The full extent 2012’s wet weather and its effect on ther iver has been illustrated by the total number of navigation warnings issued along the non-tidal Thames.

The number of red board ‘strong stream’ warnings topped 3,000 for the year according to new figures – thought to be most ever in a year.

The Environment Agency boards warn of dangerous conditions and advise boaters not to use the Thames.

The total for last year - 3,270 - contrasts with 2011 when there were none at all and 2010 when there were only 136. The warnings are issued to specific stetches of the river but on many occasions during last year extended along the whole river.

In the autumn Environment Agency Harbourmaster Matt Carter told a meeting of a River Users Group the weather had resulted in a drop of lockage – the number of boats going through the locks.

The numbers had a knock-on effect on EA income from riverside activities like boat pump-outs which was estimated to 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 at the time that fishing had been “unbelievably good”. Strong stream river conditions resulted in more oxygen in the water leading to excellent fishing conditions. He said :”The result has been some spectacular catches.”

Link to Environment Agency website for latest river conditions


Story dated January 8th 2013

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