New figures show the effect the wet weather has had on the Thames this summer.

The number of times  red navigation warnings were issued by the Environment Agency soared to over 1,000. And the number of boats passing through locks on the non-tidal Thames is expected to be down by around 30%.

By contrast anglers say is has been an exceptional season on the river.

EA Harbourmaster Matt Carter told a meeting of a River Users Group that two years ago there had been 136 occasions when ‘red boards’ had been imposed on stretches of the river above Teddington – warning of strong stream and advising boaters not to navigate the river.

Last year there were none during the same April - November period. But this year there have been 1,012 already.

And he told the meeting at Thames Motor Yacht Club at Hampton Court this had resulted in a drop of lockage – the number of boats going through the locks.

He said: “At one time during the year lock keepers were telling me they were 50% down. Numbers increased towards the end of the summer so I expect the final figures to be about 30% down on last year.”

The numbers have a knock-on effect on EA income from riverside activities like boat pump-outs which could also be down by about a third, by around £100,000.

He said the bad weather had also hit commercial operators along the Thames.

By contrast Dave Harvey of the Thames Anglers Conservancy said fishing had been “unbelievably good” this year.

He said strong stream river conditions resulted in more oxygen in the water leading to excellent fishing conditions. It meant fish were distributed more downstream rather than clustering around weirs as in a typical summer

He said :”The result has been some spectacular catches.”

  • River User Group (8) brings together a variety of people and organisations who use the river. It covers a stretch from Bell Weir near Staines to Teddington. Meetings and minutes of this and other groups along the river can be found Here
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