River Leadon Improvement Plan - Autumn 2014 schedule

Trevor Hyde our Fishery Development Officer provides an update...

Although I will be doing some coarse fishing for chub, pike and grayling over the winter with the end of the trout fishing season comes payback time, it’s time to organise some work parties.

This winter I have planned 5 projects that I hope members will be able to help with over the course of the winter in preparation for the sunny days next spring and summer. I have listed them below in no particular order or importance.

I am putting together a project with the help of the Environment Agency to do some work on the Cutt Mill section of the River Leadon.  This is to enhance the viability of the spawning gravels by installing a couple of deflectors to sort the gravels. We will also place some brash bundles just downstream so as to provide a refuge for the fry coming off the gravels.

A second project just downstream on Cutts Mill is to do some work to narrow the river where it has become overwide. By narrowing the river it will in time become deeper with the higher velocity of the flow and hopefully provide lies for trout and other fish. We will do this by constructing a wall down the river for about 10 -15 metres built from brash bundles.

Over winter we need to trim back a lot of branches and do some bank access work, blue ropes and such both on Upleadon and Durbridge/Cutt Mill to allow easier access for anglers. Some of the woody debris (big trees) which have fallen into the Leadon need to be cut back to allow anglers to wade by them with safety but at the same time allowing the trees to remain in stream, providing useful refuge from predators for both fry and adult fish.

I have already identified some swims for the coarse anglers on Upleadon but we need to open these up for the angler by doing some judicious bank maintenance and tree management. We don’t get enough fishing out of Upleadon. There are some big chub, perch and trout in the stretch and the work will enable members to have a better chance of catching some of them.

Finally, Richard and I attended a coarse fishing conference at Reading during the summer and under discussion during one of the sessions was crucian carp. For those of you who do not know crucians they are a native species of small carp which are in danger of dying out because of pressure from their larger cousins which are more popular and very capable of out breeding the crucians. Richard has spoken to one of our farmers who has a small pond which is ideal for breeding crucians and the farmer is quite happy for us to take it over for the purpose of turning it into a crucian fishery. At some stage we will need to do some work to clear the pond in preparation.


Mike Chester and Steve Martindale getting stuck in