More on 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.

Desgin
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.

Purpose
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 !

Thanks
Rod Crane

Footnote:
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.