Sunday, 25 June 2017

Better conditions with the cooler weather though lower beats still had temperatures yesterday as high as 70 degrees  with a very poor water colour once again -  not that it stopped many of those beats fishing.
Perhaps those who did fish in conditions posing a threat to salmon stocks might click on the attached link and reflect somewhat.  WUF have the report but so far silence though I understand at least one person in charge believes WYE salmon can survive higher temperatures than other Atlantic salmon rivers!!!

 Looks like we could get some substantial rain next week if the Met office gets it right.

A fish yesterday to Dave Palmer from the Golden mile's Handcocks stream on a small Willie Gunn.

2 fish reported at the Rectory, about 10lbs each to Alex and Zac Mitchell. Be like Piccadilly station up there today I suspect.!
Shy 'local angler' was there as suspected  12lb  fish from the head of Rectory pool.
See below the EA reply to a letter from WSA raising issues re the wild swimming issues on the Wye.
make of it what you will but....

Dear Stuart,

Recreational use of the River Wye

Thank you for your letter 2nd June 2017, and further to my email on the 6th June 2017, I apologise for the delay, I am now in a position to respond to the issues raised in your letter.

The harmonious and respectful shared use of the river by all users has long been the objective of the Environment Agency, even before we became the navigation authority in 2002. We have to accept that as all users are made up from and will therefore reflect wider society, there will be, on occasions, regrettably, unacceptable behaviour by individuals. We have invested a great deal of time and effort to try and ensure these instances are rare, and the majority of the feedback we have received from all user groups is that the situation is continually improving. I won’t list all the initiatives here, as I believe you are aware of them, but if you would like more information on any of them please do contact me.

Wild swimming appears to be a growing activity. We have policies outlined in our Navigation Plan, indicating our aim is to support and encourage all sensitive recreational use of the river. The more people that use and understand the river, the more it is likely that the river will be given the due consideration it deserves from all users and beneficiaries in its catchment.

We are aware of the proposed SARA event, and in line with the position outlined above, we have been liaising with the organisers to try and facilitate a way forward that is acceptable to all users. We have encouraged them to engage with owners. We have also included the proposal in our Calendar of Events on our website:

This calendar includes all river event proposals that we are made aware of. Inclusion does not, however, imply that an event has received our approval. Events are included so that any potential conflicts can be resolved between user groups. Normally this resolution occurs naturally but we are always willing to try to facilitate and support where this process proves to be contentious.

Our powers and responsibilities with regard to navigation are clear cut. As you rightly say, the Wye Navigation Order 2002 provides the regulatory framework for our management of navigation activity on the river. Our powers and responsibilities relate to the use of “vessels” to navigate the river and consequently the Order does not provide powers for us to regulate the activity of swimming. Nor does the Order provide any clarity as to whether there is or there is not a public right to use the river for swimming. We cannot comment further on that, as we are not the arbiter on such matters.

Consequently, in response to your question:

Are the fishery owners expected to simply accommodate such events or should we expect the authorities to address our concerns giving due account to the law?”

Owners can expect us to fulfil our obligations under the legislation we are responsible for implementing.  In line with our policies, they can also expect us to try to help resolve issues on the river between users even if we don’t have the ability to control them. As outlined above, that is exactly what we’ve been doing with the proposed SARA event.

Turning to your concerns about the potential for wild swim events and others to adversely impact on designated species, I have received advice from colleagues. In summary, and having trawled through the relevant scientific studies and papers on such matters, there is no evidence that either wild swimming or canoeing is likely to have any significant impact on protected species. Associated activities that might involve trampling gravels or disturbing nesting sites do, however, have the potential to cause adverse impacts. Hence why all the information and guidance we produce highlights these risks. We also have signs in place now at many of the most popular launch sites highlighting this issue. Likewise the Canoe Hire Approval Scheme that is promoted by Canoe England requires Hire companies to inform their customers of this issue and to provide them with appropriate guidance.

I’m sure you would accept that all activities on and around the river have the potential to adversely affect the protected species. Our aim is ensure the relevant users across all activities are aware of the risks and are provided with guidance that enables them to ensure those risks are well managed. We are not complacent on this matter and we accept there is always more that could be done to further reduce the risk. We keep our initiatives in this regard under review and we are willing to listen to any proposals that enable use of the river to take place with reduced risk to protected species.

I hope this letter satisfactorily answers your queries and explains what we are, and what we are not able to regulate in relation to your concerns. I can assure you, we will continue to try and facilitate harmonious use of the river and I would be very happy to meet you if you would like to discuss our approach to these matters further.

Yours sincerely

Dane Broomfield

Waterway Manager

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Some rain in the Upper Wye and Irfon catchment has given about a foot or so of fresh water on the river this morning. This should further drop temperatures and hopefully once again clear the algae from the bottom river and perk the current salmon up into a taking mood again.  We shall see.

Rise already starting to fall away on upper beats and not even reached Hereford yet.
One fish reported from Glanwye by Christopher Morley on fly from the Boils.

Extract from a recent letter from EA re canoe and wild swimming activities. I wonder if you could ever agree with the sentiments expressed
Wild swimming appears to be a growing activity. We have policies outlined in our Navigation Plan, indicating our aim is to support and encourage all sensitive recreational use of the river. The more people that use and understand the river, the more it is likely that the river will be given the due consideration it deserves from all users and beneficiaries in its catchment."

As if !!!!


Why didn't someone tell the poor devils I wonder.   Wonder how they knew if the fish were residents or travellers and how many times they saw the same fish???

P. W. from Windsor
Friday 23 June 2017 (1 day ago)
Area:Lower Wye
Beat:Goodrich Court
No. of Anglers:3
River at 0.25m on EA Ross gauge with remains of 2” freshet and water at 68°F / 18°C, with a dirty orange brown colour (algae bloom or potato field wash off?) making visibility less than 12” – with thin layer of silt on all the gravel. Needs a good flood to wash it clean.
Four experienced anglers fly fished from early until late with all types and sizes of flies and methods, but no success. Saw many (30+) fish of all sizes in all the main pools throughout the day, both residents and travellers, but could not tempt them.

Friday, 23 June 2017

A continuation of cooler temperatures should enable river temperatures to drop slowly though they remained high enough to cause concerns for fish welfare, To its credit Bigswier has suspended fishing for the time being and others considered doing so.  However as usual nothing in the terms of advice to anglers from either NRW or WUF.
Many experienced rods of course made their own decision and did not fish. Others found conditions pretty much impossible, others carried on.
Raised eyebrows for many  to say the least, at reports of a sea liced fish caught at the Nyth.  Nothing is impossible however unlikely in fishing but one does wonder if perhaps it was just river lice seen on the fish.  Many coarse fish and trout have been invaded by theses lice with reports up and down the river and salmon often get them too after having been holed up in the river for a while.   Not having seen the fish we will never know.

By the way it looks as though the much vaunted release from the Elan dams has been stopped so that didn't last long did it and lets be honest it was having little effect anyway, especially for the downstream beats.  Release looks to be less even than before the extra was discharged but it was deemed a triumph anyway.

Someone said today "Whats wrong with swimming in the river anyway."  I asked if he ever used the swimming baths, he replied yes.  I said " If you went and found the water as coloured as a dirty beer, with weed and debris floating it it.  A herd of cows crap+++g in it, a few dogs peeing in it, rats with Weil's disease running around the edge and with a steady trickle of sewage from the toilets dribbling into it -would you swim in it.   I think he got the point and might just be reconsidering.

WSA held another course on the river for schoolchildren yesterday at Whitney where children from Sutton St Nicholas School enjoyed their day out on the river.  Several of the children caught trout and here too most had up to half a dozen  river lice on their back and head. (The trout -not the children!!!!!)   See picture below of one happy youngster who will hopefully take up the sport in the future.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

A lot cooler today though I wasn't up in time to see the river 'steaming'.  As suspected Elan release has made no difference to levels at Monmouth so far. |It's either not reached there yet or it's dissipated on its way down. Abstractors will be grateful though!!
Remains to be seen if sport will pick up though I suspect not  too much in the short term.
Algae bloom back in full swing on the lower river so I understand.

LATEST from WUF.  Sea liced ? -its a miracle.  Any photo.

Nyth: 2 fish this week for Bill Godfrey: Early Monday morning from the Corner pool, 14 lbs slightly coloured on a long tailed Thunder and Lightning size 12. Then yesterday evening from Cafn Pool a sea-liced fish, 12lbs again on a size 12 Long Tailed Thunder and Lightning


I understand there was an incident at Ross yesterday when five swimmers got into difficulties and had to be rescued.  Even canoe deaths as happened a few years ago on the Glasbury/Hay section which has no right of navigation has failed to stop the problem and coroners inquest suggestions go ignored.
Group of about 20 youths on Glasbury bridge yesterday evening 'bombing' off the bridge into the river.  Great fun until someone gets drowned!!

This was part of an email I was sent yesterday by a WUF representative,  Stop being a grump old killjoy you guys =you are giving us a bad name.

1. “wild swimming”. Do you think this actually a major problem I wonder? It strikes me that a lot of the google-driven reports which Don spoke & wrote of are both old (back to 2006) and relatively few? Unless it’s a major issue – individual owners can always take local action of course - I’m inclined to be wary of being too much of a kill-joy as an institution – or perhaps being seen as such: “….fisherman are always a grumpy, introverted lot, sat under their sombre umbrellas”.... etc etc. You may have seen Rod Liddle’s piece in the The Sunday Times last year after his wild swim in the Wylie? Along exactly these lines. Hell, if it stays like this, I’ll be swimming at home"

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Looks like one more really hot day with cooler conditions towards the weekend.
With river temperatures as high as they are it may take some time for these to fall. Water from the dams may reduce temperatures on the upper river but probably not a significant amount downstream.
Thankfully not much sign of algea on the lower beats as yet.

16lb fish caught from upper Bigswier yesterday to Nathan Jubb on a f/c.!!   6.45am.

Water temperature was read at 75 degrees Fahrenheit at Bigswier this lunchtime -really dangerous levels. As suggested earlier temperature should fall tomorrow due to cooler conditions spreading in. This is now official -- you heard it here guys-- see below;
I suggest however the Elan dam release will have little impact there at all.  Most of the water will be abstracted - evaporated and warmed up by the time it reaches there. Bit like putting a jugful of water into a bath is about how much effect it will have. still every little helps

Hope you all have your camera to see this unusual 'steaming'effect though it happens at dawn on most hot days during the year doesn't it!


    "The extreme weather is coming to an end, Mid day tomorrow forecast to be 16 degrees, cloudy with drizzle on and off. Very welcome indeed!

    For anyone with a camera, the lower river will steam tomorrow as it cools. It will take a couple of days (ie Welsh water to get down to monmouth) for lower river temps to get back below 20."

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

As incursions on property, trespass, damage etc continue to trash the Wye SAC see below the response from the Wye Navigation Officer, Paul Senior and the reply to him by Don Macer wright.

With the continuation of the hot weather with river temperatures already recorded over 24degrees posing real problems to salmon stocks its been suggested that fishing is suspended for the time being.  Seems utterly sensible to me.   Does make you wonder though what the hell the EA, NRW and WUF, or even the new Wye Owners Association are for.
Wonder if Simon still want to sell the guys from Burton on Trent at ticket at Goodrich on Thursday or anywhere else for that matter.


Sorry to hear you didn’t have a good Bank Holiday weekend down in Lydbrook last month and that I’ve taken a few days to respond to your latest on this topic.

I can’t add much to my previous exchanges with you on the subject of wild swimming. The legislation we work under, the Wye Navigation Order, only gives us powers to control vessels and none regarding all the other problems you appear to have been having.

The weekend in question was the start of the school half term holiday and also the May Bank holiday weekend. This is invariably one of the busiest times in the whole season with numerous events falling over the period on an annual basis up and down the Wye’s length.

The situation this year would have been exacerbated by the warm spell leading up to the start of the school holiday and probably explains the presence of the ‘wild swimmers’. You point out that the water temperature was high enough to render fishing futile anyway and I’m making an educated guess that the same warm river conditions made it more appealing to swimmers.

For most months of the year swimmers would not entertain the prospect of entering the water as it is too cold for river swimming, even with a wetsuit.
To put the size of the problem in context we’ve been carrying out survey work in recent years and never seen a ‘wild swimmer’ so though your recent experience may be regrettable it doesn’t form evidence of an exponential upsurge of this type of activity.

The legislation we work to is very much framed to enable us to manage navigation and not swimming.

Although we are NOT the regulator when it comes to swimming events we do liaise with prospective organisers as we are doing with those with an interest in the planned Lydbrook swim. Our role is therefore simply attempting to mediate in the hope that events can take place amicably.  

Regards Paul
Paul Senior
Wye Navigation Officer

Wye Navigation Officer

Dear Paul,
Please correct me if I am wrong but does the Wye Navigation Act not give the Navigation Authority the powers to implement any by-laws as deemed necessary.
 Our general feeling is that the EA should be publicly advising people not to swim in the rivers. Agricultural pollutions and overloading of phosphates are at all time highs.
However that is as you have made clear NOT a matter of concern for the Navigation Authority. SAFETY is however. Navigators should surely be barred from swimming, an activity which is a hazard to navigators - is it not?.

Over the weekend swimmers were in the prime fishery of Wyesham :- 
Your comments about survey work just demonstrates how out of touch the Navigation Authority is with what fishery owners and fishermen, who are all paying significant amounts (both owners and fishermen) to enjoy or make some livelihood out of legal property, which should not be constantly damaged by the general public who are effectively given carte blanche to do what they like when they like, because the powers that be clearly have no desire to limit public enjoyment and who seem quite happy to see the rights of owners trampled over.

My regards

update on water temp.
8pm main stem shallows above Lydbrook stream mouth 24.4 degrees.
Clearly these temperatures recorded today are very dangerous to salmonids.
It would be sensible to instruct an immediate closure of the Wye salmon fishery until temperatures fall to below 20 degrees for the two day advisory period. (As pointed out in the Canadian Advisory Report salmon are caught by anglers at elevated temperatures.)
Furthermore it would be a sensible precaution to lobby for a by law to close the commercial canoeing interests in line with the 20 degree advisories.
Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat Science Advisory Report 2012/019

Final paragraph of report.
"Impacts of angling during warm water events were considered as the mortality rate from catch
and release angling increases sharply at temperatures above 20ÂșC. Other human activities can
displace fish and contribute to stress on Atlantic salmon during warm water events including
wading in streams, swimming in pools, boat traffic, as well as scientific activities."
Given the concerns for spawning success it is a nonsense not to have a closure protocol in place.


Monday, 19 June 2017

Nothing reported from yesterday -hardly surprising given the conditions which latest reports suggest will continue for the rest of this week, So day and water temperatures are sure to rise as the river drops away.  Already low now on the upper beats.
Nothing on the last rise appears to have reached Newbridge on the upper river.

Another weekend of mayhem with canoes, swimmers, litter etc. etc.
Apparently Navigation Officer Paul Senior has carried out a survey's and seen no swimmers -considers it may not be a problem and we are over reacting.  Yea right!!

Fish reported from Luggsmouth. 12 to Andy Adams on a mepps with now seem to be the bait which is flavour of the month.  Bring back the Toby I say!!

Having said that in this weather it reminds me of the song 'Mad dogs and Englishmen-out in the midday sun'   No offence intended.