It surely must be up by now? Mind you, I'm happy to wait for April 1st if there's any danger of disturbing the gravel.
I'm up for a paddle on this stretch soon. Level depending.
Hampshire Avon and elsewhere.
Another useful guide as to whether the water is too low and risks damaging fish spawn is to follow the example of fishermen. When I asked the EA about the dates for salmon spawning they replied that it "generally occurs in the winter months December to January, care should be taken around shallow gravel areas to preserve the habitats of the fish" (by the time the BCU/CE asked the EA the answer had reportedly changed to "the salmon spawning season on the R Avon (Hants) is the end of October to end of March").
The answer I was given is obviously the correct one, as Sunday 5th February 2012 sees this year's annual Salmon fishing open day on the Somerley Estate (downstream from Fordingbridge, above Ringwood) taking place. An example of acceptable contact with the river bed post-spawning is shown here:
For paddlers, crotch level immersion close to the bank can be taken as a sign that there should be plenty of water to float a boat.
As a responsible 'guardian of the river' you will, of course, be cognisant of the fact that once fertilized, salmon eggs take about 180 days to hatch. Whilst eggs remain in the gravel they are particularly susceptible to impact shock (though slightly less so for their first hours - presumably to overcome the 'trauma' of being covered in the redd - and once they have 'eyed') with potential mortality in excess of 60%, and they can die up to 60 days after the application of the shock (or hatching may be delayed by up to two weeks - which increases the risk of late trampling). You will also be aware that just hatched eggs, called alevins, remain in the gravel feeding off their egg-sack, until they eventually emerge as fry capable of escaping waders.
It might explain why when I last looked at the Fly Fishing Forum post advising of the above described wading event, it came up with these ads (really!):
The bottom line is that, as a paddler, fisheries on the Hampshire Avon (supported by the local EA offices) will claim you are likely to harm salmon, but if you paddle at reasonable levels, all you will do is risk the opinion of hypocritical vested interests.
[Happy to be corrected with evidence if I've got any of the technical details about fish wrong].
Last edited by John Saunders; 5th-January-2012 at 10:33 PM.
Sorry John but the adds are not generated by the website but by your browsing history.
The site looks at your most visted sites and targets you with the most appropriate ads.
So be careful where you go!!!
Just be grateful your recent history was on Kayak/canoe sites and not something else.
...combining the adverts for something 'inflatable' and 'how to do it courses in Wales' a picture of an blow up sheep would have appeared before long , so, back on track...
...the Hants Avon is clearly getting back into shape, if possibly not quite being there yet for guaranteed through paddling. Two of the EA's river gauges for the Avon are at East Mills where paddling conditions should look like this:
These particular lads had previously provided an exemplary example of how to behave in the face of unpleasant harrassment, and have recently reported that
"We're not having that much hassle at the moment, and have paddled it about 5 or 6 times over Christmas. You have to do a bit of a trip to avoid going on Mr Eastmills private road but it's doable."
As you say John, an exemplary example , with lads like these,I feel we must win. Are those 'Surf Shoes'?,
I am surprised they can sit steady in the flow,with out a paddle in the water,without being moved by the
From what I can make of the film of the bloke fishing on the Salmon open day,he would be hard pressed to
catch any thing at a fish farm, as well as killing all the eggs and fry with his size 12 waders,he should be shown
that film every day,for the rest of his life!
The EA dates for salmon spawning ends soon time to consider a suitable time to get on the water.
Sunday the 4th of March.
The route will be the same, Start in Salisbury, then paddle the 17 miles down river to Fordingbridge,
with a lunch brake half way down. A local paddler is checking the general water levels on the section of
river we will paddle, so, more news to follow.
Yes, looks good to me to, the latest report on the water is that 'there's plenty flowing down the river', so
the depth is fine, lets hope for a sunny day!
I drive from Ringwood to Salisbury quite regulary, and looks to me like the river has been quite high on the lower section (Ringwood to fordingbridge) for the last 2 weeks. Can't see much of the river from the A338 above Fordingbridge though.
Is the paddle starting from the College in Salisbury?
Also, given that the access issues I've encountered (mainly from anglers) have been between christchurch and Ringwood, why not paddle all the way to Christchurch / Mudeford?
Proposed route of Avon paddle.
I think it is important to get into the river for 9;00, not later than 9;30, if we are to complete the paddle in daytime, allowing for a lunch break, .
Put in: River Nadder at Harnham Recreation Ground, A3094Harnham Road, Salisbury (SU 137 292)
After approx. 500m join the Avon at SU 141 290
Harnham to Bodenham: approx. 7km http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=5087574
Bodenham get out/put in at SU 170 259
Bodenham to Charford: approx. 9.5kmhttp://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=5087544
Charford get out/put in SU 177 186
Charford to Fordingbridge: approx 10.5km http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=5087582
Fordingbridge get out SU 148 137
Excellent guide with mapped photos at http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=50.78900352108116~-1.7572090029716492&lvl=12&sty=s&cid=8151134ABDC3CA 99!116
Derf, its good to get confirmation on the state of the river, should be a nice run down.
I considered a trip all the way down to the coast, over two days with a camp around Fordingbridge, and I may well do this at a later date.
At present, I am happy to do this first section on the 4th March, and follow up with the Fordingbridge to Christchurch paddle a few weeks
after, it would be great to reach the sea !
Should be a great paddle. Its a beautiful part of the world.
not sure i will be able to make 9am though.
Sounds good to me. :-)
Damn, I'm away in Scotland that week. Hope you have a good paddle!
I'll try to get some recent pics of water levels up soon.
John. i agree that we must be seen to promote best practice at all times and that includes paddling on the Avon. we must demonstrate that we can enjoy a beautiful stretch of river without harming the riverine environment. if we are in doubt that the water levels are not sufficient to float safely over any posiible spawning sites then we will delay our paddle.
Had a look at the proposed put-in a couple of weeks or so ago. It was probably just about OK, but any further upstream on the Nadder (by Harnham Mill) would have been a scrape.
Immediately downstream of the confluence with the Avon there is plenty of water from the New Harnham A338 Road Bridge along side as per these pics from this morning:
The sluices that take the river left towards the A36 are flowing, which has improved the situation along the last stretch that runs alongside Churchill Park:
A quick look at a couple of spots further dowstream are not so encouraging. The river level at Bodenham (just downstream from Longford Castle) doesn't look to have changed at all since late January. Whilst there is enough water in the main channel river left, it's still pretty low:
Still further downstream, at Trafalgar Weir (at least I think that's what it's called) there are similarly low water levels:
With this latter location the flow here is artificially restricted, and adjacent side carriers have plenty of water, but the issue is more one of necessary portages and lack of public access. Personally, I think the river will need more water before it's really viable to run without any risk of (the charge of) environmental harm.
Last edited by John Saunders; 18th-February-2012 at 05:55 PM. Reason: typo
Thanks for the info John.
Current information is always useful. I think your assessment is correct that the water levels are OK from an environmental perspective.
I would prefer to see a little more depth though. Lets keep our fingers crossed for some more rain then we can make a decision nearer the time.
John Saunders' vids fun with inflatables
Last edited by TGB; 18th-February-2012 at 10:19 PM.
May the gentleness of morning, greet your silent passage through endless waters...
May all your winds be gentle. And for ww - May it rain the night before.
Back to the subject of the thread, I realise that there's a typo in my last post where it should have said "along side Churchill Park, as per these pics from this morning". Given that the park belongs to the local council, and the LAA fishery is all along the southern right bank (looked like a busy competition today; nothing on the LAA website about it, again), does anyone know if the riparian rights on the left bank, belong to the city of Salisbury and its citizens? Do Salisbury Sea Cadets (who have their boats moored next to their HQ, below Harnham New Bridge river left) have to keep to 'their' half of the river?
Last edited by John Saunders; 18th-February-2012 at 10:15 PM. Reason: major access rights error
Having had a look at Johns photos, I do not think there is enough depth of water for a paddle at present,which is a shame.
There fore I think it is for the best that the paddle is postponed till a later date.
This has been a dry Winter,following a dry Autumn, it will probably pee down in the Summer !
Sorry Keith, it was the second part of the quote which prompted me to comment, not the first. And you are right of course.
Last edited by John Saunders; 20th-February-2012 at 10:05 PM. Reason: more typos spotted
A stretch of the Hants. (and Wilts.) Avon that hasn't been much considered runs between Amesbury and Salisbury. It looks like this:
just a thought.
Hmm, good thought John. That is a lovely section, I used to cycle round there regularly when I lived in Salisbury in the early 90s. Of course, in terms of highlighting access, our argument would be targeted slightly differently as this is above the section covered by the Act of Navigation and we would be making a point about ALL non-tidal rivers, not just ones with historic Navigation Acts.
We could call in at Lake House and see Sting too.
they used to do great food at 'The Bridge at Woodford' as well...
The BCU has stated that "Identifying a safe level to avoid coming into contact with gravel spawning beds should take into account the draught of a canoe/kayak is typically up to 10cm. This suggests that allowing at least a 15-20cm depth of water should be adequate to pass over gravel beds with the minimum risk of grounding. Care should be exercised using a paddle in reduced depth conditions to avoid contact with a gravel river bed, and it is recommended to revert to a paddle if poling an open canoe."
EA gauges are showing that the Hampshire Avon is now looking to be open for business. Worth keeping an eye on the latest situation, but as of this evening the Nadder is above its typical range, East Mills Flume and Weir are both showing good levels, and Ringwood Riverside Terrace is also has plenty of water.
And it is the angling closed season so you are displaying due consideration for other water user. They cannot plan a match at short notice this time!
Torrential rain due this Sunday in the Salisbury area, the same as the rest of the West,a good day to sit indoors,
by a nice fire, I would be interested to see how much the river has risen up the marker posts that John Saunders
took the photo's of earlier in the year, to compare,and contrast.
But it sounds like its 'safe' to assume that we can get 10cm of water to float on,so paddle and on !
1664 - a great year for river access
Follow my blog at http://riveraccessrights.blogspot.com/
here). Once again, action on the water speaks louder than internet intentions. Top lads!
Indeed, good to hear of youngsters behaving very responsibly when challenged by a raving landgrabber/owner.
Just checked the weather forecast for Sunday and it looks very good. Sunny and Dry !
It was a lovely day out (despite the rudeness of a handful of men) - blog here http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...ay-on-the-Avon
Looks like a great paddle... I am sure you will inspire others to experience the delights of the Avon, despite the rudeness you experienced. Sounds like you handled it really well. The Sea Cadet idiot did harm to a great institution by representing it so badly.
Well done you two! I hope you enjoyed the trip despite the abuse. Enough to demonstrate that we have a right of navigation but small enough that any opposition from the extremists in the angling community and their fellow travellers is seen as a bullying over-reaction. In time they will get acclimatised to us.
In the 1950s British Waterways were actively filling in locks to prevent navigation on abandoned canals and river navigations. British Waterways resisted but those determined to maintain (or restore navigation) just kept going and in time British Waterways recognised the inevitable and changed their policy.
Asked a daft question, then saw the answer straight away, so deleted post to save my blushes!
Last edited by Rockhopper; 19th-June-2012 at 09:08 PM. Reason: B****y greenfly!
Juvanile delinkwit (retired), vaguely faffing around with a pair of pliers.
Keith, thank you for your support,as we paddled, we felt it was a river that many open canoeist would enjoy if we
just took it on ! and bore the unlawful ranting of those who would try to stop us for no good reason from paddling these
very old waterways, as a river it is made for canoeing, please have a go.
Doug, I am glad you got the point that this is a lovely river, with a few people who do not want canoeists, for the most
of the section we paddled,we met nobody. Having said that, I would like to have a larger social paddle ! To show that
we have the right to travel that waterway. In fact, what I really want to organise is a paddle camp paddle from
Salisbury to Christchurch, we have time.
Sounds like a plan, I could bring my fly rod and catch some trout from my ever so intrusive boat, now that would upset the yocals..