Photograph by Steve Barnett

Tuesday, 14 June 2011


Here's a little patch of river Heaven.  The stretch here is mainly shaded.  Where the sun can consistently get to the bottom of the river and, where the water has enough briskness of flow, here we find the water crowfoot, or water buttercup, Ranunculus fluitans. See how it flourishes where the sun can get in and right next to it the shaded water has almost no sign of this brilliant plant.  Herein live freshwater shrimp, ephemerid nymphs, other invertebrates and, of course, trout! 

The fronds speed up the flow locally, like so many little hose pipe jets, which in turn keeps the gravel a perfect substrate for spawning trout, grayling and brook lampreys, by clearing it of silt.  On the wild trout fisheries, where no stocking of farm bred fish takes place, the river keepers concentrate on improving and maintaining water quality.  Part of that work consists in coppicing trees to get a mosaic of sunlight on the river bed so there are more places to suit this valuable water "weed" and so in turn create more places for invertebrates, fish and their eggs.  It's a wonderful chain that starts with sunlight and finishes with very happy anglers...

Regular Rod


  1. Wonderful.
    Only nature can provide.

    The photo is lovely.

  2. You're right - we should all feel grateful for the conservation work of informed and enthusiastic keepers