River aire.

jimbo1946

Regular member
Joined
Aug 24, 2018
Messages
194
As there are quite a few lads on here that are familiar with said river l have a question regarding fish stocks.I regularly fish the Saltaire stretch .From the weir in Shipley centre,Baildon Bridge,for miles upstream the fishing is great,despite the attention of otters cormarants mergansers and many Eastern Euro pean××××bags.However ,from the weir downsream it is another matter altogether. Many years ago the river was putrid.It stank.Completely dead.This was down to Esholt sewerage plant upstream.Then the EU forced change and Esholt ,along with many other ,was upgraded.Now the river is pristine.Clean,ample weed growth,abundant insect life and no fish! At least ,hardly any.A few minnows along with an odd dace can be seen in summer.Even seen a couple of 6 inch trout once, but bye and large ,its barren.There are weirs down at Leeds.I believe the fish stocks are better down there.I am midway at Apperley Bridge.Its been like this for years now.The Environment Agency did stock 500 barble a few years ago but no sign since.Anyone any answers?I would have thought the stretch would increase its fish numbers naturally as time went by.I am baffled.
 

Wise Owl

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Mar 29, 2015
Messages
39,733
Barbel have been Caught in and around the town centre mate, Chub and other silvers Further up from the Dark Arches and Kirkstall road but not heard of Barbel up that way.
 

jimbo1946

Regular member
Joined
Aug 24, 2018
Messages
194
I think the whiskers that were stocked at our end were shoved down your end in the terrible floods of a few years back.The ones at Saltaire that survived are big buggers now.Thought at one time i had a fledgling barbel fishery being established on my doorstep.I should be so lucky!
 

PearTree

Calder Exile
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Jul 2, 2020
Messages
289
My view, fwiw, is that coarse fish like roach, dace and chub prefer a slightly 'dirtier' river.

I'm not familiar with the Aire but I have fished the Calder for 40+ years. When I first started fishing it the river was devoid of fish below where the Colne ran into it due to the presence of the ICI and LB Holidays chemical works. Once the Colne cleaned up then fish started to spread downstream and populate the lower end of the Calder.

As all of the river continued to clean up the coarse fishing on the upper reaches deteriorated and became far better below Cooper Bridge. The upper river, particularly above Brighouse, is full of trout and grayling, with only odd pockets of coarse fish. The river lower down hasn't cleaned up to the same extent and the coarse fishing is as good as it has ever been down there. It probably still gets a small amount of sewage through it in the lower reaches, but provided there are no big spills, or chemical pollutions, then hopefully the coarse fish will continue to thrive.
 
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