River water quality

mikench

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I had the pleasure earlier to have a chat with Nottskev about life in general and fishing in particular. I always try to encourage some posts from him as they are always welcome, well thought out and composed and interesting. Kev notified me of the worrying report in some of the papers today about the poor quality of ALL our rivers. I have included a link.


This should be a wake up call to government agencies, anglers and all other river users alike.

Kev may take me to task for stealing his thunder but I won't mind one bit if I provoke a post. It's a worrying state of affairs.
 

mikench

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Some maybe but to have no rivers classified as good in the current climate is poor. We should and do know better. We pay for our water, there are many agencies/quangos etc to ensure no pollution , many chemicals of yesteryear are banned, many chemicals are known to be carcinogenic, one cannot just discharge waste water in to a water course without a licence so why so bad?

I bet we are way behind our European counterparts and after B things will get worse.
 

s63

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Next time you have the pleasure Mike, send Kev my regards, as you say, his input is missed by me and many others I’m sure.

Funnily enough I spent a hour fishing the Stour through Canterbury this lunch time which I haven’t fished in ages, no HDYGO post, nothing to report.😕.

Being a chalk stream for much of its length the water is crystal clear, it was noticeable today that a work party have been busy removing rubbish from the river that had been stacked up on the banks, I hope for collection. It’s so sad that there are those that throw stuff into the river rather than disposing of it responsibly some of the stuff was mind boggling.
 

Keith M

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I read that every drop of the river Lea goes through a human up to 5 times before it enters the Thames because of abstraction; and its extracted for other uses too like farming and industrial uses.

Consequently its water level drops drastically and its flow is reduced for most of its length.

Add to this water not being stored in reservoirs when its possible and being drawn from aquifers resulting in the water tables steadily falling and you have dire consequences.

And this is happening in water catchments all over the country.

Keith
 
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Aknib

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....and people say rivers aren’t the same as the old days. They were full of fish then..

And a lot more polluted than today?
Agreed, the Trent was full of Roach in the early 80's and it always had colour to it all year round, I think the visibly polluted rivers of then don't compare much if any better to the chemically polluted but clear running rivers of today.

I still say there's a strong link between water clarity improving and the increased predation from Cormorants and it stands to reason.
 

mikench

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You may be right Steve but the modern chemicals of today are often, colourless, odourless and , allegedly, tasteless. Yes predation may be a factor but chemical and plastic pollution , imo, accounts for more fish deaths and fewer fry developing to adulthood. Just look at the falling levels of salmon, seatrout and eels.
 

rob48

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In the seventies and eighties when the Trent was "polluted" there was 3lb of gudgeon and 5lb of roach on nearly every peg. Now that it's nice and clean there are hardly any gudgeon at all but plenty of very well fed predators.
 

peterjg

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The EA keeps telling us that the Thames is cleaner - total rubbish! It is clearer NOT cleaner. Some reaches of the Thames are quite good while lots of reaches are virtually empty of fish - and that applies to the Kennet also!
 

markg

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I caught something on the news yesterday that the EA are going to really tighten up on the pollution laws to reach targets that were set for 2027 by the EU. I thought that was a bit odd unless the EA plan to continue to abide by EA rules in these matters.
 

Peter Jacobs

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I caught something on the news yesterday that the EA are going to really tighten up on the pollution laws to reach targets that were set for 2027 by the EU. I thought that was a bit odd unless the EA plan to continue to abide by EA rules in these matters.
EU Rules and Regulations are, and always were, set as a minimum level and not a maximum.

Therefore if an EU requirement is higher than a national one then it is only a good thing to aspire to aim for that . . . . surely?
 

Keith M

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The EA keeps telling us that the Thames is cleaner - total rubbish! It is clearer NOT cleaner. Some reaches of the Thames are quite good while lots of reaches are virtually empty of fish - and that applies to the Kennet also!
The Kennet used to be a fabulous river with nice gravel beds and plenty of streamer weed and cabbages and plenty of healthy barbel, chub, big roach and trout plus lots of other species, and its where I caught my very fist barbel back in 1975, but I've heard that it is now a shadow of itself and the large beds of streamer weed have virtually disappeared in some places and the reduced flow has brought silty bottoms and most of the healthy fish that thrived in it have now disappeared. What a great shame.

Keith
 

rayner

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The article in the Guardian makes for very dire reading. All the talk from the EA doesn't convince me anything will alter. When have government-led authorities ever told the truth? The cost of any improvement in water quality will prevent any change.
 

xenon

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The article in the Guardian makes for very dire reading. All the talk from the EA doesn't convince me anything will alter. When have government-led authorities ever told the truth? The cost of any improvement in water quality will prevent any change.
The cost of water improvements could/should be recouped from fining the polluters, so it should be a zero sum game. However, this still needs th officers to investigate and prosecute the guilty parties, which in turn needs the government to take this seriously. Not holding my breath on that one.
 

peterjg

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Keith M, re your post. Prior to moving in 2013 I had never fished the Kennet so I am unable to compare. However; I am sure that you are right. I fish the Kennet a lot now, it seems to me to be a really moody river. There are a few really good sections but too much of the river appears to be virtually fishless - unfortunately the signal crayfish, cormorants and otters are thriving!!!

Thirty/forty years ago the river Colne used to be a wonderful river. Catches of big roach and chub were common place. Now the Colne (and Gade) are terribly over abstracted and it is heart breaking to visit my old stamping grounds.
 

markg

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EU Rules and Regulations are, and always were, set as a minimum level and not a maximum.

Therefore if an EU requirement is higher than a national one then it is only a good thing to aspire to aim for that . . . . surely?
I don't mind it but the article wasn't clear whether it was an aspiration or a legal requirement, its a mixed bag leaving the EU, I was never happy with all of it, I think we will lose out on a lot but as you know I do favour more control of our coastal seas. That's the problem, we could not cherry pick, leave it all or stay with it all, the good and the bad, there are certainly things that were good and I think we are going to miss some of those sorely.
Regarding the article - it must be an aspiration I suppose. I imagine the danger is we will be more lax on these matters favouring industry over environment but the article was stating the Government were intending to toughen up on pollution so maybe that won't happen hopefully.
 
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markg

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Keith M, re your post. Prior to moving in 2013 I had never fished the Kennet so I am unable to compare. However; I am sure that you are right. I fish the Kennet a lot now, it seems to me to be a really moody river. There are a few really good sections but too much of the river appears to be virtually fishless - unfortunately the signal crayfish, cormorants and otters are thriving!!!

Thirty/forty years ago the river Colne used to be a wonderful river. Catches of big roach and chub were common place. Now the Colne (and Gade) are terribly over abstracted and it is heart breaking to visit my old stamping grounds.
It must be about 1966 I first fished the Kennet near Thatchham and Reading, it was archetypical Crabtree river then, all swirls, woods on the far bank and looked lovely. I remember we had a good mixture of roach and chub and one big perch. Went back in about 1980 on a stretch of my brother's club card, I don't remember where it was, a very long walk, somewhere around Reading I think and I caught the most barbal in one day I have ever caught, 17. It sounds like it is nothing like that now.
Just had an email from the EA, they are doing a survey of invasive species so maybe they are looking into it a bit more now. I mentioned otters, cormorants and red signal crayfish in it although I don't think they were after otters and cormorants.

I am never clear on this clean river thing, whenever I see surveys of the Thames they are always reporting a lot of diversity whereas it was lifeless 50 years ago and all those northern rivers that were a lifeless sludge once, they seemed to have cleaned a lot of them up but then again all I hear on here is how much rivers have declined and are polluted, confuses me a bit.
 
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The bad one

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I wrote this on the 19 August
6-7 years ago when I suggested on this site and others that we would have a weakening of Environmental regulation after we left the EU, I was howled down by many with comments like, It'll never happen..... to far down the environmental road …... public won't let it happen, blah, blah, blah! Would those who said it, like to count how many chicken are starting to roost?
Not surprised in the least at this report, the EA just putting its ducks in line for the foreseeable future where the game of environmental regulation tig will start with every change of government of a political hue.
 

steve2

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Sewerage estimated at 35 million tonnes is still dumped into the so called clean river Thames. My local stream are totally over abstracted so any pollution is not diluted in fact if it wasn't for the flow from the sewer farms they would dry up. Whatever the EA say about clean rivers is a lie.
 
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