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|Past & Present
|The River Year
|On the Trail by Night
|On the Trail by Day
|Behind the Scenes
The objective of the riverkeeper is to maintain a healthy river that is the best possible environment for the wild brown trout.
This chapter reveals that the riverkeeper's job is a never-ending one. There is always something to do, either by design or as a result of the weather.
A one kilometre (0.6 mile) area of land and water has to be managed, covering 12 hectares (30 acres) of which 1.6 hectares (4 acres) are river. Paths have to be cut. Fringes and vegetation trimmed. Trees attended to. Weed to be cut at specified times of the year.
Consideration is given to the control of predators, such as pike and cormorants, species that have to be kept under control as they can deplete the wild brown trout fish stocks. The effort to control the cormorants comes in some surprising forms.
A different form of predation is represented by gangs of mute swans in the winter that must be moved on. The swans strip much of the river weed that is the habitat for invertebrates and, in its turn, food for the trout.
Minor bank repairs, fixing bridges and gates, coppicing of willows and the removal of dead trees all feature in the winter months.