Another issue that anglers should be aware of is biosecurity. How many of us clean our tackle after each visit? Nets, waders and clothing can harbour seeds and pathogens which may be present in one water course but are not in another. Thorough disinfection of nets and waders after each visit is a habit which will help us to preserve the fantastic fisheries that we have.
For more information on how you can help, please contact the River Esk Trust:
The removal of problem non native species has been funded by a number of organisations including Leader ERDF funds, SEPA, Patterson's Quarries, Scottish Government, RADSFB and Shanks Waste Solutions and SNH. Invasive non-native species pose a threat to the ecology of the river and tackling them is best done on a catchment scale, exactly the scale that a river trust operates on.
We are currently involved on the eradication of Japanese knotweed, the eradication of giant hogweed, the control of Himalayan balsam and the control of North American mink. This project has been very successful with an 80% reduction in the amount of Japanese knotweed in the catchment and reduced area of infestation, the treatment of all of the known giant hogweed stands and the eradication of North American mink in the top section of the river.
To continue the success of this programme we still require more information from anglers about the whereabouts of new untreated stands of knotweed, balsam and giant hogweed, please look at the invasive species page on this website for further identification features and information. We also require more information about mink, the Trust is taking a strategic approach to their removal and is working from the top of the river south. Each year we have to go over the ground that we have already covered to ensure that they are still absent and any that are seen by anglers should be reported to the Trust.
RIPARIAN INVASIVE NON-NATIVE SPECIES (INNS) PROJECT
The INNS project began in April 2010 and aims to take a catchment approach to tackling invasive species. The main objective is to reduce the spread of Himalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed along the river bank improving the diversity of native species and improving access. Control work is carried out in a top down approach, starting at furthest upstream colony and working down river. This reduces the chance of any areas controlled downstream being re-colonised by infestations further upstream..
HIMALAYAN BALSAM CONTROL
Controlling Himalayan balsam has been carried out in partnership with the Criminal Justice Service who have supplied community service work groups to cut areas of balsam along the river bank. The work has focused on the area between Three Waters Meet and Woodfoot Bridge and large areas have been cut and hand pulled. Himalayan balsam is an annual plant and the aim of the control work is to prevent seeding resulting in the depletion of the seed bank. Research has shown that this can take between 12 - 18 months.
Stems are hollow, jointed and brittle. Plants can grow up to 3 metres tall. Leaves are spear shaped with serrated edges and grow in whorls of three.
Flowers are slipper shaped on long stalks and vary from purplish pink to pale pink.
The plant flowers between June and October.
Seed pods are produced between July and October and explode when touched
Japanese knotweed is a perennial plant which grows from an extensive underground rhizome system. Although Japanese knotweed in the UK does not produce seeds it is highly regenerative and can grow from a tiny fragment of stem. Treatment has largely been carried out using a stem injection system delivering a shot of herbicide directly into the plants water reservoir. Where stem injection is not an option the plant will be treated using a knapsack sprayer. So far, approximately 1500 M2 of Japanese knotweed have been treated with last year's treatment showing encouraging signs of success.
Stems are green with red or purple specks and can grow up to 2-3 metres tall in dense cane like clumps.
Shield or heart shaped green leaves..
Creamy white clusters of flowers appear between August and September.