Great news - last week the EA stocked 3,000 little chub into the Irwell in Salford and Bury. I went down to the river with Albert Morris (of Northern Anglers and Salford Inter Clubs) to help Ian Hayes of the EA continue his ambitious long term re-stocking programme.
Last November 500 barbel were restocked, this year we can look forwards to a total of over 10,000 roach, chub and dace - with further restocking of the river planned in 2013,14 and 15.
Here's a couple of photos of some chub being introduced to their new home.
Since anglers took the government to a judicial review - via the www.anglingtrust.net and the Irwell featuring heavily in the Our Rivers Campaign there is now a group called the Irwell Pilot which meets on a monthly basis with the sole remit of improving the River Irwell Catchment. There are some big hitters sitting round this table with the ability and budgets to get things done. Improvements to sewage infrastructure have already been seen (see previous post), and the group now has its sights firmly set on a reduction in the number of invasive river bank species, improving accessibility as well as other water quality improvements. The EA have already embarked on a project of weir removal to improve connectivity within the river, this will have the benefit of allowing fish to migrate to the most suitable spawning habitiats. Flood defence upgrades will be taking place in Salford over the next two years, once these have finished we will be looking at a programme of rannunculus planting in the river, as this water plant holds so much invertebrate life and provides much better habitat for fish than the ribbon weed we have at the moment. Lots and lots of small improvements - together make for big changes. In 2012 I've had reports of double figure barbel, 10lb brownies, 6lb+ chub, 9lb bream, tench and carp near Bury so lets see what 2013 brings.
Were going to hold an Irwell Festival in September 2013 - fly fishing on a Friday evening, a coarse match on Saturday followed by an evening in the pub for prize giving, tale telling. Hope to see you get involved.
I'm off to Hampton Springs Fish Farm near Chester this week to put in an order for the restocking of the Old River in Irlam and for Crucian Carp for Drinkwater Park lake. It wouldnt have been possible to get the money together for the purchase of these fish without our members and supporters turning out for our restocking fund matches - many many thanks for your support.
It looks like fishing is on the up in North Manchester