Citizen Science – Fish Survey 2023

Report from the Second Fish Survey conducted by the RDA and the Institute of Fisheries Management September 2023  

by Steve Colcough

A small group of RDA volunteers, led by Richard Verrill, have been working together with Steve Colcough from the Institute of Fisheries Management and others to collect up to date information about fish stocks in the Deben. RDA Journal readers will remember Richard’s report from August 2022 – Deben Fish Survey 2022 

Now, following a second sampling session from higher up the river, Steve Colcough has produced a formal report available here — River Deben fish surveys 2023. Continue reading

Leave Only Ripples

By Matt Lis

“Leave only footprints. Take only memories” they say of walking in the countryside, for those of us who enjoy hours afloat I suppose that translates to “Leave only ripples” so how do we achieve that?

When Julia asked me to write an article on how boaters can reduce their impact on the Deben I wonder whether she appreciated the enormity of the topic. I will fail to answer all questions for all people but by focusing on just a few topics I can try to summarise those things in just one long article.

‘Evoelectric’ afloat

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Help clean up our beaches

by Kate Osborne

I remember the first time I ever saw someone collecting rubbish from the beach. It was a beautiful white sand cove in Corsica. What struck me as odd wasn’t the fact that he was stark naked (it really was a deserted beach!) but that he was carrying a torn white plastic feed sack and he was using it as a sling for all sorts of other litter. I’m ashamed to say I laughed – whether inwardly or outwardly I’m not sure – but I’m still friends with him and the rest of his family, so it can’t have been that obvious.

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Sustainable Water: A presentation by John Patrick

Report by Julia Jones

The speaker at this year’s AGM was John Patrick, founder member of the Felixstowe Hydrocycle (https://www.felixstowehydrocycle.com/).

His talk was detailed and fascinating. We are most grateful to him for allowing us to reproduce the slides from his presentation. This report can only skim the surface and hope to convey a few main points as understood by a completely non-technical audience member. Continue reading

Avian Influenza and the Wild Birds of the Deben

By Sally Westwood

It was unusual to see a dead Great Cormorant trapped between the pontoons in a marina, at low tide, on the River Deben. I have also seen a Mute Swan in similar circumstances a couple of weeks ago. It may be that both birds succumbed to Avian Influenza or they may have died of natural causes. The UK is experiencing a large outbreak, the largest recorded outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza which is affecting wild birds, poultry and captive birds1. Avian Influenza is a highly contagious disease in animals and birds stemming from influenza A viruses2. A very small amount of Avian Influenza virus strains can result in a high amount of fatalities in flocks of domestic poultry. Such strains are referred to as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Continue reading

Water Quality on the Deben – some current issues

By Colin Nicholson

Introduction

At a recent River Deben Association (RDA) committee meeting, co-chair Colin Nicholson reported back from a recent visit to Anglian Water’s Wastewater Treatment Works at Martlesham Creek. The committee felt that this information was likely to be of interest to members and should be reported back. (Minutes of the meeting will also be available on the RDA website when they have been formally agreed.)  Hence this article via the RDA Journal, which does not claim to be a complete overview of the complex topic of water quality, merely a personal update on matters of current interest and actions taken to gain better information.

As organic matter trickles down over stones it is consumed by bacteria.

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Deben Fish Survey August 2022

By Richard Verrill

It is well recognised that estuaries provide essential breeding grounds and nurseries for many fish species. They also provide corridors for migratory species. Estuaries provide a very dynamic environment with constant changes in tide, temperature and salinity. Intertidal areas provide particularly important refuge and feeding grounds for small fish.The variety of the shoreline in the Deben provides an abundance of different nursery environments with sandy beaches, shingle beaches, mudflats and salt marsh. Continue reading