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 (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/eff.12330/abstract). 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.
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.
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.