Biosecurity for anglers – planning for the future

A very interesting read from Stuart Crofts, a fly fishing guide and invertebrate expert with the Riverfly Partnership, on how anglers and all water users need to act now and take biosecurity measures on board to prevent further spread of invasive species in our freshwater environment.  He has put a lot of effort into liaising with several different organisations and indivduals to present this very clear and useful report.

There are several messages for anglers/ghillies/angling associations to take away from this report and a clear and concise set of recommendations that should be taken up by these different groups.  The steps required to prevent the introduction and spread of harmful invasive species are not difficult, in fact they are really very simple and these recommendations highlight this.

“Anglers, like most groups, hate change but we must do so and lead by example if we are to protect our much loved sport and the waters we fish. Hopefully, with time, biosecurity will just become part of the culture and be as common place as washing your hands before handling food or putting on a seat belt before driving.
Think carefully on what can be done, but doing nothing should not be an option.” – Stuart Croft

To read Stuarts Full article please follow this link

April 16, 2013 by Filed under: Admin, Riverfly Partnership 

River Monitoring Scheme

Angus Menzies and I are  the coordinators for the River Monitoring Scheme of the Dorset Wildlife Trust. We are closely associated with a similar scheme run by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. The scheme is of interest to keen anglers and wildlife enthusiasts alike, who both share a concern for the present and future health of our rivers.

The River Monitoring Scheme is based on the counting at regular intervals of key river insect species and other invertebrate groups as a method of assessing river quality. Many insect and invertebrate species are extremely sensitive to pollution levels and therefore their numbers act as an early warning system of any potential problems.

The methodology used is that of the Riverfly Partnership ( The numbers of 8 different groups of insects and other invertebrates are counted. Monitors are asked to carry out the surveys on a monthly basis between April and September, ideally at the same time each month, (weather and river conditions permitting). Many of our volunteers carry on outside these months, if it is safe to do, and also monitor redds (Brown Trout, and Salmon & Sea Trout spawning sites). Generally speaking these surveys take a minimum time of one hour.

On May 18th of this year we shall run a training day in Dorset both for potential monitors and also  for those who would like a refresher. A similar day is being run at Langford Lakes on the River Wylye north west of Salisbury on 27th April 2013, for those who are unable to make the Dorset date.

It is intended to run a third training day later in the summer. If interested, please contact:

James Parkin or Angus Menzies Dorset Wildlife Trust  01305 217 976 or

With best wishes
James Parkin and Angus Menzies

Annual Meeting

Dorset Wildlife Trust River Monitoring Scheme

13th April 2013, 09.00 –12.30

Brooklands Farm, Forston, Dorchester DT2 7AA

Presentations will include

  • Update on the Dorset River Monitoring Scheme 
  • Monitoring on the River Allen 
  • South West Crayfish Project and Biosecurity
  • Progress on River Restoration in Dorset
  • The importance of the 8 invertebrate groups in River Ecology
  • Riverfly Partnership—New Developments

Contact James Parkin 
Conservation Officer (Land use planning and rivers and wetlands)
Dorset Wildlife Trust
01305 217 976

February 4, 2013 by Filed under: Riverfly Partnership 

Fly Boards

As club members or their guests are likely to see this strange looking contraption in the river from early next season , I would like to explain its design and function in advance to possibly alleviate their natural curiosity.

The boards unusual plastic outriggers are necessary to prevent Otter turnover. Otters are by nature inquisitive creatures and like to investigate anything new in their territory and I have found from past experiments how easily they can turn a board over with obvious disatrous results if left that way.

I have used catamaran style boards in past experiments to prevent that, but their particular design would not be appropriate for this new style of research board ( only its principle ). I am sure the floats will prevent that happening.

The second photograph shows the underside and working part of the board. This is of a fairly delicate nature and consists of both microscope slides and thin wooden slides attached (Hopefully this now will be enough to prevent the desire to turn the board over to have a look ? )

These slides have fairly quick release mechanisms for easy removal during the experiment and consequently could easily detach and be lost by rough unnesessary handling.

Research into Baetis egg development has not ,as far as I am aware, been undertaken before. When the board is placed into the river early next year ,the hope is to attract LDO ( Baetis Rhodani ) egg laying spinners. It will however remain in the river throughout the summer for the possible collection of eggs from other members of the Baetis family.

Its aim is to establish if female spinners can be persuaded to lay eggs directly onto the glass slides for easier study ,to ascertain the durability of both the egg cases and their contents and also to confirm the incubation period of Baetis eggs etc.

As anything moored in a river is likely to catch floating weed or debris , it would be helpful to the project if this could be carefully removed by any member who may happen to wade past it, but hopefully now with this information, resist the temptation to turn the board over !

Rod Crane

Much useful information is being gathered by ongoing fly research .Only recently have I learnt that BWO nymphs prefer a diet of Diatoms over Detritus. Maybe its the silica in the cell walls they enjoy ,who knows ? As Diatoms are present in both Epilithic and Epiphytic algae , some algae in the river does therefore bring its own particular benefits to feeding BWO nymphs.

December 1, 2012 by Filed under: Riverfly Partnership 

More from the Riverfly Team

Water Quality & Egg Development

June 29, 2012 by Filed under: Riverfly Partnership 

Riverfly Partnership

There is a new page being built to highlight the terrific work that a few dedicated Members are doing on behalf of the Club. To find out more please click here Riverfly Partnership

February 10, 2012 by Filed under: Admin, Riverfly Partnership 

Riverfly gets going……..

Hi All

Firstly a big thank you for turning out on Sunday morning for our first Riverfly get together.

I am pleased to say that we have our first meeting booked for Sunday 18th April 10am at the Dorset Wildlife HQ just outside of Dorchester.

We hope to put various sampling sites on the map for the Frome and the Piddle and hopefully come up with a rota, if you have any areas that you are concerned about please let us know.

If you know of any more helping hands please bring them along.

Dorset Wildlife Trust HQ

Dorset Wildlife TrustBrooklands FarmForstonDorchesterDT2 7AA> Location map

Look forward to seeing you all.

John Aplin

March 23, 2010 by Filed under: Riverfly Partnership 

River Fly get together

River Fly monitoring, a reminder!

Lots of you have expressed an interest in being involved in our local river fly monitoring group, covering both the Frome and the Piddle.

We are moving forward with our first get together which is going to take place at-Richard Slococks “Wessex Fly Fishing” at Southover, Tolpuddle.

Sunday 21st March at 10.00am

Please bring a pair of boots or waders, and a notebook, why not bring the family it will be a fun couple of hours.

John Aplin 01305 257490 Richard Slocock 01305 848460

March 13, 2010 by Filed under: Riverfly Partnership 

River Fly monitoring

River Fly monitoring

Lots of you have expressed an interest in being involved in our local river fly monitoring group, covering both the Frome and the Piddle.

We are moving forward with our first get together which is going to take place at-

Richard Slococks “Wessex Fly Fishing” at Southover, Tolpuddle.

Sunday 21st March at 10.00am

Please bring a pair of boots or waders, and a notebook, why not bring the family it will be a fun couple of hours.

John Aplin 01305 257490 Richard Slocock 01305 848460
January 28, 2010 by Filed under: Riverfly Partnership 

River invertebrate monitoring for anglers

Richard Slocock and I recently attended a course run by the “Riverfly Partnership” and the “Wessex Salmon and Rivers Trust“, in fact John G and I have had our fair share of training over the last ten years in basic entomology, and I feel that now is the time to get you all on board.

As we are all aware invertebrates are valuable indicators of water quality and this course trained us in the population study of various indicator species, not only fascinating for us anglers, but more importantly, easy to do and simple to record.

Training with Dr Cyril Bennett, in the Avon valley.
(Outdoor practical)

And a little classroom work….

We are setting up a group to closely monitor the Frome, Piddle and various little local streams, with myself as coordinator (with backing and full support from the Riverfly Partnership and the Frome Piddle and West Dorset Fisheries association)

This monitoring group is going to be set up with the help of lots of anglers to help look after our rivers, its great fun for families, and kids love it!

If any of you are interested in helping out, and getting trained up can you please get in touch with me……..

April 20, 2009 by Filed under: Riverfly Partnership