Passion For… Clean Rivers

mikench

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Let's face it we will never have pristine rivers and waterways in a vacuum. Whilst we continue to fly tip, pollute our oceans, chop down rain forest, spray chicken shit and slurry on our fields, clear woodland and generally create global warning, a beautiful river Wye is the stuff of dreams. We are a filthy, insensitive and uncaring species for other inhabitants of this planet including ourselves. We even dump " rubbish" in space. Until that changes we are largely wasting our time. To throw angling into the pot as a sport we should not pursue misses the bigger picture by a million miles. Furthermore what we might do here will most definitely not be replicated in other parts of the world so our attempts will achieve merely a Pyrrhic victory benefitting the few at the expense of the many. Man is not an island even though the UK is.
 

steve2

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Angling is far above those blood sports and cannot be remotely compared. I dont know anyone who does. Bluntly the way we pollute our rivers and waterways will continue with or without angling. Rather more so imo if we anglers are not there to observe it , report it and on club stretches actually do something about it.

Instead of debating whether fish, slugs, greenfly, maggots, trees and gladioli have feelings, give consideration to humans and the environment in which we live.



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Is angling really the far above, doesn't our pleasure come from hooking fish if the pleasure came from just being out in the country side we could get that in other ways. As far as observing what is happening I would say 90% of anglers don't care they are only interested in catching the next fish.
 

markg

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I think it shouldn't be compared to a blood sport, we don't seek blood or to kill. I think the green party shouldn't class it as one either, I have emailed them about this and asked why they are alienating millions of voters by classing it as such. They replied they would look into it but I have not had a proper reply as yet... ongoing.
 
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mikench

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I don't think we as anglers should play Devils advocate whether for fun, to evoke a response or to give our adversaries any ammunition. We need to be a unanimous voice of reason and justification for what we do to counter the tree huggers( trees have feelings to and may object to being hugged; they certainly would object to being chopped down or burnt), politicians and those with a contrary view. Life and how we live it is full of contrary views and opinions and my view on angling is every bit as valid as those who advocate a return to the Stone Age. The anti fur trade and the anti vivisectionists have a great deal to answer for in releasing , for example mink into our countryside to decimate water voles, water birds and fish. These so called dogooders will be the first to take a course of cancer treatment brought about by animal research.

Provocative language about sticking hooks in fish does not help our cause and those who don't like that should not fish. I can abide with a contrary view but not a hypocritical one.
 

theartist

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Let's face it we will never have pristine rivers and waterways in a vacuum. Whilst we continue to fly tip, pollute our oceans, chop down rain forest, spray chicken shit and slurry on our fields, clear woodland and generally create global warning, a beautiful river Wye is the stuff of dreams.
Why should it be the stuff of dreams though? Ok the Wye is a long river but to restore it to it's condition of a few decades back should only need a few culprits taken to task, and a group of volunteers akin to the Wild Trout Trust or Avon Roach Project restoring weedbeds and/or bringing publicity/shame on those who pollute.

Were not talking a man on the moon here, just cleaning up one river.
 

mikench

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I hope you are right Rob. The Wye shouldn’t have been allowed to get into this state in the first place so where were the volunteers in the past 20 years and why haven’t the culprits already been taken to task. That same sad scenario applies to the world as a whole. I agree though start with the Wye, punish culprits severely, put them out of business and show what can be done. Where the Wye leads other rivers will follow - maybe.
 

theartist

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I don't think putting them out of business should be the clarion call, but they do need to learn that it's their river too and those who do pollute need to change, the laws need to change and until they do I hope all the groups looking out for rivers like the Wye and Windrush gather momentum and publicity.
 

mikench

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If companies continue to pollute then there may be no choice. Sadly run off from fields and illegal discharges are frequently not isolated and accidental incidents.
 

theartist

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It all boils down to our population growing too much, it's pretty depressing having gone through the biggest disease pandemic of a generation that there more people needing chicken nuggets and sewerage than ever before.
 

theartist

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I've been lamenting the loss of weed from the Severn for a couple of years, I put wrongly it seems down to floods although they would have washed in phosphates big time you would imagine. Sounds like it is a couple of years behind the Wye in regards degredation but it's not looking good there either.

The irony is I had eggs for lunch and now I'm making a chicken curry, but I don't want to be eating any produce that could be polluting any of our rivers. I don't want to go vegan but sure as hell don't want to be helping contribute to the phosphates that's for sure. Is there an easy way to find the source of our meat an eggs so that we avoid lining polluters pockets?

Anyone know?

Also what can the average Joe who lives far away from these rivers but has them at heart do to help?

Eat less poultry
Mention these rivers plights and the environmental groups fighting them in a blog (which gets dozens of views lol)
Do some art and donate the proceeds to one of the river groups.
Lobby parliament more although my local mp is unlikely to be interested

Suggestions welcome, small acorns and all that
 

theartist

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Decided to boycott chicken - not to make a difference rather to avoid being a hypocrite, how long that will last I don't know but I'll try to avoid it where possible, no harm in cutting down on things that pollute. Also going to source eggs from a small local farm, will see what meat and veg they have too, not got that much money but willing to spend a bit extra on food if I know where it comes from.
 

bullet

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The codes on meat and eggs can tell you which Abbatoir/ processor they come from, which I guess is a start. UK and a number ( obviously if produced in uk)
There's a website somewhere....
 
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mikench

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Contact your local supermarket where you buy your eggs and voice your concerns and that you wish to know their suppliers of chicken and eggs. If they don't respond threaten to take your business elsewhere. I've just checked eggs bought from Sainsburys with this printed on the inside of the lid.

IMG_0941.JPG

You could check their location presumably from this.
 

Bluenose

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I don't know about Ranunculus specifically, but when we have an excess of nutrients, certain species tend to make better use of the excess nutrient and dominate the system. More fragile species may be out competed, it could be that ranunculus falls into this category.

Regarding the wider issue of nutrient pollution, it's not just about chicken farms. They've been there for decades and are merely the latest source of easy blame. Whilst they do contribute, the damage has been done over the long term by anything and everything that has released excess nutrients. These have built up in the groundwater, lakes, streams and rivers.

This issue is exacerbated by our inability, and unwillingness, to tackle the issue on both a national and a local scale. From a national point of view, there's lots of money to be made by avoiding pollution measures (loss of profits if we implement said measures) so aside from showcasing the odd extreme incident, which may result in a fine, nothing will be done. We may introduce 'legislation', but it matters not if we do not enforce it, which we do not currently, and probably will, not for the foreseeable future. There's too much money to be made (and lost) for our current political leaders (and opposition) to truly care.

On a local scale we can improve our own waterways with not a lot of cost or work. There are lots of simple measures to reduce/prevent nutrient pollution. However, getting angling clubs to take the issue seriously is nigh on impossible. We'd far rather say "Look at that big pile of chicken sh1t, isn't it terrible" about something happening in another part of the country, than actually implement simple measures on our own club waters.
 

Bluenose

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Care to list them?
Of course.

Reducing the source of nutrients would include things like, diverting sources of nutrients, retention ponds, buffer zones, strategic planting, reed bed systems etc.

When it comes to reducing the availability of nutrients in the lakes and pools you are looking at reducing biomass, eg removing plant material (and/or fish!!) removing enriched sediments, chemical treatments also work although this is probably prohibitively expensive for most angling clubs.

If the correct chemical analysis is done beforehand, you can determine the likely nutrient sources. Thereafter most of the above is feasible via small scale angling work parties.
 

theartist

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Of course.

Reducing the source of nutrients would include things like, diverting sources of nutrients, retention ponds, buffer zones, strategic planting, reed bed systems etc.

When it comes to reducing the availability of nutrients in the lakes and pools you are looking at reducing biomass, eg removing plant material (and/or fish!!) removing enriched sediments, chemical treatments also work although this is probably prohibitively expensive for most angling clubs.

If the correct chemical analysis is done beforehand, you can determine the likely nutrient sources. Thereafter most of the above is feasible via small scale angling work parties.
The trouble is if a river like the size and flow of the Wye can suffer then these suggestions would only help on smaller rivers because they are not in the same boat regarding pollution, were they to have similar practices along their catchment then no amount of small scale club improvements would tip the balance in favour of the river. Not sure how simple it would be to divert sources of nutrients either?

I think it's unwise to discredit the chicken farm argument having watched the Rivercide documentary, it does seem credible as a key contributor to the issues affecting the river. You mention the chicken farms have been there for decades but the documentary cites the large growth in the industry over recent years.
 

Bluenose

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The trouble is if a river like the size and flow of the Wye can suffer then these suggestions would only help on smaller rivers because they are not in the same boat regarding pollution, were they to have similar practices along their catchment then no amount of small scale club improvements would tip the balance in favour of the river. Not sure how simple it would be to divert sources of nutrients either?

I think it's unwise to discredit the chicken farm argument having watched the Rivercide documentary, it does seem credible as a key contributor to the issues affecting the river. You mention the chicken farms have been there for decades but the documentary cites the large growth in the industry over recent years.
Agree. River systems are far bigger, far more variable, and open to much larger scale of pollution. Stillwaters are just as vulnerable but a lot easier to potentially manage by angling clubs. That's not to say rivers couldn't be managed, but it would need a very coherent strategy encapsulating everyone. Starting with a caring government and properly enforced legislation, with help for farmers, angling clubs and other water users. Sadly, I just don't think that's happening anytime soon.

I'm not discrediting chicken farming as being an issue, it most certainly is an issue. The causes of eutrophication go back decades, centuries even if we consider 'natural' eutrophication. Chicken farming is merely the latest obvious 'cause' which we can easily point the finger at. Perhaps my post came across as dismissive of this cause, that wasn't my intention, it's merely the latest in a very long list.
 

steve2

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Does anyone have a suggestion just what to do with all this not just chicken poo but all farm waste if you don't spread it on the land.
I noticed at the garden centre there are now bags and bags of chicken manure to spread on the garden but this in a small way will still end up the the drains and then the rivers.
 
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