Years ago I saw a presentation by Martin Slavin talking about his work with the Games Monitor network. He showed us a short film about (below) the spawning bream in the river Lea.
"… This spawning cycle has been going on for many centuries. It is now under threat from the Prescot channel which will block the waterway. This barrier is part of the construction for the Olympics in 2012. Local residents wonder if this would be the last year these fish would be spawning in Hackney."
I always wondered about those spawning bream and if they managed to survive despite the restriction in tidal movement and their preference to spawn in shallow waters.
Last week on my search for a fishing collaborator I met Mark from the new E20 fishing club which only last November took over the old lock house. A beautiful spot by the old Channel 4 Big Breakfast building (for thos who still remember). Mark has been fishing at this very spot for the last 20 odd years, often in the middle of the night. From his years fishing on site Mark has an immense knowledge of the area and this very spot.
As it turns out it is also one of the places where there bream's spawn in spring. They are still around and apparently it is quite a spectacle. They used to feed of the peanut shells dumped into the water by the Percy Daltons peanut factory.
You can read Martins article on the spawning bream on the Games Monitor website - here.