So far we have recorded  23 deaths in 2012, 19  in Somerset, 1 on the  Axe just over the  border with Devon, and  3 up in  Avon.  This is lower  than average, and many fewer than last year (43),  which was a  very bad one, especially on the  Brue  catchment, where we had 17, plus  2  ‘sick unto death’, but never found.  The Parrett had 11 last year, so one wonders if  either the bile  fluke was involved in these  high totals, or the slower flowing water of those  2 areas was  more affected by the dry, hot weather.

Despite these losses, we found more or less what we expected in  the Spring survey, which was reassuring.  However, since then there have been, as  far as one  can tell in  such a prolonged period of rain,  one or two worrying blank patches.  For instance, I have  recorded only 20 visits in my daily recording on a tributary of the Tone, against an annual expectation of  about 60.  Against this, there are 16 litters of  cubs in the log book, with 3 more  to be  confirmed, so perhaps  it is just a local problem on the Tone, a pollution incident again, perhaps.

This emphasises the  importance  of all our members keeping on recording.  Just in case anything  is going wrong again.