RIVER LEVEN

North of the Severn drainage, west of the Pennines
Pete L Preston
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by Pete L Preston » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:20 pm

Hi All,

Well, the wier works are finished. The damaged wier has been repaired and the previously concealed underwater framework has been removed.

Not before time as regards the weather and the likelihood that paddlers will be looking to get on the Leven in the not too distant future.

Thanks for the dissemination of the information to River users. Safety for all is a high priority over at the Environment Agency.

Regards

Pete L

heybaz
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by heybaz » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:21 pm

Good news Pete and a great job of keeping everyone aware.
Thanks to you and your team
Barry

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Lancs_lad
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by Lancs_lad » Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:52 pm

Vid showing 1.25 level (rainchasers high)Click click

david52
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by david52 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:40 am

Hi All,I am a Fisheries Officer with The Environment Agency, mentioned previously on this forum regarding signs I have put up at Newby Bridge near the weir. This is the area described above as the put-in point. It is also a very important area for spawning fish. The signs advise against wading in the river at this point to protect spawning salmon and their eggs until they have hatched.I visited this site on Wednesday 4th December to assess whether we needed to put these signs up again this year. I saw 5 salmon "redds" in the gravel very close to the river bank at the put in point. One was just a few feet from the concrete pipe there. In fact there were several salmon in that immediate area so I came straight out of the river to prevent disturbance and allow them to continue spawning.I have put the signs up again. I would ask that no-one wades into the water at this point. Wading will disturb the spawning fish, and, when spawning has finished, destroy the eggs in the gravels. It may also be an offence under The Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.We will monitor this area closely over the next few weeks with the aim of accurately plotting these redds to ensure we can protect them from disturbance as far as possible. Hopefully we may then be able to show accurately which areas need to be avoided. Salmon numbers have declined significantly in this river in recent years and we are working with partners and local anglers to protect, conserve and improve stocks for the future. Our catch and release bye-law for salmon in the River Leven was renewed earlier this year with this aim in mind. Your help earlier this year when The Environment Agency were carrying out works in the river was greatly appreciated and I look forward to your co-operation and assistance now to protect the salmon there. If anyone wants any further information, site moderators require an electronic copy of the sign I have put up, or even to meet up on site please do not hestitate to contact me via this site. I can also be contacted by telephone via our National Customer Contact Centre on 03708 506 506.RegardsDavid HallFisheries Officer

PMB
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by PMB » Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:40 pm

Tree in the far left chute of the first weir ater the pipe bridge. Beware as it cannot easily be seen from upstream or the bank on river right.
Phil B

david52
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by david52 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:06 pm

Thanks for the information about the branch PMB. I can confirm it is stuck on our (Environment Agency) Fish Counter Weir at Backbarrow. When the river levels drop off sufficiently we will arrange removal.David HallEnvironment Agency Fisheries Officer

david52
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by david52 » Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:30 am

Hi All,

Local Environment Agency Fisheries Officer here again. Please see my post above about salmon spawning in the river at Newby Bridge. I have checked this area again and can confirm we now have salmon "redds" in the river right where canoeists enter on the left bank immediately below Newby Bridge Weir - described on this forum as the put in point. So please no wading. Salmon eggs are in the gravel and will be destroyed by people wading. Signs are again in place to advise. Again, if you require any further information please contact our National Customer Contact Centre on 03708 506 506. Regards, David Hall, Fisheries Officer.

david52
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by david52 » Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:52 am

Hi All,

Just to correct the mistake in my post above, it is the right bank of the river below Newby Bridge Weir, not the left bank! Apologies for the mistake. Regards, David Hall, Fisheries Officer.

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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by heybaz » Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:41 pm

Hi All

I had a very positive conversation with David Hall from the Environment Agency (see his post above) this morning to clarify the situation regarding salmon redds at Newby Bridge.

I was on the Leven yesterday with two friends who, having read the sign at the usual put-in eddy, said that they were unaware of what redds actually are or look like. We looked into the river from the bank and sure enough there are redds in the shallow gravels just beyond the eddy - within a couple of metres certainly - as well as upstream of it. The Newby Bridge gauge was showing 0.93 as we got on the river, equalling a "low" on Rainchasers; we were able to get into our boats in the eddy and float out without scraping the bottom with boats or paddles.

David's advice to me this morning is very clear and should not interfere with our paddling at this sort of level. He simply requests that we avoid wading in the river while confirming that launching in the eddy and floating clear "is fine". Given so many paddlers launching at this point, it might suggest that we are not preventing the fish from building their redds or laying eggs here but showing a little consideration and avoiding the redds here or elsewhere on the river has to be in all of our interests.

Wading even knee deep can be sufficient to stand on and disturb the redds but I can think of no real reason why any kayaker would need to do so; canoeists may want to take a little more care stepping into their boats (though most open boats I see on the river tend to float down from above Newby Bridge thus avoiding the put-in eddy).

Recent conversations with anglers, local fisheries bailiff and South Cumbria Rivers Trust support the EA stats that salmon numbers in the Leven are falling; please let's do what we can to avoid any further threat to the fish stocks.

Thanks

Barry Curley
British Canoeing Regional Waterways Advisor

PMB
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by PMB » Fri Dec 26, 2014 3:19 pm

Just to say that there is another tree - this time quite a substantial looking one - in the far left hand chute of the Environment Agency Fish Counter Weir at Backbarrow i.e. the weir directly below the river-wide pipe.

Portaged the drop today as it was on a huge (1.5 on EA gauge), and the tree looked sizeable. It is parallel to the flow so you may be able to negotiate the chute in lower flows although I'd advise getting out river right by the weir to inspect.
Phil B

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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by heybaz » Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:47 pm

Thanks Phil B

I have passed this onto my contact at the Environment Agency who I know are keen to receive this kind of information.
Much appreciated and hope you enjoyed being on my favourite river,

Barry

david52
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by david52 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:51 am

PMB and heybaz, many thanks for the info about the tree in our fish counter weir at Backbarrow. I had a look yesterday and can confirm there is a large branch stuck in the left channel in the same position as the previous two. We will remove this in due course but it could be some time before we get the low flows that will enable us to do this safely.

Regards

David Hall, EA Fisheries Officer.

PMB
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by PMB » Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:37 pm

Many thanks David - much appreciated.
Phil B

openad
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by openad » Sat Nov 14, 2015 1:47 pm

Hi all - we rent a house on river right just before the footbridge / weir at the Whitewater Hotel. We are fortunate that the back garden stretches to the river.

Must admit was a bit astounded today when a group pulled their boats in to our garden then went for a wander, obviously doing a bit of throwline cover for some other paddlers.

We have 6 year old kids for whom we regularly take paddling, but for the river leven we give them strict instructions to keep away from the river, in the summer we allow the grass and nettles to grow long so they keep away from the edge. We really don't want to put up a fence. So on occasions when for some reason paddlers think its OK to drag their boats up in to our garden kind of feels like someone is parking their car in your driveway.

Just past our garden is a bit of grass that paddlers use, its part of the whitewater hotel. I think they tolerate access. Appreciate if people used that rather than a our garden. If really have to pull out do so and move on..

Really don't want a case of numbyisum - in running events I know full well the challenges of access on rivers as well as getting in and out of the river, please just ask for a little bit of judgement before pulling your boat out in a garden - especially when other nearby alternatives are available.

James @ open adventure

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Lancs_lad
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by Lancs_lad » Thu Dec 24, 2015 2:58 pm

This is 2nd hand knowledge but thought I would pass it on.

Since the floods a couple of my mates have paddled the Leven. They portaged Backbarrow as the said it looked different, as in something was in it or the bedrock had moved.

PMB
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by PMB » Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:28 pm

Just to confirm, I paddled the river today and Backbarrow ran as normal at 1.35 on the gauge. There don't seem to be any substantial changes to the river after the flooding.
Phil B

david52
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by david52 » Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:01 pm

Hi All,
For your information The Environment Agency are carrying out some work tomorrow, Thursday 24th March 2016, on the fish counter weir on the River Leven at Backbarrow. This is the weir downstream of the foot bridge at Backbarrow. The work involves erecting a gantry over the deep water channel close to the left bank. It will be approximately 5 feet above the top of the concrete islands so should not prove an issue for paddlers. The gantry, which will be in position for about a year, will allow us to monitor fish movements and assess stocks much more accurately.This will provide us with essential information to protect and enhance stocks of salmon and sea trout.
The gantry should be easily visible to all river users and suitable warning signs will be erected. Your co-operation in helping our work on this river has been, and is, very much appreciated. If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact our National Customer Contact Centre on 03708 506 506.
Many Thanks.
David Hall.
Fisheries Technical Officer.
Cumbria and Lancashire Fisheries Operations Team.

heybaz
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by heybaz » Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:25 pm

Thank you for this David

I'll arrange to have your message posted on British Canoeing's national and regional sites.

Barry Curley
British Canoeing Cumbria Regional Waterways and Environment Adviser

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g_mcmann
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by g_mcmann » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:26 am

A group of us paddled the Leven yesterday evening and came across a tree that has fallen across most of the river just down stream of the EA fish counting weir. The three is passable on river left.

I was able to ferry glide from river right just above the tree to get around it but I would imagine this would be difficult in higher water so best to head left from the weir.

lakesboy
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by lakesboy » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:30 am

following on from gareths post above that tree has now weakened and has sagged somewhat leaving a gap down river left that can be taken, in higher flows i expect the tree will break off from the bank (roots still holding at mo) and head down stream possibly.

also there is now another tree below the final rapid on the river, river right of the island that is across majority of the river, although as above it has a suitable gap down river left to pass it, but again will come away more from the bank in higher flows.

both trees are visible from above and easy enough currently to pass and avoid, but this will change as flows go up

STEVEHITCHEN
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by STEVEHITCHEN » Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:06 pm

Hi folks, paddled the Leven Sun 14th Aug 16. The tree hazards are still there. They are as previously described and the
first one is just about hanging onto the bank,passable easily on the left at low flows. It will not remain in place in a big flow.
The second one is downstream of Fishermans Island,and can also be passed on the left.This tree is more difficult to see. It will also cause problems at higher flows.
Happy paddling, SteveH. Wigan Canoe Group.

lakesboy
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by lakesboy » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:48 am

paddled sunday afternoon 21st august at 132 on gauge, the 2 trees have moved and are not creating any major problems now as they have bent further down stream and both are passable centre of river and left now. there was another large tree section hanging off the top of the weir before backbarrow village and main drop under the bridge, the level has gone up to 140 plus and back down to 130 now so this may also have shifted.

none of the trees (three now) should cause a problem though and get stuck anywhere bad, just worth noting for less experienced groups and swimmers who struggle with this grade of water

happy paddling

gwhittall
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by gwhittall » Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:47 pm

Hi
Could anyone advise when we might see fish going upstream in the river Leven near Backbarrow/Whitewater hotel area.
Regards
George

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callwild
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by callwild » Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:30 pm

just received this in an email.

“Hi Folks and Particularly the SRTs , two weekends in a row LDSAMRA teams training on the Leven have just happened to be in the right place at the right time to rescue paddlers pinned on a tree . Both incidents happened at the same place just up from the bridge and school where there is a new tree hazard. If this has happened to relatively inexperienced paddlers two weekends in a row it has to score high on the risk register factor to happen again when a trained SRT team is not on hand to help relatively. The paddling season is just starting which does not bode well.

I am going to talk with Paul and Mike Gullen , Dave H from Kendal has said they will help if we decide to try and do something about this tree hazard which I believe we should seriously consider before it claims a immediately fatality.

Mike Margeson
DFMRT”

lakesboy
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by lakesboy » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:18 am

I would like to know what tree hazard??

I have run this river weekly since july 3rd and the only hazards have been 2 trees that have been highlighted on here before by me and others, none are in the main flow at all for over a month now as they have all weakened and moved to the side of the river. I Have ran this from 85 on gauge (very much a low to scrape) upto 137 (very much a higher level) and have had no issues with trees, and this has been with a mixed ability group each week as well, sounds to me like very much novice groups or inexperienced leaders or both. Very worrying that people are using the leven and not being able to use the leven within their capabilities and then causing incidents that reflect on us all.

paulh
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by paulh » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:27 pm

When did the breach in left hand side of the weir above Backbarrow bridge occur and has anybody run it or are there debris in there ?
Regards Paul

lakesboy
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by lakesboy » Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:13 pm

yes run that instead of anywhere else on that weir now and it goes totally fine and is by far the deepest channel with a good positive shoot with no stopper

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callwild
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by callwild » Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:46 pm

This was the picture from the FB post Ant
https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/t3 ... 7309_o.jpg
It does look as if a branch sticks out into the river although as you say probably easily avoided with basic skills.

thought I'd seen that someone had been back and cleared it but can't find that post now.
worth noting I guess for those who don't know the river

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callwild
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by callwild » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:42 am

paulh wrote:When did the breach in left hand side of the weir above Backbarrow bridge occur and has anybody run it or are there debris in there ?
Regards Paul
My first time back on the Leven at the weekend since the floods.
It was at 0.96 on the guage so at a low level but nudging medium so a decent level and was surprised when got to this weir that we could not just drop over the lip and run it anywhere as we used to.
it was dry over most of it with water running down the fish chute right and most of the flow going through the breach on the left.
We nearly all ran the breach no problem. nobody appeared to hit any debris although blocks are obviously in there.

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Pyro
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by Pyro » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:49 pm

Paddled the Leven at the weekend on a nice top-end-of-medium level.

There were a couple of tree hazards of sorts (can't access the FB link above so not sure if any of these are the same one reported earlier):
- A large bough or small tree stuck in the bottom left of the Brick Chute weir, fine if you stayed right, current isn't pushing you onto it and it's fairly plainly visible from above
- A tree down near the getout, below Fisherman's Island, in amongst the small step-weir-thingies. Easily seen and avoided.
- Plus the usual overhanging, sweeping branches in the river right channel immediately before the getout.

The breach in the weir above Backbarrow seems to run fine. Not sure when it happened, but we ran it when it was dog low back in late January when there was a foot or more of the main weir wall above the surface of the water. There was a concrete pipe or bar on the left side of the breach, but this seems to have helped form a nice tongue to ride down. At the higher levels we had at the weekend, same applied and it was fine.
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