Thank you very much to those of you who have supported us with riverfly monitoring throughout 2022. The Riverfly Monitoring Initiative uses citizen science to get people out and about on their local river, enjoying the natural environment and sampling for riverflies. The scheme is supported by the Riverfly Partnership and more info can be found on their website here: http://www.riverflies.org/rp-riverfly-monitoring-initiative.
Our hugely valued riverfly monitors have been out and about throughout 2022 collecting riverfly data, reporting potential pollution incidents and helping to protect our rivers and streams into the future.
Over the Summer we held four Anglers Riverfly Monitoring Initiative training courses to teach new volunteers the skills to become riverfly monitors. These training sessions resulted in monitoring on new watercourses including the Cam brook, Gauze brook, Compton Dando stream and the St Catherine’s brook. We have also extended the network of sites we had already established on the Trym, Wellow brook and the River Marden and been able to provide new monitors to support existing monitors on the Bristol Frome, Somerset Frome and River Chew.
The drought conditions we have all witnessed this Summer and Autumn have put great pressure on our rivers and the macro-invertebrates appear to be suffering. As a result of the low flows a number of our riverfly monitors throughout the catchment have flagged a reduction in riverflies, sometimes causing the scores to drop below the expected “trigger level” for that river. Rivers with trigger level alerts in recent months include the Chew, Little Avon, Gauze brook and the Sheppey. Some of course have been too dry to even monitor! We are using this data to help prioritise our own work in the catchment as well as feeding this information back to the Environment Agency to ensure the valuable data our monitors are collecting informs their future work.
If anyone is interested in finding out more about riverfly monitoring or becoming a riverfly monitor then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org