Saturday, 29 October 2011

In Pursuit of our Salmon

Friday 28th Oct.2011
          In our never ending search for our local migratory salmon today we've travelled 18 miles to Dunsop Bridge in the beautiful Forest of Bowland, an area of outstanding natural beauty. From the village which has the claim to be the centre of the British Isles we followed the River Dunsop (a tributary of River Hodder and then in turn the River Ribble) up the valley a couple of miles to where the valley forks and took the right fork and followed Whitendale Water up the valley for another couple of miles. This is an area of griitstone fells, deep valleys and peat moorland mostly lying in N.E. Lancashire and owned by the Duchy of Lancaster and United Utilities (who look after the water extraction) for the water supply for N.W. England.
     Up this remote valley we came across a team of four young ecologists from the Environment Agency and Ribble Catchment Conservation Trust carrying out a river survey on the fish and aquatic life of this upland steam, they sampled a 25 meter stretch with nets and electrofishing and the results were very encouraging with a good population of young trout, sea trout and salmon, 42 in all plus a couple of sea trout around the 11/2 lbs in weight, there were no salmon stunned in any of the stretches they surveyed because for reasons not fully understood the run of fish up the Forest of Bowland tributaries is always about a month later than the other areas in the same river system, their genetic makeup must be slightl different.

              The start of the walk... the village green at Dunsop Bridge

A couple of  visually unsympathetic fish passes up the lower part of the valley near to the waterworks

         Higher up the valley in Whitendale the scenery becomes wilder

                                  The site of the river survey

                                  Two young Brown Trout

                                Young Salmon (Salmon Parr)

  The boggy moorland above the higher reaches of Whitendale Water in Whitendale, here the fish have difficulty reaching the higher stretches of the river because of water extraction by the water company


  1. Hello are surrounded by such lovely countryside. So pleased you share your pictures with us all:)

  2. Hi Dave
    Looks like a great walk, we don't seem to get that amount of space down here in the Midlands.
    Cheers Colin.