B.W.O Supplementation Programme – Update



It would appear that  the habits of BWO”S are changing  , from what might have been expected some years ago.

The appearance of Sherry Spinners and consequent  egg stripping  began this year in  very early June , actually during the Mayfly season .

Very recently (late September) I had the opportunity to witness a large column of sherry spinners flying upstream ,many with attached egg balls, and later the same evening , a hatch of Duns take place.

I have also been informed by very good authority, that a similar occurrence took place in early October on a different Southern stream, where  eggs at that location, were also collected for the laboratory.

As the BWO has always been associated with mid summer evenings  (mainly July and August), for both  egg laying and hatching, it seems that this extended behavioural pattern could provide some indication of its changing life style   due to climate change.

How long these flights will continue into the Autumn is now being observed  and noted  and  how widespread it is on different Wessex rivers.

Possibly the flight of sherry spinners during the late evening,which once common, could be changing to include other times of the day (or night) when anglers are not  by the water to observe such activity.

Movements of this fly have  also been seen early in the morning.


Eggs laid down in the river from June onwards have suffered a depletion in numbers.

Initially thought to be Crayfish attack, which may have accounted for some of the losses, other reasons are now suspected and  investigations into the cause/causes ongoing.

A two year programme is the minimum  needed to establish the best and easiest method of success.

Unfortunately there are no manuals or reference works  to consult.

Some of the  remaining slides have now been transfered to a new board /cage which will stop any further losses by predation but may not protect against other causes .A few of the  slides have been returned to the laboratory after spending 3 or 4 months in the river, so that  comparisons can be made to those left instream.

Water temperature here , unlike the river ,can be varied.

A minority of the “Farmed Eggs” in the river have possibly hatched already but the majority are now in Diapause and will stay in that condition until next   Spring and rising river temperatures.

The water temperature is  now decreasing  significantly even with the combination of low level and “ below normal “ flow rates for September.

( Figures  just released by the E.A.  for the River Piddle)

At present ,the nymphs are becoming increasingly difficult to locate on the river bed.

The two photographs are of BWO eggs  and magnified 100 times

The first ( courtesy, C.Blake), shows eggs taken recently from one of the local project slides . They are in Diapause and appear in form as we might have expected at this stage

The second ( courtesy, Dr. C Bennett ), illustrates eggs taken from his slides and shows other stages of development

A  presentation regarding the  “Farming” of BWO eggs will probably take place at the next  RIVERFLY  PARTNERSHIP conference in London next March

Hopefully this will encourage further interest and development in this field and invite greater participation

The organisation ( RFP ) needs support to flourish and is crucial to the “well being”  of our rivers and their fly life

As most Fly fishermen know, particularly those  in Southern England, the latter is decreasing at an alarming rate, and any help to reverse this trend must be welcomed

Could we be entering a new era where the phrase “ captive breeding of endangered species “ is taking on a whole new meaning in world of fishing ???

Perhaps  in the next few years we will know

Rod Crane

October 28, 2010 by Filed under: B.W.O Supplementation Programme 

River Frome Rehabilitation Draft Plan

The Draft Report of the River Frome Rehabilitation Plan is now available for public consultation. The Draft Report is available electronically at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/Frome or hard copies can be viewed at the public libraries in Wareham and Dorchester between 1st November – 1st December. The River Frome has many interest groups and to help us ensure that key local issues are addressed and agreed by as many groups as possible in the Final Plan we welcome your views on this draft report.

The River Frome Rehabilitation Plan is being undertaken to provide, on a reach by reach basis, proposals that should help the River Frome Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) move into favourable condition.  The plan aims to improve the physical condition of the River Frome SSSI allowing the river to exhibit natural processes which in time will enable the river to support, in good numbers, the range of habitats and species that are part of the SSSI designation, such as Atlantic salmon, water crowfoot (Ranunculus) and Cettis warblers.

Your response

Throughout the consultation we will look to make all comments (excluding personal information) publicly available on our website. This includes comments received online, by email, post and by fax.

How to respond

There are a number of ways you can let us know your views.

Online – at www.environment–agency.gov.uk/frome


By email or letter – You can submit your response by email or letter, using the contact details below.

Organisation: Environment Agency

Contact Name: Alasdair Maxwell

Contact Email: alasdair.maxwell@environment-agency.gov.uk

Contact Telephone: 01258 483460

Other Contact Information: Rivers House, Sunrise Business Park, Higher Shaftesbury Road, Blandford DT11 8ST

What happens next?:

The Plan will remain on the internet until 1st December.  If you do have any comments please make sure that we have received them by 10th December, and they will be acknowledged and considered in the Final Plan. This process will allow us to identify what the biggest issues are for implementing the plan and where in the catchment they are located.

October 28, 2010 by Filed under: River Frome Rehabilitation Plan 

Last day of the season

Spent the last day of the season on the water today; probably the coldest last day that I can remember with the temperature struggling to a chilly 11 oC and the river a degree lower. Thankfully the northerly wind was quite gentle. After a chat with John Aplin and companion I dropped in below and landed this lovely wild fish of exactly 1 lb, plus two grayling of around 3/4 lb each.

The rest of the day was very quiet with only one other smaller trout and a couple of salmon parr, and a lost grayling. The river looked in great shape with a good flow, a hint of colour and plenty of weed. Because of the conditions very few fish were seen but I did see one stockie which thought about taking a dry before refusing at the last minute. Late afternoon I managed to hook a good grayling of about 1 1/2 lb but unfortunately he came off at the net.

Although I fished the dry fly on a couple of runs, all the fish came to weighted nymphs and I only saw a couple of rises all afternoon. Now looking forward to some good grayling fishing in the winter months.


October 15, 2010 by Filed under: Trout Fishing