and reduce the amount the river is held back

  2. The stone freed up will go into the river channel above as habitat for the young fish through this perfect yearling water.

  3. Use the large stone to widen the footpath so we can get the tractor through and to narrow the river channel, quickening the flow.

  4. 20mm gravel will be added to the newly created lift, so fish can now spawn here.

  5. On the left hand bank, below the weir, a nursery area of shallow water and brash cover will be built, so the babies have somewhere safe to go.

Only 30 more weirs left...

Hens sitting up

A few frames showing a number of hen fish beginning to mottle into their spawning garb.

Monday, September 15, 2008

An Irish Travellers promise

“No Sir, you’ll have no trouble from the like of us. We promise we wont pinch your fishes Sir, and if we see anyone else after ‘em, we will tell you straight away“.

Later that morning Jan caught one of these temporary, Irish accented males spinning for our trout at the back of his caravan. We were advised by our Solicitors that it would take so long to serve the summons on a Gentleman ‘I now know as Mr. Cunningham‘, that he would quite likely have moved on. Far better for the Police, being not satisfied with the address he produces, to take him to the cells where the Custody Sergeant can release him under a bond, to appear later. Everyone thought this a great idea expect Mr. Cunningham… and the Custody Sergeant. And so Mr. Cunningham was free to go.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Caught it!

Tuesday September 9th 1900hrs

Following a shower of rain I rushed down to the CSO to catch the discharge on film. No rags this time but plenty of foul smelling pollution; all legal and above board. Surely there is a modern alternative to this...

Sunday, September 7, 2008


100mm of rain in a few hours on Friday night.

Spot the rising fish at 2:32 and 2:40

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

September discharge

Nirs 00617780

If you are told by the EA that an automatic screen cleaning device on a CSO will reduce the amount of rags entering the river...it doesn't. Ours hasn't worked since 2005 but nothing is being done to rectify it.

About Me

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Derby Uni LL.B.yr4 Birmingham Uni (field lecturer)