After saying that few salmon make it upstream as far as Scorhill, there was one resting under the clapper bridge over the Teign at Scorhill today.
It didn’t look to be in wonderful condition, it had white markings around its head. I’ve read that hormone changes that start in the breeding season make them susceptible to fungal infections. It may be that this one won’t make it back to the sea after breeding.
The footpath assessment work is complete now and the drainage work begins. There are drainage ‘cut offs’ across footpaths that need digging out every year in time for the heavy rain.
Heavy rain overnight caused the upper Teign at Scorhill to cover the two clapper bridges. The moor is pretty soggy now.
Over the last two weeks the river has risen enough for migrating salmon to continue their journey upstream. Until then I guess they had been trapped in pools downstream or perhaps they stayed out at sea until the rains began. Last Thursday I counted 39 salmon or sea trout trying to jump the ladder on the Drogo estate. Some didn’t make it, so it might have been far fewer fish seen several times! Some were tiddlers but most were good sized fish up to about 18 inches. I was told that few get up as far as Scorhill, most are heading for smaller tributaries like Blackaton brook.
This morning it would have to have been a very strong fish that made any progress up river. The photo shows the salmon ladder at SX7224589656.
The water level in the resevoir is very low and will probably stay that way for some time. The lack of substantial rain over the summer and autumn and the fact that South West Water use the water in the resevoir before low lying ones has meant the level has been falling for months. Water in the high resevoirs like Meldon and Fernworthy is used first because it needs less pumping to get it to where it’s used.
The exposed bridges and hut circles have been attracting lots of visitors in recent weeks, it’s not often that the stream under the bridge is reduced to the level it must have been before the valley was flooded.
A good deal of work has been done by SWW to improve the walk around the resevoir. Lots of Rhodedendron was cut back last year, but it’s making a comeback.
As well as lots of hut circles in the area, there is a wonderful Bronze Age burial cyst (a stone box in this case) located at SX66737 84337.
There are big flocks of Fieldfares and Redwings this Autumn, their migration from Scandinavia has probably been aided by a good blow from the East just as they made their passage. There seems to be plenty of berries for them all this year.