CUM­BER­LAND DER­WENT

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - FISHING REPORTS -

ALL IS quiet on the Der­went at the time of writ­ing with (so far) no dev­as­tat­ing flood events to dis­rupt the river en­vi­ron­ment yet again. With just a few re­turns to come in, the to­tal rod catch for 2018 is well down on the 10-year av­er­age for the river and as men­tioned in last month’s re­port is be­low 300 salmon. How things have changed from the glory days of just a few years back when the catches were mea­sured in the thou­sands. Redd count­ing on our ma­jor sig­nif­i­cant spawn­ing area of St Johns Beck has been ham­pered this year by high re­lease lev­els from the Thirlmere Dam as part of the flood de­fence man­age­ment strat­egy for lower down the catch­ment. While these high river lev­els make

Der­went catch re­turns well down on the 10-year av­er­age

ac­cess up­stream rel­a­tively sim­ple for fish, there is a down­side in that should the wa­ter height be low­ered in Jan­uary as often hap­pens, some valu­able salmon redds are left high and dry as the wa­ters re­cede. The first count at the be­gin­ning of De­cem­ber re­vealed only a hand­ful of redds with even some of the usu­ally pro­lific grav­els be­ing undis­turbed by fish, but per­haps this is to be ex­pected with so few salmon in the sys­tem. For the op­ti­mistic and ad­ven­tur­ous the new sea­son opens in Fe­bru­ary but it will be a cou­ple of months be­fore I would ex­pect to hear of any fish show­ing up. – ERIC HOPE.

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