River Avon Invertebrate Monitoring Programme.
Two members of LAC attended a River Fly Identification Workshop held at the Slamannan Centre by Slamannan Angling and Protective Association in 2008 and run under the auspices of the Riverfly Partnership as part of the national Anglers Monitoring Initiative. The purpose of the day was to teach anglers how to take a basic kick sample in the river and then to identify the various species of invertebrates found. In July 2012, a further two members undertook a similar course run at Cramond yacht club by Cramond Angling Club.
Since the initial workshop in 2008, these members have been carrying out monthly samples at Lovell’s Glen, depending on water level. SEPA personnel and members of SAPA have been carrying out sampling on the Avon from a site at Polmonthill, as far upstream as the WWTW at Slamannan. It is hoped to extend the number of sites sampled to include some on the major tributaries of the Avon.
The kick sampling provides a record of how the numbers and species of invertebrates within the Avon change over the course of the season and from year to year. Gathering this information should provide a base line of information to help LAC understand the general health of the river. Additionally, should the river suffer a pollution incident, we will be able to sample and guage the result against historic records, to determine the scale of the damage. Unexpected results can also be used to identify recent incidents that have affected the insect life of the Avon.
Members are welcome to come along to see how the kick sampling is carried out, and to see what is found. Members who do so, are often more keenly interested in the variety and number of invertebrates found in the Avon. If you would like any further information on the Initiative, please contact one of the Avon Managers.
Riverfly Partnership – Anglers Monitoring Initiative
Since 2009 the Club has been working with Louis Kitchen of The Riverfly Partnership and, in conjunction with the River Avon Federation, has established a monitoring group for the Avon system. We welcome any members who would like to get involved. No previous experience is required and the Club has all the equipment necessary. It is an ideal opportunity to learn about the insects on our Beat and may help to improve your catch rate!
The Riverfly Partnership was formed in 2004 and brings together anglers, conservationists, entomologists, scientists, water course managers and Government Agencies to increase the knowledge pool of river fly populations and to actively conserve their habitats.
One project, the Anglers Monitoring Initiative was launched in 2007 and this aims to train volunteers to apply a simple monitoring technique to record the presence of eight different invertebrate groups in the rivers to monitor the biological water quality. Seven of these are river flies, the eighth being shrimps. The volunteers monitor their river on a regular basis, and if severe changes are detected this information can used to ensure a response by the Statutory Bodies.