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South West - Wessex Area

Dorset Wildlife Trust

Coordinator  Sarah Williams  05/01/12

Sites      River Frome For more information contact

Little River Avon AMI Group

Coordinator  John Turner  05/01/12

Activity  2011

For more information contact

Taunton Fly Fishing Club

Coordinator  John Woods  05/01/12

Sites      River Tone (4), River Axe (4)

Team     17 Activity   August 2006

Taunton Fly Fishing Club have water on four rivers in Somerset and have the dream of all four being perfect habitat for trout with crystal clear healthy water, good weed growth and a plentiful supply of nymphs and flies - a good indicator of the first two. As spate rivers they are not going to be crystal clear or have consistently good weed growth though we are working on improving bankside management following a Wild Trout Trust advisory report. In June 2006 a Riverfly Monitoring workshop was held on the River Yarty, supported by Wessex Water, South West Water and the Natural History Museum / Natural England Partnership, with twelve club members participating.

We fall under two Environment Agency offices, and our team of ten monitor 3 sites on the Tone on a monthly basis, and two sites on the Axe bimonthly. Trigger levels will be set by the EA in the long term, but for now the data acts as basis for comparison for next years results.  Summer rain levels have meant monitoring has been missed on some months due to safety considerations of entering the river. We are in the process of setting up another site in an area where we have carried out bank clearance work and will use the site to monitor any change in population as a result of the increased light into the river.

A year on and we are still going well. Maintaining individuals commitment to the scheme, particularly the long term, will require continuing enthusiasm, feedback and support. A steady stream of new recruits will be required to keep it going for years. We have had one group meeting, the next, in Nov 07, will include a bankside session to discuss sampling issues followed by a pub lunch. New team members are welcomed to support the existing activities and increase the number of sites we can handle.

Wessex Salmon and Rivers Trust

Coordinator  John Slader  05/01/12

Activity  2009

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Wilton Fly Fishing Club

Coordinator  George Pratley  05/01/12

Sites      River Wylye (5)

Team     6

Activity   May 2007

The Wilton Fly Fishing Club controls more than 6 miles of the main River Wylye and carriers, with a policy of only stocking with fry. A philosophy of the club is “to collaborate with all interested parties in order to restore and to maintain the lower River Wylye as a habitat capable of supporting the natural reproduction and growth of brown trout and grayling”, hence the involvement of the club in the Riverfly Partnership. The river is affected by abstraction and weed grazing by swans so monitoring the level of invertebrate life is an important way of measuring the health of the river.

We sample at five sites, one site each at the top and bottom of the fishery, one site where major improvements have recently taken place and two sites of potential pollution. Where river levels permit we sample each month. An initial group was trained at  Riverfly Partnership workshops held at Leckford and Langford.

Dr Cyril Bennett recommended the Predicted and Trigger levels appropriate to a Southern Chalk Stream and, in the main, the predicted level is attained.

Only incident was in Nov 2009 on site with generally poor scores which fell just below trigger level of 7 to 6. Unable to re-test because of height of river for several months. Subsequent result was OK. As scores naturally fall during the winter and the score was just below the trigger level no action was taken.

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust River Monitoring Scheme

Coordinator  Ben Fitch  05/01/12

Sites    By Brook (3), River Avon (8), River Biss (1), River Bourne (2), River Ebble (2), River Kennet (1), RIver Marden (1), River Nadder (3), River Ray (1), River Wylye (4), River's Brook (1), Semington Brook (1)

Team    27

Activity  2007

The Wiltshire Wildlife Trust currently has 38 volunteers involved monitoring rivers in Wiltshire, with 27 trained and 27 monitoring sites. The scheme began in 1992 but became involved in the AMI in 2007 and since then has greatly increased its volunteer base and the number of sites monitored. Volunteers record invertebrates and other biodiversity along the river. We liaise with many different monitoring groups in Wiltshire, such as Action for the River Kennet, Wiltshire Fishery Association, Wilton Fly Fishing Club and Salisbury and District Angling Club, so that monitors can be distributed effectively. The scheme is overseen by the Wessex Chalk Streams Project and the Wiltshire and Swindon Biological Records Centre. For more information please email: or visit: and follow the links from Get Involved!

Wessex Chalk Streams Project Autumn 07 - River Monitoring –PDF-File, 217.4 KB