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Saving Our Rivers

The FP&WDFA is a vibrant and active organisation concentrating on the rivers of Dorset; working to achieve its aims in conjunction with other groups, including The Salmon and Trout Research Centre of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust at East Stoke, The Atlantic Salmon Trust, Westcountry Rivers Trust & Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency.

In addition to those who actually fish these rivers our membership includes conservationists and those with an interest in our rivers. We believe that clean rivers with healthy native fish stocks and other wildlife are the best proof of a healthy environment.

Why you should join the FP&WDFA Association
The FP&WDFA provides a forum for the exchange of views, the dissemination of information via meetings, newsletters and our website, promoting good river management. A strong association membership can exert greater pressure to achieve our goals.
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Below is the latest news blog on what's happening in and around our rivers, if you have any news that you would like published, please email it to the

Latest Post....


Redd counting

Only a partial redd count (due to the coloured state of the water) was done this year by ourselves the FPWDFA. There were 159 redds counted, 113 of them were above Louds Mill and also there was a salmon and redd above Notton. This illustrates that spawning stock have free passage to the upper Frome where survival of young has been scientifically shown to be highest. This is meaningful as it means the fish passes are having some benefit. The Piddle from Hyde bridge up had 47. We volunteered for some of this count but many thanks to the EA for funding. Salmon counter final count for 2017 was 991 fish.














Oil Rig

The sight of an oil rig which you may not have expected to see in Poole bay shall materialise soon. We lobbied against this even though it is temporary, however, we also managed to get some recognition and consideration of migrating salmon. Also, there was a beach campaign against it which we visited. There are many protected species, sites and our precious Jurassic coast. So, it is still a worry and we can only hope nothing goes wrong. Any signs of problems on the sea should be reported to the Environment Agency.















A bit on West Dorset

Palmers barriers – Slates that broke have been kindly mended by the Brewery.

Westbay – People to have a Fishing Licence and fish according to the Byelaws, CCTV present. Hatches at Westbay have not been operating correctly for fish passage, but we have had some discussion and communications with EA and the harbour Master.  Hatch data now goes direct to the EA to oversee its operation.















AGM 2018

Our annual AGM was in April this year at the River Laboratory, East Stoke, Dorset. We had a great evening with interesting details of a busy year and enjoyed a lovely buffet and refreshments. Dr Josie Pegg gave a fascinating speech on alien species control with some interesting examples like for Himalayan Balsam. Dr Rasmus Lauridsen did a great speech on juvenile salmon survival in the river Frome. We look forward to another nice interesting evening next spring.












NEWSLETTER – April 2018

AGM 2018

Our annual AGM will be at 6.30pm on Friday 20st April 2018 at the River Laboratory, East Stoke, Dorset. I do hope everyone can come. There will be buffet and refreshments. A small donation of £5 or more would be gratefully accepted to help to cover the cost. Dr Josie Pegg will be speaking on alien species control and Dr Rasmus Lauridsen will speaking on salmon parr in the Frome.

Member subs- If you have not already, could you please increase you subs to current level. Please ask you banks, or do it online, to increase your standing order to Frome, Piddle and West Dorset Fisheries Association to £20  ASAP, thank you.

Frome, Piddle &West Dorset Fisheries Association internet based news

Our website is now being used in full. Please see our projects section for work past and present. The initiatives section now has some R&D insights. Our complete set of information guides in the left tab and are very useful.


We can expect regular news briefs. Please send us an email to request alerts if you have not in the past. The news will appear as links on the Westcountry Rivers Trust’s Twitter and Facebook. So please sign up to those for all their other information. They all so have angling sites as follows:


Sea trout project-SAMARCH

This is a brilliantly interesting project the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust are leading in with over the English channel collaborations.  In biology terms the sea stage of sea trout will be understood like it has not before. Long overdue, but due to the complicated nature of study, finally we can all pull together to discover some of the sea trout’s secrets. See link in our projects section.

We have great pleasure in helping them with a key part of the project. This means looking out for sea trout with a bright tag in the top dorsal of the fish and keeping the fish. Check all captures please. For all information including REWARD see link in projects section.






















Citizen Science Investigations (CSI)

Please take note of this project shown in our project list on our website. Our fund holding charity The Westcountry Rivers Trust has a brilliant web-based system with user friendly map to collect and present citizen collected data. Please get involved; instructions and forms can be found on their website (follow this websites link in project tab).

The main aim is to collect information on catchment based environmental issues. This encompasses many common environmental issues such as plant encroachments, pollution, muddy water washings, fly tipping, animal observations, bird counts, insect and fish numbers, etc.

Salmonind redds counts have been collected this winter 2018 along side other field observations as above. Rivers were high and counts were limited to between spates, and results are pending. Other members have been monitoring aquatic insects. This is a holistic fast track system of feedback in environmental issues to the authorities.



























Poole Harbour Catchment Committee

Our presence on the Poole Harbour Catchment Committee is being developed to bridge the benefits of cover crops to reduced siltation of salmon redds. Wessex water have been behind a push to encourage farmers towards best practice, especially where maize growing is concerned. The Win Win Project on the River Win has met with some quite big scale implementation of cover crops. There has been training of some locals in river fly monitoring skills and data collected regularly.

Other trials have been started with a new seed drill to start cover crops earlier in the maize growing cycle. Also double seeding has been trialled. The results of some have been brilliant as seen in photo where strip grazing has been possible in April. This crop was grazed in January as well.























Our views have been expressed by letter to the Local Plans through Dorset with special reference to the encroachment of Dorset’s conurbation our way, Wimborne’s edge of town development shown in photo. Sub-urban sprawl is fast evolving and concreting our river basins and green fields that hold our wildlife. Comment on other land use threats have been made. Objection to Poole bay oil rig exploration has been put in.














Tree management-2017

At the very beginning of 2017 a range of sites on the rivers Bride, Frome and Piddle were targeted for limbing up and long reaches of hingeing tree work.  We worked with the fisheries employees to deliverer over 5km of extensive work. This was done as the areas were in need of opening up for light and fishing as well as instream branch habitat creation. This helps prevent tree falls and bank erosion. Please see poster in projects section of website for more information.


Spring 2017-AGM

On the 21st April we held our 2017 AGM at East Stoke. Thank you all for a great turnout and the opportunity to enjoy feedback with regards our work and projects. It was agreed membership subs have had to go up for the first time in almost a decade due to increases in overall costs. So could you all please ask you banks, or do it online, to increase your Direct Debit to Frome, Piddle and West Dorset Fisheries Association to £20 before the end of December, thank you. Many thanks. However, under 21’s can join free.

Presentations on Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust research given have enabled a foresight to push on with our fisheries management. The first talk showed the importance of river flow to migratory salmonid spawning distribution around the River Frome and how we need to evolve our knowledge in this area ( Secondly, we learnt about the catchment scale impacts of swan grazing on the protected instream weed Ranunculus of the River Wylye and how it can be managed. Luckily, at the end we were also able to go outside and see the salmon smolts being caught and monitored by the GWCT scientists.
















Weir warden

We are very pleased to announce that Mark Terry has finished training to become our first and very important Weir Warden. He will be acting as our eyes and ears for the many fish passes we have had installed over Dorset during the past decade at around £1 million worth of investment. We are looking forward to this formal feedback of information from a man on the ground in our catchment.















Redd count 2017

A full red count was done this year by Casterbridge Fisheries. Of the 341 redds counted 47 of them were above Louds Mill and some were also above Notton. This illustrates that spawning stock have free passage to the upper Frome where survival of young has been scientifically shown to be highest. This is meaningful in a fairly low water winter like we had has it means the fish passes are having some benefit. We funded half of this count but many thanks to the EA for funding the other half.














Salmon netsman

We have continued to work with the river mouth netsman (Barry Bust), and our thanks goes to him for his continued help and support.  Only 5 sea trout were caught this year, 2017 and 2 salmon. They are tagged as always and will provide useful data to their survival.






















Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, Riverlab, East Stoke

Bill Beaumont showed us some great video footage of salmon and also an otter going through the salmon counter at this years AGM. Please see the GWCT website for more information on their work and to watch footage.















Poole Harbour Catchment Initiative

A project guided by the PHCI group that we sit on is now looking to train parish based flood warden volunteers with skills to identify sediment erosion problems. We were vocal in having it focused in areas of use to salmon spawning. In particular, we were able to get areas above our salmon passes at Bridport a focus.