Thursday, 30 October 2008
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
The Environment Agency started monitoring the brown trout population in the River Goyt, upstream of New Mills in 2007. This monitoring programme is in its infancy but as it progresses over the next few years it can be used to target future projects to improve the fishery if necessary.
This report provides a summary of our findings for angling clubs, landowners and other parties interested in the status of fish populations in the River.
The Brown Trout monitoring programme covers 14 sites between New Mills and Fernilee Reservoir, and includes the River Sett, Black Brook and Kinder Brook tributaries.
Trout numbers and habitat quality were estimated at each site by electric fishing and Habscore assessment, between July and August 2007.
Annual electric fishing on six sites will help us to detect changes in the number of trout young over time.
Habscore looks at the in-stream trout habitat available to hold fish and compares it to the number of fish actually caught during a survey. These two pieces of information are then used to calculate how well a river meets its potential to support and hold trout.
Habscore assessments and further electric fishing will be carried out every six years, to see whether the river is reaching its full potential as a trout fishery.
A total of 506 Brown Trout (Salmo trutta) were caught across the 14 combined sites.
Perch (Perca fluvialitilis) and Grayling (Thymallus thymallus) were also recorded, but
at only one site (Whaley Bridge). Brook lamprey were also recorded at one site, on the main River Goyt near to Lodge Wood.
Brown trout lengths, age and growth
The following length frequency histogram provides a good picture of the overall make up of the trout population on the Goyt.
The first peak in fish lengths was recorded between 50mm to 90mm, which corresponds to this years fry. Large numbers of one year old fish are also evident, showing that survival during the first year has been good. However, under normal conditions, we would expect more fry to be present than one year old fish.
River Goyt trout had an ‘average’ growth rate compared to our national standard for brown trout (National Fisheries Technical Team, unpublished data), with a Percentage Standard Growth (PSG) value of 107%.
This indicates normal growth rates within the trout populations surveyed and reflects a stable, sustainable upland river trout population.
In order to assess fish populations, The National Fisheries Classification Scheme splits brown trout densities into two categories, those that hatched this year (0+ fry) and those that are older. The density of these two groups recorded during our surveys shown below.
The maps clearly show low numbers of trout fry, though the numbers of older fish were distributed more naturally. Despite the low numbers of fry, the greatest numbers of trout were found in the upper reaches of the Sett and Black Brook. This is consistent with the trout’s use of the smaller brooks for spawning and nursery areas.
Our surveys found that the older fish were dominated by one-year-olds that had hatched in 2006. This distribution is also illustrated by the length frequency histogram shown on the previous page, where 1+ trout were the most common age class seen.
This suggests that the 2007 spawning season had not been as successful as the previous year. Though we don’t know why this happened, the heavy summer floods in the catchment may have displaced smaller fish downstream.
Overall our Habscore assessments showed that there are enough habitats within the river to support more fish.
Trout productivity in the Goyt could be limited by poor water quality, a lack of adult brood stock or the action of impassable weirs which stop adults reaching good spawning areas.
This is the first year that electric fishing surveys of the brown trout population have been carried out upstream of New Mills. Fish populations can be very variable and definite conclusions should not been drawn from a single years data.
Having said that, our surveys showed fewer brown trout fry than expected on the River Goyt. The numbers of fry recorded were below that predicted by Habscore and that suggested for the previous year by the numbers of one-year-olds identified.
The Habscore analysis indicated that there is potential for further improvement in fish stocks, but numbers are likely limited by water quality or barriers to movement.
As more surveys are carried over the following years a clearer understanding of the fisheries performance will be possible. Of particular interest will be the number of fry caught in 2008, as this will help us determine the significance of the low numbers recorded in 2007.
Angling clubs and members of the public should;
• Notify the Environment Agency of any pollution incidents or illegal fishing activity taking place in watercourses, or of any discharges that may cause pollution using our Free phone Incident Hotline number - 0800 807060.
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Sunday, 26 October 2008
Friday, 24 October 2008
We have arranged our first AGM for Saturday 29th November, at the Revival Church on High Street, New Mills - which is a fantastic venue.
Doors open at 10:30am, start at 11am, scheduled end 1pm. Tea, Coffee and nibbles will be available.
If you are planning on stopping over and need accommodation, we suggest you contact the New Mills Heritage Centre (Tel: 01663 746904) or check their website http://www.newmillsheritage.com/ - accommodation is under “local information”
Saturday, 18 October 2008
Thursday, 16 October 2008
It was great to see Chris and Yvette Elliot from WRE again and we are now masters at changing the oil in the gearbox.
Also on site today were Steve Lewis who is the Parks and Gardens Manager for New Mils Town Council and he will be working closely with us over the next few weeks to complete the landscaping and safety fencing of the site - I'm sure you'll all be pleasantly surprised with the results.
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Monday, 13 October 2008
Saturday, 11 October 2008
With over five days left for voting we already have a leader in the voting to give your screw a name - but its not too late to vote so look to the right of your screen and choose your favourite.
Many of you have asked about the half boat and enormous tree just below the weir and will it cause a problem with the screw or block the fish pass - we have discussed it with the Environment Agency who will shortly survey how much of a blockage the tree is causing and take appropriate action.
Thursday, 9 October 2008
It was still floating until it came up against the power of the Torr Weir at which point it disintegrated considerably.
The previous day the biggest tree I have ever seen float down the river made its way slowly over the weir and has now 'parked' temporarily just below the weir - the tree is about 40ft in length and must weigh several tonnes - the power of water !
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
These shots will be taken on a weekly basis (many thanks to Rob for volunteering his services) and should help to highlight any seasonal changes in the river.
The pictures can be viewed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/torrshydrophotos/ where we currently have two weeks worth.
Dave Brown from the EA has also produced a Geomorpholigical site investigation report on the area and copies will be kept on site, in the New Mills Heritage Centre, New Mills library and the Town Hall for reference.
I must point out how helpful the whole of the EA have been throughout this project and how invaluable their advice has been.
Monday, 6 October 2008
The River Sett flowing through the centre of Hayfield
Thursday, 2 October 2008
Old Mill Water Powerhouse by anon
Archie suggested by Lloyd Hanlon, Ranger Will and Sean
Portunus - The Roman River God - suggested by Vera L Mellor
Threadtastik - suggested by Aaron Sabate age 12
Archi suggested by Denise Dugdale
14 days non production made up of,
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
We've been listening to many voices over the last couple of weeks on the aspect of health and safety and in particular how the fencing will look when the site is completed.
Some of you where aghast at the thought of a high security fence around the site (as where we...), but our main concern has to be one of health and safety.
With that in mind we have agreed a two stage approach to safety and fence in and around the screw : Tomorrow morning, if it ever stops raining, some temporary (not pretty, but it does the job) fencing will be erected directly around the tail race of the screw which the HSE agree mitigates any immediate danger - this will be in place until we install some panelling to cover the tail race.
Secondary to that over the next few weeks we will install a boundary fence at the top of the existing slope to run from near to the existing black fence to just before the engine house - this will be dual purpose in marking the boundary between the 'access' and 'no access' areas whilst also enabling visitors to still see the screw in motion, the final piece of fencing will mitigate any risk to the public near to the screw intake.
We have always planned a fence and where working with the Town Council and planners to install this but have had to move this forward more quickly as a handful of passersby had voiced their concern to the HSE and High Peak Borough safety officers.
We believe, as do the HSE, we have reached a good compromise in keeping the site visible whilst also covering our health and safety obligations to the public.