Storm Desmond?

11 Oct

Season 2019

There are conflicting views as to whether or not 2019 has been a good or a poor season. Although it is not yet over most anglers seem to be having mixed fortunes with some scoring at the right time and yet others claiming there are no fish in the rivers. Presumably the truth is some where in between. All rivers seem to have fish but not many.

One theory going the rounds that also seems to be the official Environment Agency view is that ‘Storm Desmond’ destroyed a considerable number of ‘redds’ during the 2015 spawning period and this has led to a dearth of migratory fish both in 2018/2019.

To refresh your memory on the 5th – 6th December 2015 – Storm Desmond brought strong winds and heavy rainfall to most of the north.

Storm Desmond was an extratropical cyclone and fourth named storm of the 2015–16 UK and Ireland windstorm season, notable for directing a plume of moist air, known as an atmospheric river, which brought record amounts of orographic rainfall to upland areas of northern Atlantic Europe.
In the United Kingdom the worst affected areas were centred on Cumbria, parts of Lancashire and the Scottish Borders.

Storm Desmond was the fourth named storm of the season and brought severe gales with gusts up to 81 mph.  This was accompanied by record-breaking rainfall which brought flooding to areas across the north of England. On some rivers floods of 5 meters plus were recorded.

Honister Pass in Cumbria recorded 341.4 mm of rainfall in the 24-hours up to 1800 GMT on 5 December 2015 making a new UK record.

The same period of rainfall also set a new 48-hour record (from 0900 to 0900 hrs) with 405 mm rainfall recorded at Thirlmere in Cumbria in just 38 hours.

Site Name

Area

Rainfall Total mm

Thirlmere

Cumbria

405

Shap

Cumbria

262.6

Keswick

Cumbria

178.4

Blencathra

Cumbria

174.8

Capel Curig

Gwynedd

170.6

Tyndrum

Perthshire

141

Eskdalemuir

Dumfriesshire

139.2

Bainbridge

North Yorkshire

136

Cluanie Inn

Ross & Cromarty

132.8

The record-breaking rainfall associated with Storm Desmond caused severe disruption, flooding 5,200 homes across Lancashire and Cumbria. Several major roads across the north of England and Scotland were flooded and there was major disruption to rail services in the north of England while a landslide closed a section of the West Coast mainline between Preston and Carlisle.

If this theory is true then no doubt it will be some time before migratory fish stocks recover. It maybe 2021/22 before any significant improvement is recorded. So what future for the remaining north east net fishery? Commercial netting is simply not sustainable in such circumstances. And surely compulsory catch and release now seems inevitable.