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Old 28-07-2017, 20:25
Alex Gowney's Avatar
Alex Gowney Alex Gowney is offline
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Default River Cherwell

I know this won't concern too many on here but we no longer have a Cherwell thread to post on. For those of you who are familiar with the river can anyone say why it is permanently coloured, even in periods of near drought? This seems to be particular to the spring and summer river, winter it's normal winter green colour.

I fished it at the start of the season when the weather was very hot and dry and it was tea coloured. Again yesterday, though we have had some rain. It's been like it for a while now but seems ok in and above Banbury. Two years ago I rang the EA and was promised someone would get back to me, but of course they didn't. The guy I spoke to said it was maybe because the river runs through an agricultural valley! I was somewhat taken aback by this answer, for one thing, the river always has run through an agricultural valley, it hasn't suddenly changed course! Also, I was struggling to think of a river that didn't!

My initial thought was the haulage yard at Kings Sutton, Cherwell Valley Silos, was responsible but I can't see how this can have an impact all the time, and why only in summer? Equally strange on my recent trips is the very reduced crayfish activity. In June I fished 4 hours plus with meat and not a single tap from a cray. Or a fish I might add. Two trips this week, using bread, meat and pellets, a total of three indications from crays. Is whatever is colouring the river putting them off too? Anyone got any thoughts?
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Old 28-07-2017, 20:50
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Dave Taylor Dave Taylor is offline
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http://www.barbel.co.uk/site/vbullet...ad.php?t=11069

I remember your concerns about the river Alex,... really sorry nothing appears to have changed. I still wonder if it's not eutrophication caused by nutrient overload.
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Old 28-07-2017, 21:30
Neil Smart Neil Smart is offline
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As soon as I read this I thought...the Silos's at Kings Sutton, they do waste coffee products there and turn into animal feed. In fact my wife's Dad used to be a manager at the Farm, and I used to stay there and do a bit of fishing in the river and canal.

The River was packed with quality fish...such a shame the river is in such a state.

In those days, there were 'mountains' of waste coffee products on the farm, uncovered and were bound to leach into the water courses.
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Old 28-07-2017, 21:44
Joe Winstanley Joe Winstanley is offline
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Has the agricultural land use changed much in recent years Alex? In particular is there notibly more maize being grown ? I know some areas have a big increase in maize growth due to demand for AD units.
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Old 28-07-2017, 22:10
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Alex Gowney Alex Gowney is offline
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Joe, not to my knowledge, it's much as it's ever been, mainly cattle.

Dave, it could be I guess, but I know very little about that so couldn't say.

Neil, I know you are familiar with the river around Kings Sutton, I wasn't aware of the amount of processing going on there. That to me moves them to the top of the list as probable culprits. I still don't know why it only seems bad in summer, or why it's only been in recent years. Do you know how long the silos have been there? It would explain also why Banbury upwards is unaffected. Maybe the extra volume of water in winter and less weed growth clear the river quicker. I'm not sure if it harms the fish, it would appear not at least in winter when some half decent fishing is still possible. But it is still a river deteriorated beyond recognition which is very sad and whatever is causing the problem must be adding to the decline. And the crays don't seem to be keen on it either!
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Old 28-07-2017, 22:27
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Alex Gowney Alex Gowney is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Taylor View Post
http://www.barbel.co.uk/site/vbullet...ad.php?t=11069

I remember your concerns about the river Alex,... really sorry nothing appears to have changed. I still wonder if it's not eutrophication caused by nutrient overload.
Just been reading all those old posts Dave, Simon and Mike adding similar concerns. Nothings changed but it would appear to be the official excuse that not enough water runs through it in the summer. Just what do the EA actually do to improve our rivers?
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Old 28-07-2017, 23:13
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Dave Taylor Dave Taylor is offline
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Just spent some time trying to dig up anything more recent on the river Alex, but all I get is the NRA and EA Action Plans ( wish lists) from years ago when it seems they were as keen to encourage otters to the river as to try and address its many environmental problems.
There must be more current data out there somewhere.
As I mentioned before, the Wey also suffered similar problems .
Water quality and quantity ( poor dilution) below Banbury have both been flagged up together as a problem on the Cherwell since '96 , and I can imagine that Banbury STW has to deal with substantially more effluent and industrial waste than 21 years ago!
It could be a change of agricultural practice upstream,... your guess is as good as mine? The EA biological boffins ought to know,... but they often seem to prefer to flag up the positives, ... perhaps I'm being too cynical.
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Old 28-07-2017, 23:51
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Joe Fletcher Joe Fletcher is offline
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Alex have you tried getting in touch with Public Health England and maybe send them a water sample

https://www.gov.uk/government/collec...l-laboratories
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Old 29-07-2017, 07:11
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Alex Gowney Alex Gowney is offline
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No I haven't Joe, might be worth contacting them, thanks for that.
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Old 29-07-2017, 10:31
Mark Swaby Mark Swaby is offline
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Alex, you say that in the Winter its the colour it should be, that nice green colour so that would rule out a number of things.Do you think it could be dying off algae(increased in volume by farm fertilisers etc) from the canal system,being flushed into the river.The boat traffic would be heavy in the spring and summer compared to winter.Most canal systems go crystal clear in winter.My Family pond has a bottom drain and you would not believe the filth/smell that comes out every couple of days i pull it.The algae seems to dye off completly to a brown filth every time we get a couple of rainy days,then regrows with the Sunny days.In the winter the bottom drain runs clear,the algae does not grow in the winter.I used to fish at Shipton in the days when the river was alive with quality fish,sounds so sad.
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