Monday, 29 March 2010

Workshop Report

Last week saw 110 delegates and speakers converge upon the Tufton Arms at Appleby for our workshop 'Trout Stream Management in the Real World'.

And what a two days it turned-out to be! The speakers were all excellent and gave many thought provoking presentations on subjects as diverse at genetics, stocking, habitat restoration, fish passes and the impacts of climatic change. Question sessions proved to be very useful and our decision to allow lots of time for this proved to be a good one.

There was also plenty of time for delegates to network and already a number of possible collaborations are being developed. In partnership with ART and the S&TA there are a number of issues that we hope to follow-up using their 'lobbying networks'.

The evening event ' How Good Was Your River' also went very well. We had a round 25 local anglers and riparian owners turn-up and some of the information provided was fascinating. The output from the night will shortly appear on our website Many of those on the night have also promised to hunt out historical records that will help us build-up a picture of how the Eden has changed over the decades. If you have any information you think would be of interest please contact me at the ERT Offices.

Feedback after the workshop has been very positive and there does appear to be a real appetite for 'trouty' events. All agreed it would be great if we could run a follow-up workshop in three or so, years time.

The one thing that really stood out for me was the 'broad church' of attendees which included landowners, fishing associations, clubs and rivers trusts from north and south of the border. So often events of this nature are the preserve of professionals from large organisations and it made a refreshing change to buck the trend!

The workshop could not have taken place were it not for some very kind sponsors and funders who are listed below:

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Upland Habitat Manual

The 'English' launch of the manual took place at our Trout Stream Workshop on Tuesday this week. (Left to right) Vaughan Lewis (Windrush AEC), Heidi Stone (Environment Agency), Shaun Leonard (Wild Trout Trust) and myself (Eden Rivers Trust)

Following the successful track record of the Wild Trout Survival Guide and the Chalkstream Habitat Manual, the Upland Rivers Habitat Manual is aimed at fishing clubs, river keepers and riparian owners, helping them identify problems and finding solutions. It gives clear ‘DIY’ advice for local river improvement projects as well as the fundamental importance of land use and the need to work in partnership to address catchment wide issues.

Wild Trout Trust Director Shaun Leonard said ‘This guide is a fantastic, practical resource for clubs and owners. It is so important for grassroots organisations to feel they can address the problems of their local rivers at both a reach and a catchment scale. This guide is one way that the Wild Trout Trust can support and inspire local groups to take action. Wild trout, including sea trout, are a strong and visible indicator of the health of the river system and fishing clubs and owners have a tremendous opportunity – and responsibility – to look after them and the wider ecosystem’.

The Upland Rivers Manual was supported by the Environment Agency in England and Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government. The manual was produced by Vaughan Lewis of Windrush AEC with support from Dave Charlesworth (Environment Agency Wales), Martin Janes (River Restoration Centre), Alistair Maltby (Association of Rivers Trusts), Simon Johnson (Eden Rivers Trust) and Tim Jacklin (Wild Trout Trust).

The manual is in Portable Document Format (pdf) and will be available for free download from the Wild Trout Trust website ( from 1st April, and a high-resolution version is available on CD from the WTT on-line shop for £10 including P&P.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Under Starters Orders......

The trout fishing season starts on 15 March and the roving angler scheme for the Eden Valley - Go Wild in Eden - is back for 2010. Go Wild provides exclusive access to over 25 beats of wild brown trout and grayling fishing in beautiful surroundings.

As well as providing some very challenging fishing, Go Wild enables anglers to enjoy some of Cumbria’s most unspoiled scenery. As the beats are on private land, accessible only with permission from the landowner or through the Go Wild scheme, you can enjoy these hidden gems of the Cumbrian countryside away from the crowds.

Managed by the Eden Rivers Trust, Go Wild in Eden is now in its sixth year and has proved very popular with local and visiting anglers, as well as landowners, who kindly allow Go Wild anglers access to their land. The number of beats has more than doubled since it started!

Go Wild is an extremely important initiative as it creates a link between farming and fishing. Many of the beats incorporated into the scheme are a direct result of ERT’s important habitat restoration work. This creates a real ‘win:win situation, as not only does it create conditions for wild fish to thrive in , but it also provides farmers and landowners with a modest income from the fishing. This invaluable income can help to fund the future conservation management of the river.

For those with access to the internet, visit to see the fishing available, download beat maps and purchase tokens. Otherwise you can obtain these from Eden Rivers Trust on 01768 866788 or email Beat maps and tokens are also available from John Norris of Penrith (see very cool links) and Appleby and Carlisle Tourist Information Centres.

Tokens are available in books of 4 (£10) or 10 (£25) and beats vary in cost; from one to four tokens per beat.

The brown trout season runs from 15th March to 30th September and you can fish for grayling from the 16th June to the 14th March.

Anglers are reminded that all Go Wild Beats are operated on a 100% catch and release basis.

Don't forget about the many Angling Associations that offer some superb wild trout fishing throughout the whole length of the catchment - on an affordable day ticket basis. See the very cool links section on the right of this blog.

ERT wishes you all a 'Drag Free' season!