Are you an Anglers’ Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) participant who is keen to further your freshwater invertebrate skills and knowledge? Riverfly Partnership host, the Freshwater Biological Association (FBA) offers a range of courses that can help you do just that. The following provides a short explanation of ARMI and the logical ‘next steps’: Entomology for Anglers levels 1-3, and the Sampling and Identifying Freshwater Invertebrates course.
The Anglers’ Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) is a bottom up citizen science initiative that facilitates regular monitoring of river water quality by trained volunteer monitors at river sites across the UK, to complement the more detailed work carried out by the UK environmental Agencies, i.e., the Environment Agency (EA) in England, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Natural Resources Wales and Northern Ireland Environment Agency. The one-day ARMI workshop provides standardised training in Health & Safety, Biosecurity, site selection, sampling methodology and equipment, identification and recording of the 8 ARMI ‘target’ invertebrate groups, and, acute pollution detection and reporting. It is important to attend this course if you want to carry out ARMI on your local waterway, in conjunction with your local ARMI group and EA ecology contact.
The Entomology for Anglers (EfA) courses are designed to link freshwater invertebrate identification skills with angling observation and execution skills. Participants can progress through EfA levels 1-3, one after the other, developing larval identification beyond ARMI and introducing adult identification, and, covering fly-tying tips and information from Stuart Crofts and Andrew Dixon. As the course title suggests, EfA levels 1-3 offers knowledge and skills development for anglers and non-anglers alike.
The Sampling and Identifying Freshwater Invertebrates two-day course involves the collection and identification of aquatic invertebrates from running water habitats, features sampling methods, bankside sorting and lab-based identification, and, is a natural progression after completion of EfA levels 1, 2 and 3 or Riverfly ARMI training.
Full details about the Entomology for Anglers and Sampling and Identifying Freshwater Invertebrates course are available on the FBA website, in the 2017 course programme.
For those individuals who have already completed Entomology for Anglers level 1 and 2: Entomology for Anglers level 3 will be run at FBA Windermere, Cumbria on Saturday 30th September 2017; cost: £65.00.
For those with more experience, an accredited course, Invertebrate identification for biotic assessment (including examination) is taking place at FBA Windermere, Cumbria on Tuesday 7th – Thursday 9th November 2017; cost £600; early bird £585; FBA member £575.