Volunteers clear a Tidal Thames Backwater

Sunday 12th June saw 16 Thames Anglers Conservancy volunteers of all ages on a river clean up. The weather was wet but did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm.
In a week which saw a heavy pollution hit the Tidal Thames, volunteers were more keen than ever to get out and improve local fish habitat.
The clean up took place along a small backwater of the Tidal Thames below Richmond called the Mini Ha Ha. The backwater runs from Richmond all the way to Kew by the Tidal Thames.
A local volunteer had identified the area as in need of attention, so armed with a selection of tools, including grappling hooks and ropes, they set about the task.
As one of the first traffic cones was pulled out, they had a shock as a fin perfect Chub made a leap for freedom. Quite a surprise to start the day !
Heaving a large branch out.
Volunteers of all ages spread out along the river.

 
Amazing what is thrown in.
A Bike.
One of two barriers.

Some of the 18 traffic cones.
Final result of the day was 18 traffic cones, two barriers, a metal trailer chassis, large amount of Himalayan Balsam, a childs bike, a tyre, computer screen, two sleeping bags and much more along with four bags of rubbish.
A worthwhile and enjoyable morning for all.
TAC
Posted in News | Comments Off

Thames Water response to the Tidal Pollution incident

Following the Tidal Thames Pollution incident, the Thames Anglers Conservancy have received a letter from Richard Aylard of Thames Water. 
This pollution incident highlights the absolute need for the Tideway Tunnel to be built without delay.
With our climate changing and periods of drought followed by storms, further major incidents will happen causing more damage to our river systems. With the additional growing threat of Hydropower affecting our weirs, the future is very bleak.
A Roach gasping for air after the Pollution
 Letter from Richard Aylard, 7th June 2011
I wanted to give you a bit of background to the major discharges of storm sewage to the tidal River Thames over the weekend and into Monday morning, following heavy rainfall, which I know will have appalled your members and every other angler who cares about the Thames.
The discharges, which we very much regret, clearly led to a significant fish kill and other environmental damage (which is still being assessed). Unfortunately, and although it sounds like a complete cop-out, we had no alternative to making these discharges, which are legal and consented, as this is the way the system was designed in the 1850s, in order to prevent sewage overflowing back up into streets and homes. The problems caused are always particularly bad after a long dry period when the solid matter that has built up in our pipes over several months is discharged into the river by heavy rain. Low flows in the river and the fact that the discharges commenced at around low tide, meaning that the pollution was initially carried upstream, and then down again when the tide turned, added to the severity of the situation.
Incidents like this are clearly totally unsatisfactory in a modern capital city and I know you are aware that we have a major programme of work under way to sort the problem out. In the west London area this includes a 50% increase in treatment capacity at our Mogden sewage treatment works (which you have seen) and the proposed Thames Tunnel.
On this occasion, Mogden STW had to discharge around 200,000 tonnes of screened and settled (but otherwise untreated) sewage once its storm tanks were full to capacity. I do need to assure you that once the extension is completed in March 2013 the works will be able to handle a similar situation without even using its storm tanks, let alone discharging to the river.
The Thames Tunnel is desperately needed to address all the unsatisfactory combined sewer overflows (CSOs) to the river, including Hammersmith, Western and Lots Road Pumping Stations, which between them had to discharge more than 250,000 tonnes on this occasion.
Since the event we have been working with the Environment Agency, using aeration and skimmer vessels and dosing with hydrogen peroxide, to increase oxygen levels in the river and remove debris.
Please let me know if you would like any further information or would like to see the Environment Agency's press release.
Kindest regards
Richard
The Thames Anglers Conservancy is a free to join organization and is a consultative member of the Angling Trust for Thames between Staines and Dartford.
As a Thames Angling stakeholder, we are involved with many organizations including the Environment Agency, river user groups and local councils.
We are concerned with many aspects of the Thames including the threat of Hydropower, loss of fishing rights and pollution along with the positive aspects of promoting angling and its benefits.
For more information go to www.rivertac.org or email admin@rivertac.org
Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Massive Fish Kill following Thames Pollution incident

Media Release 06/06/2011

Reports have come into the Thames Anglers Conservancy of a major Tidal Thames Pollution incident on Monday.
Heavy rain over the last 24 hours have caused Thames Water to release raw sewage into the river from the Combined Sewage Overflows. Bubbler boats and hydrogen peroxide are being used to increase the oxygen levels.
TAC members have reported seeing may dead Roach, Dace, Bream, schooly Bass and big Flounder. At Blackfriars Bridge, condoms and other toilet waste has been seen on the outgoing tide.

No species were spared    

Dead Bream and Roach floating next to Human Faeces

   

Eye witness report from TAC member Steve Holmes at Barnes bridge :

'We've just got back – partly through getting dark, partly through being helpless in the scale of it.
We saved as many fish as we could with the zero equipment we had. We had to wade along the shore kicking up the water to oxygenate it and put back all the fish that had beached themselves, torpedoing them in to try to shock them into fighting.
We saw, when you include the fry, 50p size Flounders and Elvers literally thousands upon thousands of small fish gasping for air on the surface. Many bigger fish had beached themselves to breathe their last. Even eels were dieing up on the beach.
We also saw masses of Shrimp dying and even the Mitten Crabs, all part of the fish food chain.
Species found dead – Flounder, Roach, Dace, Bream, Eels, Perch, what we think are juvenile Bass and a small Pike, the first we've ever seen on the tidal.
Small Roach, Bream and Dace were hit hardest. Size wise, we saw very big Eels and big Roach struggling for oxygen
Cleanest river in Europe? Disgusting '

Dead silver fish and freshwater shrimp.  

 
The turn of the tide and daylight may reveal the full extent of this disaster but could be greater than the scale of 2004.

Notice to editors:

The Thames Anglers Conservancy is a free to join organization and is a consultative member of the Angling Trust for Thames between Staines and Dartford.
As a Thames Angling stakeholder, we are involved with many organizations including the Environment Agency, river user groups and local councils.
We are concerned with many aspects of the Thames including the threat of Hydropower, loss of fishing rights and pollution along with the positive aspects of promoting angling and its benefits.
For more information go to www.rivertac.org or email admin@rivertac.org
Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Environment Agency and Thames Water to tackle river pollution in Berkshire

The Environment Agency and Thames Water have been working together to improve the quality of Slough’s rivers by launching a series of pollution prevention campaigns in the town’s most populated areas.
Environment officers were out this week giving advice and guidance to businesses in the Slough Trading Estate, which is located between the Chalvey Ditches and the Salthill Stream.
These visits highlighted the potential for urban diffuse pollution to cause damage to the natural environment. This is pollution from homes, town centres, industrial estates and transport routes that is washed down the surface water drains and flows into the river, damaging the environment. Guidance on companies’ legal responsibilities and good environmental practices were also given.
Sites on industrial estates can be significant contributors to urban diffuse pollution of watercourses by surface water runoff. The Environment Agency regulate, and provide advice and support to, businesses to improve actual and potential pollution from these sites. High risk activities include oil and chemical storage and handling, car washing where runoff flows to surface water drains, and sewer misconnections.
Jc Hall, a Senior Environment Officer, said: “Diffuse pollution from industrial estates is a common and serious problem. Often, the pollution results from a lack of knowledge about the premises, such as knowing which drains link to the foul sewer and which link to the surface water system, which run directly into the river.”
Within the last few years, The Chalvey Ditches and the Salthill Stream have been devastated by a number of industrial pollution incidents, killing fish and invertebrates and causing long-term damage to the river environment. The Environment Agency’s priority is to prevent pollution incidents occurring again in the future and the campaign has been designed to inform companies of simple steps and precautions they can take to help achieve this.
The Myrke Ditch, to the south of Slough, has also suffered from pollution incidents. However this pollution is caused by the build up of fats, oils and grease being put into drains, where it accumulates in the foul sewer system and causes blockages. These blockages cause the sewage to backup and overspill into the Myrke Ditch.
Thames Water and the Environment Agency are working with residents and businesses in the town centre to increase awareness of the detrimental effects of putting fats, oils and grease down the drain.
Dan Horsley, an Environmental Monitoring Officer, said: "Despite its urban nature, recent fish surveys on the Salthill Stream have shown at least ten species of fish to be present, including chub, dace, roach, tench and perch.
“These surveys highlight the potential for fish within the stream. However, certain species such as dace are particularly sensitive to poor water quality and this may be restricting any increase to the population."
It is hoped that through this pollution prevention campaign the number of fish and other animal species in these streams will increase, making the streams better for people and wildlife.
Howard Brett, Thames Water's Wastewater Regulation Manager, said: "Too often, there's a view that once something is 'down the drain', then the problem has gone away.
“But that isn't always the case, whether it be yard drainage on industrial sites or cooking fat being poured down the sink. What we're trying to do is inform and educate our customers about the consequences of this approach, which although may be unintentional, is damaging to the environment."
Ends
All media enquiries: 0118 953 5555 Please ask for the duty press officer Environment Agency news releases, both national and regional, can be found on its web site: www.environment-agency.gov.uk
Posted in News | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Environment Agency Bank holiday blitz on illegal anglers

Environment Agency bailiffs will be patrolling waters in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk over the May Bank Holiday checking anglers have a valid rod licence and are fishing legally.
Ian Hirst, of the Environment Agency, said: “Anyone found fishing without a licence will be issued with an offence ticket and will almost certainly end up in court. Our bailiffs patrol still waters and rivers throughout the year but bank holidays are a particularly busy time. “We take rod licence evasion very seriously and anyone thinking of fishing without one should watch out – there will be a bailiff about. “In addition, the coarse fish close season on rivers runs until 15 June so no one should be fishing the rivers until then. This applies whether or not they have a licence.” Every penny the Environment Agency receives from rod licence sales is spent improving fisheries. Essential work such as surveying, disease control, restocking, habitat improvement and commenting on potentially harmful planning applications is carried out by fisheries staff, who also carry out enforcement. Ian said: “People who don’t buy a licence are cheating their sport and other anglers. We therefore urge fishing enthusiasts to help us crackdown on unlicensed anglers by reporting this illegal activity to us on 0800 80 70 60. By working together, we can help to improve the sport and rivers for the people who pay for the right to fish them.” Anglers must be in possession of a licence before fishing and must be able to produce it when requested by an Environment Agency bailiff or other authorised person. There are junior and concessionary priced licences. Licences may be bought from post offices, via the Environment Agency website (www.environment-agency.gov.uk/fish) or by dialling 08701 662662 (telesales). They run from 1 April to 31 March and two are required if an angler is using three or four rods. Anyone caught without a valid rod licence can expect to be prosecuted and face a fine of up to £2,500.
Wednesday 25 May 2011:
Posted in News | Tagged , | Comments Off

Fred French MBE

It is with great sadness that we heard last week of the death of Fred French MBE.
Fred was instrumental in the early days of the Thames Anglers Conservancy but that was only a very small part of his long and distinguished career helping to shape the sport we all love end enjoy.
Below is a news release from the Angling Trust of who Fred was Lifetime member No1

  Angling Trust Members NewsMonday 23/05/2011 Angling Trust, the voice of angling  
 
  Fred French MBEWe are very sorry to report the death of Fred French MBE after a long illness on Sunday 15th May 2011 at 5.00 p.m.

Fred had been a lifelong stalwart of angling from his early days in London, onto the River Lee and then into the North West.

Fred will be sadly missed by his many friends at the Angling Trust and in the world of angling and fisheries.

The funeral will take place on 1st June. There will be a cremation service at 10.15 at Lancaster which will be attended by family members only. Family flowers only please but Donations if so wished to St. John’s Hospice, Lancaster.

The funeral will be followed by a Thanksgiving Service for all to attend at 1 p.m. at St Mary’s Church, Millans Park, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9AD and then refreshments at 2 p.m at Rothay Manor Hotel, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0EH

If you wish to attend the memorial service please email Judith Clarke using fredfrenchmemorial@anglingtrust.net so that adequate arrangements can be made. Thank you.

An obituary can be found on the Angling Trust website HERE.

   
     
Posted in News | Comments Off

Thames Tidal energy for the Heart of London

35,000 homes along the Thames could benefit In a groundbreaking move a tidal turbine is to be installed alongside the HQS WELLINGTON which is moored at Temple Steps in the heart of London.
The former Royal Navy sloop, owned and operated by the WELLINGTON Trust, a maritime heritage and educational charity, is home to the Honourable Company of Master Mariners and special permission has been obtained from the Port Of London Authority to conduct a two month trial to confirm “proof of concept.”
The trials are the first stage in plans to locate a tidal energy farm in the Thames that would generate enough electricity to power 35,000 homes.
The scheme will involve siting hundreds of tidal turbines, the largest capable of generating up to 500kilowatts, along the river from Westminster to Margate.
The project is being developed by Thames Tidal Ltd, a joint venture involving Nautricity Ltd, a tidal technology developer, and Energy Invest Group, a global developer and financier of energy projects.
The project will utilise Nautricity’s innovative CoRMaT, contra-rotating turbine which offers significant advantages in terms of its suppressed downstream turbulence, which will mitigate scouring of the river bed and banks.
While conventional tidal devices resemble wind turbines moored to the seabed, incurring enormous deployment and engineering costs, the CoRMaT device is a small capsule, tethered to a sub-surface float allowing the device to operate in a very wide range of water depths, key to making this project feasible.
Thames Tidal Ltd plan to allow for over 50MW of generating capacity, about an eighth of the power of the now decommissioned Battersea Power Station which will overlook some of the Thames Tidal array. Tidal turbines are to be deployed in arrays of turbines along the Thames subject to planning consent and availability of sites. The build out of the arrays will be phased over a number of years and early work will focus on reassuring all stakeholders.
The pilot demonstration will allow stakeholders, including the Port of London Authority, to more fully understand the nature of the generating device and will stimulate a discussion which will shape an extensive planning exercise designed to mitigate any environmental risks and to ensure that Thames Tidal Ltd operations do not adversely impact on existing river users.
Brian Basham, Chairman of EIG said “We are delighted to have instigated this initiative and see it as the first in demonstrating the efficacy of this world beating technology in the centre of London that will have application nationwide and, indeed, globally. We are immensely grateful for unstinting support we’ve had from all the various Authorities, especially the Port Of London Authority and the Master Mariners, in making this happen”
Cameron Johnstone, CEO of Nautricity said “We are delighted to participate in this exciting project to generate tidal electricity in the very heart of the city of London. The demonstration project gives us a real opportunity to demonstrate that tidal electricity facilities using Nautricity’s tidal turbines can be good neighbours with existing river users while making a significant contribution to our national carbon reduction goals.
Commodore Angus Menzies, chief executive of the Wellington Trust, said “the project provided an excellent opportunity for HQS WELLINGTON to show her green ambitions and to become even more closely engaged with the river and the PLA”
Contact:
EIG CEO Nigel Harper 020 3170 8940
Nautricity director Dave Pratt0141 275 4850
HQS Wellington: 020 7836 8179
Nautricity Limited is a Scottish company which aims to become a leading player in the marine tidal energy business through the application of game changing technologies designed to reduce the capital and operating costs of tidal energy schemes. Nautricity has secured a global exclusive licence to a second generation tidal device developed by the esteemed Energy Systems Research Unit (ESRU) at the University of Strathclyde. This innovative device, the CoRMaT marine turbine has now fully completed its proof of concept testing, successfully progressing to Technology Readiness levels 5/6 and has successfully generated electricity at sea in an energetic tidal environment. The device was recently honoured by the Energy Institute who awarded it their prestigious Technology Award.
Energy Invest Group, is a London based specialist investor established in early 2007 to develop energy projects worldwide. The Group interests span the oil & gas sector and broad range of renewable energy solutions. The Team bring together many years of sector knowledge, industry experience and a wealth of fund raising capability.
Posted in News | Comments Off

Why is the Thames a Brown colour? – Diatom Bloom Factsheet

20th May 2011

Posted in News | Tagged | Comments Off

Environment Agency relaunch Operation Tapestry to combat Illegal Fishing

With the start of the fishing season now only a month away, a new initiative has been launched as part of a long-running campaign to encourage anglers to report illegal fishing activity.
Environment Agency fisheries bailiffs, angling clubs and tackle shops will be handing out information cards to anglers as part of Operation Tapestry ahead of the new season which starts on June 15.
Tapestry was launched last year to tackle large-scale illegal fishing activities such as netting and the use of long-lines – a fixed unattended line with one or more baited hooks attached – as well as illegal movements of fish from one body of water to another.
The new cards – designed in-house by the Environment Agency to minimise costs – include the Operation Tapestry 24-hour information hotline number as well as the Environment Agency’s national incident hotline number.
Environmental Crime Officer Mark Rumble said: “Since the launch of Operation Tapestry last year, people have provided us with useful information about the illegal removal of fish from one water body to another. This enables us to build up a picture of where illegal activities are taking place and deploy  resources to catch those responsible.
“We hope that by giving anglers the cards to carry in their wallets or a pocket, we can encourage even more people to contact us with information.”
The dedicated Operation Tapestry information hotline can be contacted on 01522 785894 and is for use by people with information and intelligence about illegal fish movement or removal. If a crime is in progress, witnesses should ring 0800 807060 to report it. Vehicle registration numbers and photographs  are also useful.
Mark said: “The Environment Agency recognises there is a problem with this sort of activity and we urge anyone with information to help us gather the evidence we need to do something about it.
“This type of crime threatens the livelihoods of law-abiding fisheries owners, the future of angling and the environment. Illegal catching and movement of fish can introduce disease and pose a danger to aquatic mammals and other creatures that may get caught as a result of the trapping methods used. This was tragically highlighted earlier this year when four dead otters were found drowned in an fyke net set illegally to catch eels at Barton Clay Pits.
“We need to reel in the perpetrators of these crimes and we need anglers to help us do it.”
Posted in News | Tagged , | Comments Off

River Rythe pollution incident

The Thames Anglers Conservancy were alerted by a report on the Thames Ditton Residents association forum about a pollution incident on the river Rythe. The Rythe is a small tributary which rises near Oxshott and runs into the Thames, forming the boundary between Kingston and Thames Ditton.
The report followed an incident where a road contractor had pumped heavily silted water down a land drain which emptied into the Rythe.
TAC representatives met local residents and arranged access through a garden to the river and a very welcome cup of tea. Donning waders it was found that the sandy deposit had affected a 100m stretch, upstream was clear.
The residents had called the Environment Agency hotline on 0800 80 70 60 as soon as it happened, a list of what should be reported is published by the EA.
In the same area several build ups of debris caused by garden waste was cleared to improve the natural flow.
There was a surprise discovery of  Invasive plants Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam which were cleared.
The River Rythe is a hidden gem and like all Thames tributaries important to the biodiversity of the main river so needs to be protected.
TAC
Posted in News | Comments Off