Dredging not the panacea for river flooding, says the Angling Trust

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The Angling Trust | NEWS

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The Angling Trust is warning politicians not to repeat the mistakes of the past in their rush to make political capital out of the government’s response to the recent floods.

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G0zzer2

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Dredging might not be a panacea for river flooding, though anyone with half a brain can see that if you dredge part of a river it will hold more water before it overflows. But the real reasons have not been spelled out.

The last 40 years has seen nothing less than vandalism by the various authorities in charge of rivers, in that they have cut out so many corners from the river banks, and pulled out much of the bankside growth, all of which temporarily held up water coming down from the upper reaches, in an effort to get the water down the river and to the lower reaches and out to sea as soon as possible. One of the main reasons they did this was to keep water levels down as quickly as possible, so that councils could give permission for houses to be built of flood plains! These are mainly in the middle reaches of rivers, not at the lower end.

But a side effect of their mismanagement is that the flood water which used to be held up for a day or two in the upper reaches, and then bomb down and scour out the middle reaches, does not now do so. So the silt which used to be stirred up now settles more quickly. Dredging is not the best answer - the best answer is to let rivers run and flood as they have done for thousands of years! But that's now impossible.

One example is the Thames, which is now kept at a lower level than it used to be 40 years ago, because the authorities are terrified that if the Thames Barrier is closed because of high tides, there may be flooding around London; so they keep the water level in the river as low as they dare. The result is that it must be silting up.
 

Silverfisher

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You're right about the Thames being kept low as it hardly flows in the summer and some parts go very clear. That doesn't harm the fishing though as it's a cracking river in the summer and autumn. Keeping it low does help avoid flooding. Even after all the rain this Autumn it still hasn't gone over its banks in many places, it's high, brown and borderline unfishable, but still not over its banks in many places.

This rain has been a nightmare fishing wise though. We finally have a windless and dry forecast for this weekend but I don't really have a clue where I should try fishing!
 

Total

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You're right about the Thames being kept low as it hardly flows in the summer and some parts go very clear. That doesn't harm the fishing though as it's a cracking river in the summer and autumn. Keeping it low does help avoid flooding. Even after all the rain this Autumn it still hasn't gone over its banks in many places, it's high, brown and borderline unfishable, but still not over its banks in many places......

^^ It Killed the once prolific barbel fishing on the free stretch at Staines.:(......Now a complete shadow of its former self....
 

Silverfisher

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Oh really I thought the lower Thames was still pretty reasonable for barbel? Here in Oxfordshire barbel generally only come out when the rivers up in the winter and even then only occasionally, they’re very occasional captures in the summer! It is prolific for everything else though particularly roach, perch, bream, dace and in places pike. And of course bleak!
 
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