Wild Justice?

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Mike J
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Re: Wild Justice?

Post by Mike J » Wed Jul 29 2020 08:37

greencard1 wrote:
Duncan Holmes wrote:
greencard1 wrote:
Usually if you point out to a WT or RSPB member that there are a lot of cormorants in their area; their answer is 'There must be a lot of fish then'.
like it or not they are right and the science backs up their claim.

Whether its sustainable is another question, that unfortunately both sides will struggle to prove.
Kev posted a while ago that Trent chub and barbel have a faster growth rate than chub and barbel on other rivers.
I believe that the reason for this is that the opposition for food has been eliminated by avian predators; i,e, smaller fish have been removed , and therefore the chub and barbel have more food to eat. This is illustrated by research done at Holme Pierrepont in the 1990s which is available to read on the internet.
So for a while, you can have a big cormorant presence, and still be catching good fish. But not for long.

My experiences.
Two sections of the same river, #1 has cormorants on #2 cormorants are controlled.
1 has well above average pike, barbel and chub, few dace and no roach at all, not one.
2 has roach to 3lbs, far less and smaller pike, but good numbers of barbel and chub but again they are smaller, it also has numberous shoals of dace.
On both sections there are resident otters.

.
'No Man Ever Fishes The Same River Twice, .... For It Is Not The Same River, .... And He Is Not The Same Man' Heraclitus of Ephesus

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Re: Wild Justice?

Post by Stewlaws » Thu Jul 30 2020 09:15

Mike J wrote:
greencard1 wrote:
Duncan Holmes wrote:
greencard1 wrote:
Usually if you point out to a WT or RSPB member that there are a lot of cormorants in their area; their answer is 'There must be a lot of fish then'.
like it or not they are right and the science backs up their claim.

Whether its sustainable is another question, that unfortunately both sides will struggle to prove.
Kev posted a while ago that Trent chub and barbel have a faster growth rate than chub and barbel on other rivers.
I believe that the reason for this is that the opposition for food has been eliminated by avian predators; i,e, smaller fish have been removed , and therefore the chub and barbel have more food to eat. This is illustrated by research done at Holme Pierrepont in the 1990s which is available to read on the internet.
So for a while, you can have a big cormorant presence, and still be catching good fish. But not for long.

My experiences.
Two sections of the same river, #1 has cormorants on #2 cormorants are controlled.
1 has well above average pike, barbel and chub, few dace and no roach at all, not one.
2 has roach to 3lbs, far less and smaller pike, but good numbers of barbel and chub but again they are smaller, it also has numberous shoals of dace.
On both sections there are resident otters.

.
Difficult to quantify Mike without having data to hand I would think, knowing how variables can influence the ecology and my experience of those that overtly manage the environment against those that covert manage ... It's a diverse pitch we play on with extremes, speaking with someone who had 30 plus years experience on foxing on commercial shoots he learnt more on fox behaviour using thermal imaging in a 12 month period than the previous 30+.
I believe our biggest mistake is going on anecdotal reports/evidence..... I've been guilty on that basis, everything I read or heard from an older generation was gospel in my eyes, nowadays I find scientific based reading more reliable in piecing together the facts, although this is usually game based not riparian.

Was down at Stockbridge looking at the Houghton stretch .... Just screaming quality,but found myself wondering if their management has changed much over the years, I'm sure it has.

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Re: Wild Justice?

Post by Mike J » Fri Jul 31 2020 07:15

Stewlaws wrote:
Mike J wrote:
greencard1 wrote:
Duncan Holmes wrote:
greencard1 wrote:
Usually if you point out to a WT or RSPB member that there are a lot of cormorants in their area; their answer is 'There must be a lot of fish then'.
like it or not they are right and the science backs up their claim.

Whether its sustainable is another question, that unfortunately both sides will struggle to prove.
Kev posted a while ago that Trent chub and barbel have a faster growth rate than chub and barbel on other rivers.
I believe that the reason for this is that the opposition for food has been eliminated by avian predators; i,e, smaller fish have been removed , and therefore the chub and barbel have more food to eat. This is illustrated by research done at Holme Pierrepont in the 1990s which is available to read on the internet.
So for a while, you can have a big cormorant presence, and still be catching good fish. But not for long.

My experiences.
Two sections of the same river, #1 has cormorants on #2 cormorants are controlled.
1 has well above average pike, barbel and chub, few dace and no roach at all, not one.
2 has roach to 3lbs, far less and smaller pike, but good numbers of barbel and chub but again they are smaller, it also has numberous shoals of dace.
On both sections there are resident otters.

.
Difficult to quantify Mike without having data to hand I would think, knowing how variables can influence the ecology and my experience of those that overtly manage the environment against those that covert manage ... It's a diverse pitch we play on with extremes, speaking with someone who had 30 plus years experience on foxing on commercial shoots he learnt more on fox behaviour using thermal imaging in a 12 month period than the previous 30+.
I believe our biggest mistake is going on anecdotal reports/evidence..... I've been guilty on that basis, everything I read or heard from an older generation was gospel in my eyes, nowadays I find scientific based reading more reliable in piecing together the facts, although this is usually game based not riparian.

Was down at Stockbridge looking at the Houghton stretch .... Just screaming quality,but found myself wondering if their management has changed much over the years, I'm sure it has.

Hi Stew, the two sections of river I mentioned have been in continuous management by two respective keepers who's time on the banks totals over 50years, it was likewise with their respective predecessors.
Your visit to the Houghton water is a similar example, where until recently, three generations of the Lunn family * had keepered the water since 1887.

The problem with any management of our countryside is that the subject was never studied in great detial until the Nature Conservancy Council was established in 1949. Even today very few areas have baseline studies and that sadly includes many of our SSSI's and this lack means the effects of various forms of management cannot be accurately correlated.
It has been my experience that individuals with a long association with a particular area or subject can be of exceptional value when assessing its potential and determining long term management objectives.

* "Years ago the Test was always crystal-clear. When I was a boy at school in Andover, it was a little market town. Now it's almost the size of a city and its waste water is finding its way into the river. They are still building more houses, though, and I have no idea where the water is going to come from to feed its domestic and commercial plumbing demands. Also, the weed in the river is not so prolific, particularly ranunculus, which acts as a filter and cleans up the river. " Mick Lunn Headkeeper to the Houghton Club 1963-1992

.
'No Man Ever Fishes The Same River Twice, .... For It Is Not The Same River, .... And He Is Not The Same Man' Heraclitus of Ephesus

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Re: Wild Justice?

Post by davelumb » Fri Jul 31 2020 08:25

As an example of WJ's mentality this is what Mark Avery thinks about Country File.

"We know that Countryfile has form in leaning towards the opinions, however ungrounded in facts, of farmers and shooters and we all have to take that as read."

https://wildjustice.org.uk/general/countryfile/

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Re: Wild Justice?

Post by Stewlaws » Fri Jul 31 2020 10:59

Mike J wrote:
Stewlaws wrote:
Mike J wrote:
greencard1 wrote:
Duncan Holmes wrote:
greencard1 wrote:
Usually if you point out to a WT or RSPB member that there are a lot of cormorants in their area; their answer is 'There must be a lot of fish then'.
like it or not they are right and the science backs up their claim.

Whether its sustainable is another question, that unfortunately both sides will struggle to prove.
Kev posted a while ago that Trent chub and barbel have a faster growth rate than chub and barbel on other rivers.
I believe that the reason for this is that the opposition for food has been eliminated by avian predators; i,e, smaller fish have been removed , and therefore the chub and barbel have more food to eat. This is illustrated by research done at Holme Pierrepont in the 1990s which is available to read on the internet.
So for a while, you can have a big cormorant presence, and still be catching good fish. But not for long.

My experiences.
Two sections of the same river, #1 has cormorants on #2 cormorants are controlled.
1 has well above average pike, barbel and chub, few dace and no roach at all, not one.
2 has roach to 3lbs, far less and smaller pike, but good numbers of barbel and chub but again they are smaller, it also has numberous shoals of dace.
On both sections there are resident otters.

.
Difficult to quantify Mike without having data to hand I would think, knowing how variables can influence the ecology and my experience of those that overtly manage the environment against those that covert manage ... It's a diverse pitch we play on with extremes, speaking with someone who had 30 plus years experience on foxing on commercial shoots he learnt more on fox behaviour using thermal imaging in a 12 month period than the previous 30+.
I believe our biggest mistake is going on anecdotal reports/evidence..... I've been guilty on that basis, everything I read or heard from an older generation was gospel in my eyes, nowadays I find scientific based reading more reliable in piecing together the facts, although this is usually game based not riparian.

Was down at Stockbridge looking at the Houghton stretch .... Just screaming quality,but found myself wondering if their management has changed much over the years, I'm sure it has.

Hi Stew, the two sections of river I mentioned have been in continuous management by two respective keepers who's time on the banks totals over 50years, it was likewise with their respective predecessors.
Your visit to the Houghton water is a similar example, where until recently, three generations of the Lunn family * had keepered the water since 1887.

The problem with any management of our countryside is that the subject was never studied in great detial until the Nature Conservancy Council was established in 1949. Even today very few areas have baseline studies and that sadly includes many of our SSSI's and this lack means the effects of various forms of management cannot be accurately correlated.
It has been my experience that individuals with a long association with a particular area or subject can be of exceptional value when assessing its potential and determining long term management objectives.

* "Years ago the Test was always crystal-clear. When I was a boy at school in Andover, it was a little market town. Now it's almost the size of a city and its waste water is finding its way into the river. They are still building more houses, though, and I have no idea where the water is going to come from to feed its domestic and commercial plumbing demands. Also, the weed in the river is not so prolific, particularly ranunculus, which acts as a filter and cleans up the river. " Mick Lunn Headkeeper to the Houghton Club 1963-1992

.
Hi Mike,

Without being a dramatist,the fact that the older generation when recounting their experiences are now discussing a by-gone era, which sounded golden, in reality at the young age of 52 myself, I've seen huge changes in diversity amongst certain species that my children won't see in numbers, the progression of the human population seems destined to serve only to drive numbers down evermore, I watched an episode of Jack Charlton last night goose flighting on the firth ... then with the late great Archie Coats on the pigeons, one species that has done well in population oddly! Anyone with time to sit with a gun rod or camera will appreciate those moments ... but for the vast they will never understand what diversity ever meant in nature.

Did you extract the words of Lunn from a book? Curious.

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Re: Wild Justice?

Post by greencard1 » Sat Aug 01 2020 09:00

davelumb wrote:
As an example of WJ's mentality this is what Mark Avery thinks about Country File.

"We know that Countryfile has form in leaning towards the opinions, however ungrounded in facts, of farmers and shooters and we all have to take that as read."

https://wildjustice.org.uk/general/countryfile/
Farmers and anglers are portrayed in a similar way on mainstream media; mostly as buffoons. Most farming or large animal vet programmes are accompanied by stupid pizzicato music suggesting a comedic subject. The last successful angling programme was a couple of clowns (Whitehouse and Mortimer, both very good clowns) doing something that most of the general public sees as stupid (fishing). But at least it put fishing back on the BBC.
If Countryfile supports farmers, then good for them.
However, Countryfile is definitely not the angler's friend. I am referring to the programme that came from Calverton fish farm. It was a blatant demonstration of misinformation. It showed some young barbel being put into a growing-on pond with a current flowing through it to get them used to flowing water. Matt Baker explained that the barbel have to get used to predators "such as heron and kingfisher". The barbel were already twice as big as kingfisher, and the pond was deep with sheer sides, so not accessible to heron. No mention was made throughout the whole programme of the orange string that criss-crossed every pond on site, or what it was there to prevent, (cormorants).

Another Countryfile programme tackled the subject of otters killing carp at fisheries, and how it is possible to trap and remove them. There was a lot of footage of cormorants swallowing fish in this piece about otters (?); but the word "cormorant" was never used.

In another prime time BBC Sunday night programme, Countryfile's Ellie Harrison presented a one hour programme called 'England's Rivers'. There was not a cormorant in sight anywhere; just as if they did not exist. Every problem associated with England's rivers was attributed to mink. Especially falling kingfisher numbers.

I read a blog a while ago by Hugh Miles in which he said something like..'I have been filming with Ellie Harrison; I talked a lot about problems caused by otters; I hope the comments make it to the final cut'. They didn't.

As long as the BBC present anglers as buffoons and continue peddling misinformation, we will make no headway. Projects such as the clear water status disaster about to unfold on the Broads will go unchallenged, and angling will continue to decline. And Mark Avery and co. will have the last laugh.

(sorry if I have repeated myself here)

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Re: Wild Justice?

Post by Duncan Holmes » Sat Aug 01 2020 09:24

greencard1 wrote:
davelumb wrote:
As an example of WJ's mentality this is what Mark Avery thinks about Country File.

"We know that Countryfile has form in leaning towards the opinions, however ungrounded in facts, of farmers and shooters and we all have to take that as read."

https://wildjustice.org.uk/general/countryfile/
Farmers and anglers are portrayed in a similar way on mainstream media; mostly as buffoons. Most farming or large animal vet programmes are accompanied by stupid pizzicato music suggesting a comedic subject. The last successful angling programme was a couple of clowns (Whitehouse and Mortimer, both very good clowns) doing something that most of the general public sees as stupid (fishing). But at least it put fishing back on the BBC.
If Countryfile supports farmers, then good for them.
However, Countryfile is definitely not the angler's friend. I am referring to the programme that came from Calverton fish farm. It was a blatant demonstration of misinformation. It showed some young barbel being put into a growing-on pond with a current flowing through it to get them used to flowing water. Matt Baker explained that the barbel have to get used to predators "such as heron and kingfisher". The barbel were already twice as big as kingfisher, and the pond was deep with sheer sides, so not accessible to heron. No mention was made throughout the whole programme of the orange string that criss-crossed every pond on site, or what it was there to prevent, (cormorants).

Another Countryfile programme tackled the subject of otters killing carp at fisheries, and how it is possible to trap and remove them. There was a lot of footage of cormorants swallowing fish in this piece about otters (?); but the word "cormorant" was never used.

In another prime time BBC Sunday night programme, Countryfile's Ellie Harrison presented a one hour programme called 'England's Rivers'. There was not a cormorant in sight anywhere; just as if they did not exist. Every problem associated with England's rivers was attributed to mink. Especially falling kingfisher numbers.

I read a blog a while ago by Hugh Miles in which he said something like..'I have been filming with Ellie Harrison; I talked a lot about problems caused by otters; I hope the comments make it to the final cut'. They didn't.

As long as the BBC present anglers as buffoons and continue peddling misinformation, we will make no headway. Projects such as the clear water status disaster about to unfold on the Broads will go unchallenged, and angling will continue to decline. And Mark Avery and co. will have the last laugh.

(sorry if I have repeated myself here)
"Projects such as the clear water status disaster about to unfold on the Broads will go unchallenged"

It certainly isn't going unchallenged and that will continue.

Watch this space :wink:
"The opinions expressed in any of my posts are my own and do not reflect the view of the any organisation that I may be associated with."

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Re: Wild Justice?

Post by Mike J » Sat Aug 01 2020 09:39

Stewlaws wrote:
Mike J wrote:
Stewlaws wrote:
Mike J wrote:
greencard1 wrote:
Duncan Holmes wrote:
greencard1 wrote:
Usually if you point out to a WT or RSPB member that there are a lot of cormorants in their area; their answer is 'There must be a lot of fish then'.
like it or not they are right and the science backs up their claim.

Whether its sustainable is another question, that unfortunately both sides will struggle to prove.
Kev posted a while ago that Trent chub and barbel have a faster growth rate than chub and barbel on other rivers.
I believe that the reason for this is that the opposition for food has been eliminated by avian predators; i,e, smaller fish have been removed , and therefore the chub and barbel have more food to eat. This is illustrated by research done at Holme Pierrepont in the 1990s which is available to read on the internet.
So for a while, you can have a big cormorant presence, and still be catching good fish. But not for long.

My experiences.
Two sections of the same river, #1 has cormorants on #2 cormorants are controlled.
1 has well above average pike, barbel and chub, few dace and no roach at all, not one.
2 has roach to 3lbs, far less and smaller pike, but good numbers of barbel and chub but again they are smaller, it also has numberous shoals of dace.
On both sections there are resident otters.

.
Difficult to quantify Mike without having data to hand I would think, knowing how variables can influence the ecology and my experience of those that overtly manage the environment against those that covert manage ... It's a diverse pitch we play on with extremes, speaking with someone who had 30 plus years experience on foxing on commercial shoots he learnt more on fox behaviour using thermal imaging in a 12 month period than the previous 30+.
I believe our biggest mistake is going on anecdotal reports/evidence..... I've been guilty on that basis, everything I read or heard from an older generation was gospel in my eyes, nowadays I find scientific based reading more reliable in piecing together the facts, although this is usually game based not riparian.

Was down at Stockbridge looking at the Houghton stretch .... Just screaming quality,but found myself wondering if their management has changed much over the years, I'm sure it has.

Hi Stew, the two sections of river I mentioned have been in continuous management by two respective keepers who's time on the banks totals over 50years, it was likewise with their respective predecessors.
Your visit to the Houghton water is a similar example, where until recently, three generations of the Lunn family * had keepered the water since 1887.

The problem with any management of our countryside is that the subject was never studied in great detial until the Nature Conservancy Council was established in 1949. Even today very few areas have baseline studies and that sadly includes many of our SSSI's and this lack means the effects of various forms of management cannot be accurately correlated.
It has been my experience that individuals with a long association with a particular area or subject can be of exceptional value when assessing its potential and determining long term management objectives.

* "Years ago the Test was always crystal-clear. When I was a boy at school in Andover, it was a little market town. Now it's almost the size of a city and its waste water is finding its way into the river. They are still building more houses, though, and I have no idea where the water is going to come from to feed its domestic and commercial plumbing demands. Also, the weed in the river is not so prolific, particularly ranunculus, which acts as a filter and cleans up the river. " Mick Lunn Headkeeper to the Houghton Club 1963-1992

.
Hi Mike,

Without being a dramatist,the fact that the older generation when recounting their experiences are now discussing a by-gone era, which sounded golden, in reality at the young age of 52 myself, I've seen huge changes in diversity amongst certain species that my children won't see in numbers, the progression of the human population seems destined to serve only to drive numbers down evermore, I watched an episode of Jack Charlton last night goose flighting on the firth ... then with the late great Archie Coats on the pigeons, one species that has done well in population oddly! Anyone with time to sit with a gun rod or camera will appreciate those moments ... but for the vast they will never understand what diversity ever meant in nature.

Did you extract the words of Lunn from a book? Curious.

Hi Stew,

Mick Lunn's quote is from his memoir 'A Particular Lunn: A Hundred Glorious Years on the Test' in my library, a book I can highly recommend.
Mick Lunn along with Frank Sawyer are the only two river keepers who have been afforded a Telegraph obituary, I was privileged to meet the latter but sadly never the former.
I have fished the Test in several places and as you say it looks almost unreal that a river could ever be so perfect. I know of 7+Chub and 30+Pike and would happiely give a chunk of my pension for week to coarse fish it, sadly all the best water is closed through the winter to protect the banks.

Major Archie Coats, now there is a name from the golden era of pigeon shooting, and someone I have also met, when he gave us a talk on my keepers course at Fordingbridge. He described rolling a wet wine bottle in wood ash and decoying pigeons down to it, something I tried, unsuccessfully.

The one thing we do know is that nature can adapt to change and just because a species ceases to exist in one area is doesn't mean it is not thriving somewhere else.
The lack of a baseline means we never know what was actually present before we arrived and began our 'management'. Oddly enough if it wasn't for the Victorians and their collections (dare I say trophies) we wouldn't have much idea at all! Strange old world is it not?

.
'No Man Ever Fishes The Same River Twice, .... For It Is Not The Same River, .... And He Is Not The Same Man' Heraclitus of Ephesus

Stewlaws
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Re: Wild Justice?

Post by Stewlaws » Sat Aug 01 2020 10:23

Mike J wrote:
Stewlaws wrote:
Mike J wrote:
Stewlaws wrote:
Mike J wrote:
greencard1 wrote:
Duncan Holmes wrote:
greencard1 wrote:
Usually if you point out to a WT or RSPB member that there are a lot of cormorants in their area; their answer is 'There must be a lot of fish then'.
like it or not they are right and the science backs up their claim.

Whether its sustainable is another question, that unfortunately both sides will struggle to prove.
Kev posted a while ago that Trent chub and barbel have a faster growth rate than chub and barbel on other rivers.
I believe that the reason for this is that the opposition for food has been eliminated by avian predators; i,e, smaller fish have been removed , and therefore the chub and barbel have more food to eat. This is illustrated by research done at Holme Pierrepont in the 1990s which is available to read on the internet.
So for a while, you can have a big cormorant presence, and still be catching good fish. But not for long.

My experiences.
Two sections of the same river, #1 has cormorants on #2 cormorants are controlled.
1 has well above average pike, barbel and chub, few dace and no roach at all, not one.
2 has roach to 3lbs, far less and smaller pike, but good numbers of barbel and chub but again they are smaller, it also has numberous shoals of dace.
On both sections there are resident otters.

.
Difficult to quantify Mike without having data to hand I would think, knowing how variables can influence the ecology and my experience of those that overtly manage the environment against those that covert manage ... It's a diverse pitch we play on with extremes, speaking with someone who had 30 plus years experience on foxing on commercial shoots he learnt more on fox behaviour using thermal imaging in a 12 month period than the previous 30+.
I believe our biggest mistake is going on anecdotal reports/evidence..... I've been guilty on that basis, everything I read or heard from an older generation was gospel in my eyes, nowadays I find scientific based reading more reliable in piecing together the facts, although this is usually game based not riparian.

Was down at Stockbridge looking at the Houghton stretch .... Just screaming quality,but found myself wondering if their management has changed much over the years, I'm sure it has.

Hi Stew, the two sections of river I mentioned have been in continuous management by two respective keepers who's time on the banks totals over 50years, it was likewise with their respective predecessors.
Your visit to the Houghton water is a similar example, where until recently, three generations of the Lunn family * had keepered the water since 1887.

The problem with any management of our countryside is that the subject was never studied in great detial until the Nature Conservancy Council was established in 1949. Even today very few areas have baseline studies and that sadly includes many of our SSSI's and this lack means the effects of various forms of management cannot be accurately correlated.
It has been my experience that individuals with a long association with a particular area or subject can be of exceptional value when assessing its potential and determining long term management objectives.

* "Years ago the Test was always crystal-clear. When I was a boy at school in Andover, it was a little market town. Now it's almost the size of a city and its waste water is finding its way into the river. They are still building more houses, though, and I have no idea where the water is going to come from to feed its domestic and commercial plumbing demands. Also, the weed in the river is not so prolific, particularly ranunculus, which acts as a filter and cleans up the river. " Mick Lunn Headkeeper to the Houghton Club 1963-1992

.
Hi Mike,

Without being a dramatist,the fact that the older generation when recounting their experiences are now discussing a by-gone era, which sounded golden, in reality at the young age of 52 myself, I've seen huge changes in diversity amongst certain species that my children won't see in numbers, the progression of the human population seems destined to serve only to drive numbers down evermore, I watched an episode of Jack Charlton last night goose flighting on the firth ... then with the late great Archie Coats on the pigeons, one species that has done well in population oddly! Anyone with time to sit with a gun rod or camera will appreciate those moments ... but for the vast they will never understand what diversity ever meant in nature.

Did you extract the words of Lunn from a book? Curious.

Hi Stew,

Mick Lunn's quote is from his memoir 'A Particular Lunn: A Hundred Glorious Years on the Test' in my library, a book I can highly recommend.
Mick Lunn along with Frank Sawyer are the only two river keepers who have been afforded a Telegraph obituary, I was privileged to meet the latter but sadly never the former.
I have fished the Test in several places and as you say it looks almost unreal that a river could ever be so perfect. I know of 7+Chub and 30+Pike and would happiely give a chunk of my pension for week to coarse fish it, sadly all the best water is closed through the winter to protect the banks.

Major Archie Coats, now there is a name from the golden era of pigeon shooting, and someone I have also met, when he gave us a talk on my keepers course at Fordingbridge. He described rolling a wet wine bottle in wood ash and decoying pigeons down to it, something I tried, unsuccessfully.

The one thing we do know is that nature can adapt to change and just because a species ceases to exist in one area is doesn't mean it is not thriving somewhere else.
The lack of a baseline means we never know what was actually present before we arrived and began our 'management'. Oddly enough if it wasn't for the Victorians and their collections (dare I say trophies) we wouldn't have much idea at all! Strange old world is it not?

.
Thanks Mike, just gone on line and picked up a used copy, will enjoy reading this from a river keepers perspective.👌

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Re: Wild Justice?

Post by greencard1 » Sat Aug 01 2020 10:41

Duncan Holmes wrote:
greencard1 wrote:
davelumb wrote:
As an example of WJ's mentality this is what Mark Avery thinks about Country File.

"We know that Countryfile has form in leaning towards the opinions, however ungrounded in facts, of farmers and shooters and we all have to take that as read."

https://wildjustice.org.uk/general/countryfile/
Farmers and anglers are portrayed in a similar way on mainstream media; mostly as buffoons. Most farming or large animal vet programmes are accompanied by stupid pizzicato music suggesting a comedic subject. The last successful angling programme was a couple of clowns (Whitehouse and Mortimer, both very good clowns) doing something that most of the general public sees as stupid (fishing). But at least it put fishing back on the BBC.
If Countryfile supports farmers, then good for them.
However, Countryfile is definitely not the angler's friend. I am referring to the programme that came from Calverton fish farm. It was a blatant demonstration of misinformation. It showed some young barbel being put into a growing-on pond with a current flowing through it to get them used to flowing water. Matt Baker explained that the barbel have to get used to predators "such as heron and kingfisher". The barbel were already twice as big as kingfisher, and the pond was deep with sheer sides, so not accessible to heron. No mention was made throughout the whole programme of the orange string that criss-crossed every pond on site, or what it was there to prevent, (cormorants).

Another Countryfile programme tackled the subject of otters killing carp at fisheries, and how it is possible to trap and remove them. There was a lot of footage of cormorants swallowing fish in this piece about otters (?); but the word "cormorant" was never used.

In another prime time BBC Sunday night programme, Countryfile's Ellie Harrison presented a one hour programme called 'England's Rivers'. There was not a cormorant in sight anywhere; just as if they did not exist. Every problem associated with England's rivers was attributed to mink. Especially falling kingfisher numbers.

I read a blog a while ago by Hugh Miles in which he said something like..'I have been filming with Ellie Harrison; I talked a lot about problems caused by otters; I hope the comments make it to the final cut'. They didn't.

As long as the BBC present anglers as buffoons and continue peddling misinformation, we will make no headway. Projects such as the clear water status disaster about to unfold on the Broads will go unchallenged, and angling will continue to decline. And Mark Avery and co. will have the last laugh.

(sorry if I have repeated myself here)
"Projects such as the clear water status disaster about to unfold on the Broads will go unchallenged"

It certainly isn't going unchallenged and that will continue.

Watch this space :wink:
Sorry Duncan; I meant unchallenged by the general public because they will not even know about it.
Well done to you and everyone fighting the scheme.

User avatar
Mike J
Zander
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Posts: 6022
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Location: Wessex

Re: Wild Justice?

Post by Mike J » Sat Aug 01 2020 10:41

Stewlaws wrote:
Mike J wrote:
Stewlaws wrote:
Mike J wrote:
Stewlaws wrote:
Mike J wrote:
greencard1 wrote:
Duncan Holmes wrote:
greencard1 wrote:
Usually if you point out to a WT or RSPB member that there are a lot of cormorants in their area; their answer is 'There must be a lot of fish then'.
like it or not they are right and the science backs up their claim.

Whether its sustainable is another question, that unfortunately both sides will struggle to prove.
Kev posted a while ago that Trent chub and barbel have a faster growth rate than chub and barbel on other rivers.
I believe that the reason for this is that the opposition for food has been eliminated by avian predators; i,e, smaller fish have been removed , and therefore the chub and barbel have more food to eat. This is illustrated by research done at Holme Pierrepont in the 1990s which is available to read on the internet.
So for a while, you can have a big cormorant presence, and still be catching good fish. But not for long.

My experiences.
Two sections of the same river, #1 has cormorants on #2 cormorants are controlled.
1 has well above average pike, barbel and chub, few dace and no roach at all, not one.
2 has roach to 3lbs, far less and smaller pike, but good numbers of barbel and chub but again they are smaller, it also has numberous shoals of dace.
On both sections there are resident otters.

.
Difficult to quantify Mike without having data to hand I would think, knowing how variables can influence the ecology and my experience of those that overtly manage the environment against those that covert manage ... It's a diverse pitch we play on with extremes, speaking with someone who had 30 plus years experience on foxing on commercial shoots he learnt more on fox behaviour using thermal imaging in a 12 month period than the previous 30+.
I believe our biggest mistake is going on anecdotal reports/evidence..... I've been guilty on that basis, everything I read or heard from an older generation was gospel in my eyes, nowadays I find scientific based reading more reliable in piecing together the facts, although this is usually game based not riparian.

Was down at Stockbridge looking at the Houghton stretch .... Just screaming quality,but found myself wondering if their management has changed much over the years, I'm sure it has.

Hi Stew, the two sections of river I mentioned have been in continuous management by two respective keepers who's time on the banks totals over 50years, it was likewise with their respective predecessors.
Your visit to the Houghton water is a similar example, where until recently, three generations of the Lunn family * had keepered the water since 1887.

The problem with any management of our countryside is that the subject was never studied in great detial until the Nature Conservancy Council was established in 1949. Even today very few areas have baseline studies and that sadly includes many of our SSSI's and this lack means the effects of various forms of management cannot be accurately correlated.
It has been my experience that individuals with a long association with a particular area or subject can be of exceptional value when assessing its potential and determining long term management objectives.

* "Years ago the Test was always crystal-clear. When I was a boy at school in Andover, it was a little market town. Now it's almost the size of a city and its waste water is finding its way into the river. They are still building more houses, though, and I have no idea where the water is going to come from to feed its domestic and commercial plumbing demands. Also, the weed in the river is not so prolific, particularly ranunculus, which acts as a filter and cleans up the river. " Mick Lunn Headkeeper to the Houghton Club 1963-1992

.
Hi Mike,

Without being a dramatist,the fact that the older generation when recounting their experiences are now discussing a by-gone era, which sounded golden, in reality at the young age of 52 myself, I've seen huge changes in diversity amongst certain species that my children won't see in numbers, the progression of the human population seems destined to serve only to drive numbers down evermore, I watched an episode of Jack Charlton last night goose flighting on the firth ... then with the late great Archie Coats on the pigeons, one species that has done well in population oddly! Anyone with time to sit with a gun rod or camera will appreciate those moments ... but for the vast they will never understand what diversity ever meant in nature.

Did you extract the words of Lunn from a book? Curious.

Hi Stew,

Mick Lunn's quote is from his memoir 'A Particular Lunn: A Hundred Glorious Years on the Test' in my library, a book I can highly recommend.
Mick Lunn along with Frank Sawyer are the only two river keepers who have been afforded a Telegraph obituary, I was privileged to meet the latter but sadly never the former.
I have fished the Test in several places and as you say it looks almost unreal that a river could ever be so perfect. I know of 7+Chub and 30+Pike and would happiely give a chunk of my pension for week to coarse fish it, sadly all the best water is closed through the winter to protect the banks.

Major Archie Coats, now there is a name from the golden era of pigeon shooting, and someone I have also met, when he gave us a talk on my keepers course at Fordingbridge. He described rolling a wet wine bottle in wood ash and decoying pigeons down to it, something I tried, unsuccessfully.

The one thing we do know is that nature can adapt to change and just because a species ceases to exist in one area is doesn't mean it is not thriving somewhere else.
The lack of a baseline means we never know what was actually present before we arrived and began our 'management'. Oddly enough if it wasn't for the Victorians and their collections (dare I say trophies) we wouldn't have much idea at all! Strange old world is it not?

.
Thanks Mike, just gone on line and picked up a used copy, will enjoy reading this from a river keepers perspective.👌


What did you pay for it?
They were snapped up v quickly, many going to the USA where mine was eventually repatriated, brand new I paid around £50 for it some years ago.

If you get a chance buy an original copy of 'Keeper of the Stream' by Frank Sawyer. He was the first real 'thinker' when it came to river management and you will find it interesting to compare how the two treat the subject.

Frank Sawyer made a film about his river for the BBC back on the early days of black and white TV, the film had no sound and he gave a running commentary as the programme was transmitted. At Fordingbridge he did the same to us young keepers and enchanted the whole room into complete awe. When the film stopped it was as if the world had stopped turning, truely one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

:handshake:
'No Man Ever Fishes The Same River Twice, .... For It Is Not The Same River, .... And He Is Not The Same Man' Heraclitus of Ephesus

User avatar
Duncan Holmes
Barbel
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Posts: 4716
Joined: Mon Feb 20 2012 06:00
Location: In the heart of Norfolk
Contact:

Re: Wild Justice?

Post by Duncan Holmes » Sat Aug 01 2020 10:51

greencard1 wrote:
Duncan Holmes wrote:
greencard1 wrote:
davelumb wrote:
As an example of WJ's mentality this is what Mark Avery thinks about Country File.

"We know that Countryfile has form in leaning towards the opinions, however ungrounded in facts, of farmers and shooters and we all have to take that as read."

https://wildjustice.org.uk/general/countryfile/
Farmers and anglers are portrayed in a similar way on mainstream media; mostly as buffoons. Most farming or large animal vet programmes are accompanied by stupid pizzicato music suggesting a comedic subject. The last successful angling programme was a couple of clowns (Whitehouse and Mortimer, both very good clowns) doing something that most of the general public sees as stupid (fishing). But at least it put fishing back on the BBC.
If Countryfile supports farmers, then good for them.
However, Countryfile is definitely not the angler's friend. I am referring to the programme that came from Calverton fish farm. It was a blatant demonstration of misinformation. It showed some young barbel being put into a growing-on pond with a current flowing through it to get them used to flowing water. Matt Baker explained that the barbel have to get used to predators "such as heron and kingfisher". The barbel were already twice as big as kingfisher, and the pond was deep with sheer sides, so not accessible to heron. No mention was made throughout the whole programme of the orange string that criss-crossed every pond on site, or what it was there to prevent, (cormorants).

Another Countryfile programme tackled the subject of otters killing carp at fisheries, and how it is possible to trap and remove them. There was a lot of footage of cormorants swallowing fish in this piece about otters (?); but the word "cormorant" was never used.

In another prime time BBC Sunday night programme, Countryfile's Ellie Harrison presented a one hour programme called 'England's Rivers'. There was not a cormorant in sight anywhere; just as if they did not exist. Every problem associated with England's rivers was attributed to mink. Especially falling kingfisher numbers.

I read a blog a while ago by Hugh Miles in which he said something like..'I have been filming with Ellie Harrison; I talked a lot about problems caused by otters; I hope the comments make it to the final cut'. They didn't.

As long as the BBC present anglers as buffoons and continue peddling misinformation, we will make no headway. Projects such as the clear water status disaster about to unfold on the Broads will go unchallenged, and angling will continue to decline. And Mark Avery and co. will have the last laugh.

(sorry if I have repeated myself here)
"Projects such as the clear water status disaster about to unfold on the Broads will go unchallenged"

It certainly isn't going unchallenged and that will continue.

Watch this space :wink:
Sorry Duncan; I meant unchallenged by the general public because they will not even know about it.
Well done to you and everyone fighting the scheme.
No apologies needed, I do know what you mean about the public, its up to angling to make it a public issue, we are the public after all.
"The opinions expressed in any of my posts are my own and do not reflect the view of the any organisation that I may be associated with."

Stewlaws
Perch
Perch
Posts: 851
Joined: Thu Dec 28 2017 16:49

Re: Wild Justice?

Post by Stewlaws » Sun Aug 02 2020 09:26

Mike J wrote:
Stewlaws wrote:
Mike J wrote:
Stewlaws wrote:
Mike J wrote:
Stewlaws wrote:
Mike J wrote:
greencard1 wrote:
Duncan Holmes wrote:
greencard1 wrote:
Usually if you point out to a WT or RSPB member that there are a lot of cormorants in their area; their answer is 'There must be a lot of fish then'.
like it or not they are right and the science backs up their claim.

Whether its sustainable is another question, that unfortunately both sides will struggle to prove.
Kev posted a while ago that Trent chub and barbel have a faster growth rate than chub and barbel on other rivers.
I believe that the reason for this is that the opposition for food has been eliminated by avian predators; i,e, smaller fish have been removed , and therefore the chub and barbel have more food to eat. This is illustrated by research done at Holme Pierrepont in the 1990s which is available to read on the internet.
So for a while, you can have a big cormorant presence, and still be catching good fish. But not for long.

My experiences.
Two sections of the same river, #1 has cormorants on #2 cormorants are controlled.
1 has well above average pike, barbel and chub, few dace and no roach at all, not one.
2 has roach to 3lbs, far less and smaller pike, but good numbers of barbel and chub but again they are smaller, it also has numberous shoals of dace.
On both sections there are resident otters.

.
Difficult to quantify Mike without having data to hand I would think, knowing how variables can influence the ecology and my experience of those that overtly manage the environment against those that covert manage ... It's a diverse pitch we play on with extremes, speaking with someone who had 30 plus years experience on foxing on commercial shoots he learnt more on fox behaviour using thermal imaging in a 12 month period than the previous 30+.
I believe our biggest mistake is going on anecdotal reports/evidence..... I've been guilty on that basis, everything I read or heard from an older generation was gospel in my eyes, nowadays I find scientific based reading more reliable in piecing together the facts, although this is usually game based not riparian.

Was down at Stockbridge looking at the Houghton stretch .... Just screaming quality,but found myself wondering if their management has changed much over the years, I'm sure it has.

Hi Stew, the two sections of river I mentioned have been in continuous management by two respective keepers who's time on the banks totals over 50years, it was likewise with their respective predecessors.
Your visit to the Houghton water is a similar example, where until recently, three generations of the Lunn family * had keepered the water since 1887.

The problem with any management of our countryside is that the subject was never studied in great detial until the Nature Conservancy Council was established in 1949. Even today very few areas have baseline studies and that sadly includes many of our SSSI's and this lack means the effects of various forms of management cannot be accurately correlated.
It has been my experience that individuals with a long association with a particular area or subject can be of exceptional value when assessing its potential and determining long term management objectives.

* "Years ago the Test was always crystal-clear. When I was a boy at school in Andover, it was a little market town. Now it's almost the size of a city and its waste water is finding its way into the river. They are still building more houses, though, and I have no idea where the water is going to come from to feed its domestic and commercial plumbing demands. Also, the weed in the river is not so prolific, particularly ranunculus, which acts as a filter and cleans up the river. " Mick Lunn Headkeeper to the Houghton Club 1963-1992

.
Hi Mike,

Without being a dramatist,the fact that the older generation when recounting their experiences are now discussing a by-gone era, which sounded golden, in reality at the young age of 52 myself, I've seen huge changes in diversity amongst certain species that my children won't see in numbers, the progression of the human population seems destined to serve only to drive numbers down evermore, I watched an episode of Jack Charlton last night goose flighting on the firth ... then with the late great Archie Coats on the pigeons, one species that has done well in population oddly! Anyone with time to sit with a gun rod or camera will appreciate those moments ... but for the vast they will never understand what diversity ever meant in nature.

Did you extract the words of Lunn from a book? Curious.

Hi Stew,

Mick Lunn's quote is from his memoir 'A Particular Lunn: A Hundred Glorious Years on the Test' in my library, a book I can highly recommend.
Mick Lunn along with Frank Sawyer are the only two river keepers who have been afforded a Telegraph obituary, I was privileged to meet the latter but sadly never the former.
I have fished the Test in several places and as you say it looks almost unreal that a river could ever be so perfect. I know of 7+Chub and 30+Pike and would happiely give a chunk of my pension for week to coarse fish it, sadly all the best water is closed through the winter to protect the banks.

Major Archie Coats, now there is a name from the golden era of pigeon shooting, and someone I have also met, when he gave us a talk on my keepers course at Fordingbridge. He described rolling a wet wine bottle in wood ash and decoying pigeons down to it, something I tried, unsuccessfully.

The one thing we do know is that nature can adapt to change and just because a species ceases to exist in one area is doesn't mean it is not thriving somewhere else.
The lack of a baseline means we never know what was actually present before we arrived and began our 'management'. Oddly enough if it wasn't for the Victorians and their collections (dare I say trophies) we wouldn't have much idea at all! Strange old world is it not?

.
Thanks Mike, just gone on line and picked up a used copy, will enjoy reading this from a river keepers perspective.👌


What did you pay for it?
They were snapped up v quickly, many going to the USA where mine was eventually repatriated, brand new I paid around £50 for it some years ago.

If you get a chance buy an original copy of 'Keeper of the Stream' by Frank Sawyer. He was the first real 'thinker' when it came to river management and you will find it interesting to compare how the two treat the subject.

Frank Sawyer made a film about his river for the BBC back on the early days of black and white TV, the film had no sound and he gave a running commentary as the programme was transmitted. At Fordingbridge he did the same to us young keepers and enchanted the whole room into complete awe. When the film stopped it was as if the world had stopped turning, truely one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

:handshake:
Morning Mike

Paid the supreme price of £3.33 including postage ... absolute bargain, I'm sure I will enjoy reading about the test .

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