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Archive of posts filed under the River Works category.

Kayak and raft building jetty

Last week, on a rather bitter day we were up in North Dorset constructing a jetty to make it safer for students to use their kayaks…

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Looking forward to summer

I never like wishing time away, but the thought of the coming spring and summer, and days spent out doing “Electric Fishing Survey’s“………


Chalkstream dreams……

One of the greatest rewards you can ever get from fishing is listening to another anglers fishing story, just look at their grin, the excitement, a piscatorial Christmas morning any day of the year, that’s what we call “Chalkstream Dreams”…….

The Frome is so low, Libs asked if it was going to “run out of water” and so clear, seriously hard fishing, seriously hard, blend in, vanish into the background, you need to be totally invisible… Sit and observe, watch, don’t move, then after two hours or longer that chosen fish drops back, you dare not breathe, blink, let alone cast a fly, heart pounding…. a glimpse of white, a slight head shake …fish on…. 

These guys who fished here today were great, away from the Wandle brook in London, nice guys, passionate about chalkstreams, and sharing those stories, those great fishing stories… They came to the FROME and caught a few wild fish…….

Oh what a fish a truely wild fish, and then they went on to get another, and a monster Grayling…… they come to those who wait……

Seriously happy days….  Two very different wild fish caught on our home beat……..

Welcome to Ashley

All our “riverworks” team warmly  welcome our latest team member Ashley Way, Ashley was working as a volunteer with the DWT on our latest Mill Stream project, has an impressive CV, a great work ethic, and we feel will contribute hugely to our company, currently working on Sea Trout spawning restoration on west country streams with our project manager Elliot.

  Ashley Way. BSc Ecology and Wildlife Conservation


Having spent 18 years as Structural Design Engineer in the Aviation industry working mainly on Helicopter design, I decided that I wanted to change my career and way of life and pursue a career in Ecology and Wildlife and Conservation. In 2007 I enrolled on a BSc degree program at Bournemouth University and graduated this year with honours. During the last 3 years I have concentrated my efforts in the area of Freshwater Ecology and Fisheries Management, and recently undertook a research project assessing fish pass efficacy and effects on river Frome Atlantic salmon. During this time I was able to gain valuable experience in habitat surveying and electric fishing. Having lived in Dorset for many years I have a passion for protecting our native wildlife and local rivers.

Specialist area:

Fish passage; Habitat surveying; Species sampling and monitoring; Structural design; Project Management; Geographical Information Systems (GIS); Computer Aided Design (CAD); Mechanical Engineering; Report writing.

Favourite fishery project:

My favourite, and first, river restoration project was the Dorchester Mill Stream Enhancement Scheme to improve the ecological quality of the stream for the benefit of wildlife by helping to build low level Berms to narrow the wide sections, allowing the river to create pools and shallow riffles for fish to spawn. This work included installation of stakes, hazel faggots, and pre-planted coir fibre rolls & pallets.

Fondest fishing memory:

Night fishing for catfish in the River Amazon Brazil or Marlin fishing off the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii.

Ultimate fishing destination:

British Columbia Canada, Salmon Fishing.

Vision for the company’s future:

My vision is to help John and the team to continue to provide the customers with a 1st class service in a professional and sustainable manner. I also hope to contribute to the business success and expansion by continually adding further skills whilst promoting freshwater ecology and conservation for the benefit of both humans and biodiversity to ensure the future survival of our riverine habitat and our precious wildlife.


The mill stream continues

The Mill Stream Enhancement, Dorchester………….  We have been working on the Frome for the best part of 25 years, if not longer…..   I cannot bring myself to describe this as an urban chalkstream enhancement as I still think of my home town Dorchester as the rural county town of Dorset, so how about the greatest chalkstream improvement project to ever take place in the capital of Dorset, a grand title, and why???

I will tell you why, nearly all the fine chalkstream work happens in very rural locations, often on private land, well out of view of the general public, with little or no media coverage, and what coverage there is, is generated for those with a vested interested, of an angling background, or (and rightly so) the important PR needed by the sponsors, funders and delivers of this fine conservation work.

We have worked on a huge amount of projects over the years, chatting about our work to various land owners, trusts, presentations for charity’s etc, all good work………

This project is slightly…….  No hugely different in the fact that we have kept the site totally open to the general public, its the main public river walk in Dorchester, and we all have been totally overwhelmed by the positive response and interest shown by the residents and visitors of Dorchester, and its great to be a part of this project……….  The Dorset Wildlife Trust, I cannot say any more just click their link on our home page, join up and get on with helping our rivers!!!!!

Before all the instream work began we carried out a fish survey, this generated a lot of interest and it was lovely to have the time to talk through what we were doing, and explain in detail the aims of the whole project.

You can come along this Saturday and Sunday morning between 10.00am and 12.00 noon to meet the DWT, chat about the project and help to plant up some coir rolls ready to go into the river the following Monday.