Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Brief respite for the River Nar
It's not exactly a household name when it comes to pike fishing, but it might well hit the headlines later this summer. For of all the rivers in the Fens, the Nar's one of the most vulnerable to drought.
Its upper reaches are totally different in character to the embanked stretch that flows through the Fens on its way to the old whalers' quays of King's Lynn. It's a chalk stream, shallow and fast-flowing, that supports a run of sea trout, along with resident brown trout, dace and a few chub.
It was raining hard this afternoon, when I dropped in on a couple of spots around South Acre and Castle Acre. The Nar was bowling along like a good-un, but several inches down on its normal level. Spots where I'd seen fish in the past, like the glide above a ford that usually held dace, were all devoid of life.
It's forecast to rain for the next few days, bringing short-lived surface run-off to the river. But the Nar depends on springs deep beneath the chalk hills to feed it. And if they fail, the river and the life it supports will struggle to survive, as it shrinks to a just a trickle through the water meadows.
posted at 18:49