Fishing the Hogsmill

Fly-fishing the Hogsmill
It is interesting to see the river from a different perspective: the Hogsmill is popular with anglers at this time of year; although it is unusual to see someone fly- fishing. A chub has just been caught on bread and it looks a good size. Trout are sometimes seen in the Hogsmill and can sit in the weir notch by the school. Our own Richard Jefferies in his book 'Nature Near London'  remarked on the Hogsmill trout as far up as Tolworth Hall Bridge (now the A240).

This fish was carefully unhooked and orientated in the swim where it soon finds it way - probably to the next father and son - sitting further upstream. These anglers have caught the 'ghost' koi within the last two weeks and appear to be the second successful pair to catch the pond-escapee in the last few days. Ghost koi are a British invention. They were produced by accident in the early 80’s when a farmer allowed a mirror carp and a koi to spawn together. The offspring included some fish with metallic highlights on their head and fins.

ghost koi 
Today it was at the bridge between Grange Road and Watersplash Close; another couple were pursuing it using sweetcorn. I didn't meet anyone who had caught it last year, just a lot of 'near misses'. Is this due to the water levels remaining close to 15-20cm for the last four weeks and less food arriving downstream? And what of the impacts of the invading mink on our fish populations? Hopefully  the four kits recently seen in a local garden are saving sufficient for the kingfishers.

garden mink 
Torrential rain after a dry period spells disaster for the river. Pollutants lurking in the storm drains are suddenly flushed into the river and the chemicals/oils /sewage/sediments as well as causing fish kill directly can lead to a oxygen deficit.

Folk concerned with the Hogsmill at Old Malden as well as the Beverley brook have both reporting fish kills over the last few days (30.7.18, NIRS 1638172). 

Unfortunately it is not possible to discuss someone else's NIRS number with the Environment Agency, due to our friend and saviour - data protection. This was the final word of the EA - on their 03708506506 number-suggested by the an operative on the emergency EA number to tie-up local fish kills. In fact, in order to discuss our local fish kills with the EA, I would need to drive to Old Malden, witness dead fish, report it on 0800 807060 and obtain my own NIRS number.

There have also been  reports of blue-green algae (Beverley) so I suggested that notices be put up to warn people to stop pets entering the water course and was told that the EA are not tasked with public safety and this was a job for Environmental Health. So if you wanted to report blue green algae, before you ring the council, I defy you to first of all know what borough you are in!

The number to ring if you see distressed fish is freephone 0800807060


Most viewed

Heritage Trees part 2: street trees.

Seething Wells: they've done it again