The fish have arrived!
At last, even though we have walked along some good looking river and found good invertebrate life at the lower end of the food chain, we had hardly seen a fish so far. Between Guiting Power and Naunton this changed dramatically. Suddenly we were seeing trout and possibly even grayling darting up and down the stream. Small numbers but from none to some is a big jump.
The big beds of ranunculus were spectacular. Once commonplace they are now a treasure, to me at least. Home to masses of insects; food for the fish and also a good hiding place to from predators like otters and herons.
Just a gentle stroke of the side of the weedbed with the net produced a good show of invertebrates and proof of the immense value of the weed growth. Here is a stonefly larvae. We found good numbers without even trying.
Next week we will be back with a couple of our invertebrate monitors to make a Riverfly survey and see how the score shapes up. It looks very promising.
Some of the river had been dredged here back in the days when that seemd like a good idea. Time has healed some of that and we can see the altered channel and sluices being reclaimed by nature.
Hard to tell what the sporadic turbidity in the river is all about up here. Pretty clear (better than the photo looks) but by no means crystal. That may have been in some part due to the dogs taking a swim but there was definitely a background cloudiness.
Next we arrived at the houses which back on to the river at Naunton. Lawns, terraces, driveways and hopefully people who care for the beautful river running through, bringing to them whatever has been poured in upstream.
A reminder of the importance of treating this stream as the wonderful asset that it is.
Now we have reached the point where we will be passing Naunton Sewage Treatment Works and taking a few water samples upstream and downstream.
Before we go there we will need to refuel and came across this.