Fish Deaths

Ginger

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Just been looking on Cemex Angling`s web site and there is a posting reporting fish deaths on the River Lee from King`s Weir down to Fisher`s Green.Dead fish recovered from the river so far total 20 Barbel between 6lb and 11lb,and 18 Chub between 4lb and 6lb.Someone`s put a remark on the forum saying " that`s such a shame to have lost so many juvenile Barbel".Christ,i`d be happy to catch juvenile Barbel for the rest of my days.
 

Ginger

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The report says a mortality occurred 29/30th April,the EA were called in and they think the deaths may have resulted from toxic algal bloom released from silt pockets below King`s Weir.The toxin caused respiratory distress to the fish in the upper river.
Really bad news eh?
 

Bryan Baron 2

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Thats the problem with the closed season. Normally this would have been spotted early enough to stop it. We as anglers harp on how we are the custodians of the river but for 3 months of the year we abandon her.
 

Alan Tyler

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In general, perhaps, Bryan, but not at Fisher's Green; there are two all-year lakes there, and the bailiffs are on the prowl all the time - as are half the regular anglers - barbel, carp and chub-watching. I'd be surprised if they weren't on the case within very few hours!
 

Ginger

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Alan, i believe it was a bailiff or regular who reported the incident.
 

Alan Tyler

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Re-stocked? I hope not; as far as I know these were native Lea fish; plenty left to spawn and replace them without gambling on adding new stock... plus, in the meantime, more food each for the survivors!
Perhaps I'll get a ticket this year...
 

Ginger

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Alan,isn`t the Lee yet another of our rivers thats in decline?
 
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Paul Clarke

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There is also a chance that they may shut some of the river if the water levels drop too low . I'm sure i read on the Cemex site somewhere that they did this last year
 

Alan Tyler

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It's an odd situation, Ginger. When I was a boy, the Lea was polluted by Luton and unfishable until Hertford (according to the guide books), but then they saved up for a sewage works, and the upper Lea is now grand - but far too small. By contrast, the low flows on the canalised, navigable river below Hertford have knackered it as a barbel river, except for a few stretches of "old river" that by-pass weirs/locks -but the old timers tell me that even these aren't a shadow of their old selves.

Bob Hornegold sometimes posts on here - and lots on the Cemex site, and really knows the river; he'd be the chap to ask rather than a dabbler like me.
 

Ginger

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Alan, i`ve read some of Bob`s posts on the Cemex site and he has loads of photos of Barbel from the Lee,some really cracking fish.He certainly seems to be a guy who knows the river and how to get the best from it.
 

Simon K

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It was Bob and myself who called the EA out and informed Cemex at the first signs of fish deaths on the Green.
At the time there was little flow and the likliehood is that not many fish were washed out of the system unreported/unnetted by Lea Valley Parks Fisheries Section.
Although some dead fish were still being netted a week or so later, these were most likely corpses that had been "trapped" under sub-aqua and bank-side vegetation etc, then bloated with gas and surfaced. I saw some of these under the water-line myself and unnofficial word from LV is that they were "old" corpses.
An official verdict on the cause is still awaited, so I can't comment on that. However, I can confirm that the incident was localised to below Kings Weir and into Fishers Green.
Although we'll have to wait 'til the season starts to see how the fish numbers have really been affected; reports have been made that the Barbel (at least) have been spawning in reasonable numbers on their traditional sites since the incident.

We have no official word on what happenned or what was observed during this time from the Kings Weir Fishery.
 

Ginger

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Simon,good to hear that the Barbel are spawning and that there have been no further reports of fish fatalities,let`s hope it was an isolated incident.
 
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Nigel Connor(ACA ,SAA)

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Royffey, when you refeer to 800 counted by the EA below Kings Weir, I hope you mean live fish?
 

Simon K

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Royffey, I suspect Barbra's statement might be hmmmm.....economical in some way?!

She has a (primarily) Barbel oriented fishery for her main income (far as I'm aware). What else would anyone expect her to say?

I'd take the "800 barbel" comment with a dose of aquarium salts, too. Unless they're fry?

On the plus side, I've managed a few decent barbel from the Green in the last week (as have one or two others); so I don't think the numbers/sport have been depeleted by as much as many were expecting. Official figure (direct) from the EA is 40 fish.

Apart from the opening day circus, it hasn't been very busy up there.

Which suits me fine!
 
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Lee Poultney

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Speaking of fish deaths, I went canoeing down the middle Severn and noticed several dead Barbel. All except one were on the bottom though, either suspended vertically or belly up. Any suggestions?

I reckon it's either the very warm water/lack of oxyegn or they have been caught and not returned properly in view of the conditions.
 

Ginger

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Could be they were not returned properly.

Are keepnets still used on the Severn?
 
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