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Having a dry summer? Advice for clubs and river or stillwater fishery managers and ow

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  • Having a dry summer? Advice for clubs and river or stillwater fishery managers and ow

    #fishing #angling Many areas of the country have been very dry in the last couple of months, following a drier than average winter. Some rivers are already low for the time of year, but groundwater levels remain reasonable and there should not be a serious drought, affecting public water supplies, this year. High temperatures with low river flows will, though, increase the risk of environmental problems on rivers and lakes.

    Advice for stillwater fishery managers and owners
    You should consider how to minimise the risk of fish kills by:
    1. Keeping a close watch on water levels and look for any signs of fish in distress. Visiting the water early in the morning just before first light will allow you to observe your fishery when dissolved oxygen levels are at their lowest.
    2. Repairing leaking sluices or control structures so as to preserve valuable water resources.
    3. Considering restricting the amount of bait and ground bait to avoid unnecessary pressure on water quality.
    4. Minimising the use of keep nets. If a match is planned consider using multiple weigh-ins to avoid unnecessary stress to fish stocks.
    5. Avoiding stocking further fish.
    6. Considering reducing fish stock densities to avoid problems later with reducing water levels and low dissolved oxygen levels. Prior to moving any fish, a Section 30 consent is required from the Environment Agency and a Section 28 consent to use a net.
    7. With the potential of low water levels and high temperatures, care must be taken over fish welfare.
    8. If you believe your fishery may be at risk from low dissolved oxygen levels due to algal growth, low water levels, elevated temperatures or over-crowding - be prepared - and check that you have access to a dissolved oxygen meter, water pumps, aeration equipment and generators.

    Please note:
    The Environment Agency won't normally rescue fish. However, in exceptional circumstances, it may consider an emergency fish rescue, if it can find somewhere safe to move them to and on the condition that the fish have been health screened within the last six months.

    Please report any large numbers of dead fish to the Environment Agency or Cefas immediately as this may be due to a disease outbreak. One or two dead fish can be regarded as normal (especially at spawning time) but if in any doubt contact the Environment Agency or Cefas.

    Advice to river fishery managers and owners
    Minimise the risk of fish kills by:
    1. Thinking carefully before cutting weed as it helps to hold up water levels and avoids disturbing quantities of silt, which can compromise water quality.
    2. If you stock fish, consider lower stocking densities.
    3. Avoiding stocking locations that are vulnerable to drying out such as: headwaters, perched or raised channels - particularly from mid summer when groundwater and river levels are likely to fall most sharply.
    4. Discussing issues of flow splits and hatch control with neighbours and all interested parties so as to avoid ecological impacts.
    5. On raised or perched channels, checking hatches and structures for unnecessary leakage in order to maintain depth. Even with low flows on these sections, depth will still provide useable fish habitat.
    6. With the potential of low flows and high temperatures, care must be taken over fish welfare particularly on salmon fisheries.
    7. Low flows and reduced water levels can increase the risk of avian predation. To reduce this pressure, maintain as much rough and overhanging marginal cover as possible, particularly adjacent to pool habitats which provide areas for fish to hide.

    The Environment Agency National Incident Hotline is 0800 80 70 60
    Cefas Fish Health Inspectorate 01305 206700

    Don't forget that Angling Trust member clubs or fisheries can get a discount from Aquaculture Equipment on nearly all items of fishery equipment including aerators and Dissolved Oxygen Meters.

    Aquaculture Equipment have developed a portable Dissolved Oxygen (DO) meter to take readings on the go. The unique feature of this unit is that it can act as a static monitor, i.e. fixed at the waters edge - and relay live information wirelessly to a pc up to 4km away. A system is available to alert you of low oxygen conditions by text message - you can even turn the aerators on with a text message from anywhere in the world! These remote monitoring features just need to be requested when you order.

    Contact Aquaculture Equipment for more info on an introductory price for this DO meter and the member-only discount on other items.

    Tel/Fax: +44 (0)161 6835869
    sales@aq&#117 ;aculture&#1 01;quipmen&#116 ;

    Click here to view the article.
    Simon Young
    Talk Angling UK fishing chat and tackle
    web design Doncaster - Limitless Digital