Looking downstream on the River Cree
Looking upstream on the River Bladnoch
Felling of commercial forestry in Galloway Forest Park
Looking upstream on the River Luce
North American Signal Crayfish
The sandy beach at Loch Grannoch
Belted Galloway Cattle, or 'Belties'
Fly fishing on the River Cree
A small upland burn
The High Cree, looking towards Cairnsmore of Fleet
A small waterfall on the Buchan Burn
A salmon from the Kirkcudbrightshire Dee
The rivers were low and weather conditions perfect for this week’s two Riverfly Partnership River Invertebrate Monitoring Workshops, which we held on Wednesday in Newton Stewart and Thursday in Gatehouse of Fleet.
On both days, the Riverfly Partnership tutor Lesley Deans (Clyde River Foundation), delivered a fantastic talk during the morning, discussing the background to the Riverfly Partnership Monitoring network and how environmental agencies have adopted the Riverfly method to standardise freshwater invertebrate sampling throughout the UK. With an online facility available to deposit the invertebrate data collected using a standardised 3 minute kick sampling method, trained volunteers can get involved by choosing a river sampling site which compliments SEPA data collection and start collecting data straight away. Up to two hours was spent upon the Cree and Fleet during the workshops, learning the invertebrate sampling technique and identifying the key groups of invertebrates for Riverfly Partnership monitoring (caddisfly, up-wing fly, stonefly and shrimp).
The invertebrate data collected by volunteers can be particularly useful in detecting changes in instream habitat quality that can impact on Riverfly abundance (i.e. help in the detection of pollutants including pesticides, untreated sewage, silage effluent and severe pH changes) once a trigger level has been set.
Volunteers involved in the workshops this week came from the Rivers Urr, Dee, Fleet, Cree, Bladnoch and Luce catchments so that a wide coverage of sampling can take place across the region. SEPA ecologists John Clayton and Emma Sadler very kindly assisted with identification during the workshops and will be pivotal in agreeing the next step for the volunteers, which includes deciding on useful sites to survey up to once a month.
As well as funding the workshops themselves, Awards for All Scotland funded 12 sets of sampling kit which will enable pairs of volunteers to get out and sample their local waters and input data to the Riverfly database shortly.