Autumn News

Autumn banner

Anglers’ Monitoring Initiative – more than 50 groups and 500 volunteers, Our rivers – their status, Malham caddis, Non Native Invasives and more…

The Riverfly Partnership Anglers’ Monitoring Initiative (AMI) enables an informed dialogue between trained volunteer groups and the statutory bodies to help protect the water quality of UK rivers - safeguarding and improving our freshwaters, acting in a local stewardship role and playing a valuable role in Water Framework Directive related programmes. This year has seen the AMI span all Environment Agency Areas, expand in Scotland and become established as a pilot in Northern Ireland. Eleven new AMI Groups have formed, existing Groups have expanded and 26 workshops, plus AMI Support days, have been delivered. There are now over 50 groups with around 500 active volunteers between them. Acknowledgement to all AMI Groups and volunteers and this field season’s RP Tutors Dr Cyril Bennett, Stuart Crofts, Louis Kitchen, Craig Macadam and Dai Roberts, along with local tutors Warren Gilchrist and Peter Francis (John Spedan Lewis Trust for the Advancement of the Natural Sciences), Ceri Gibson (Tyne Rivers Trust), Becky Helm (Eden Rivers Trust) and Dr Mel Fletcher (Freshwater Biological Association).

AMI clip – Northern Ireland pilot

Leo Cassidy, Chairman of Ballinderry River Enhancement Association hoped that ‘by setting up the monitoring network we will gain a better understanding of water quality throughout the river system and detect more quickly when water quality is reduced’. This is already bearing out - after only a few months of monitoring two serious falls in water quality were reported, both now under investigation by Northern Ireland EA. As an aside, at a Support Day for the Ballinderry volunteers, sweep-netting for adult flies revealed a giant lacewing,Osmylus fulvicephalus - one of very few records of the species from Ireland.

No news is good news

So many AMI volunteers are religiously visiting their sites on a monthly basis. We celebrate this hard work and dedication. It is the lack of trigger level breaches that we too celebrate. No news is great news and it is this ongoing monitoring that is key to ensuring the good water quality of our rivers.

AMI support

Riverfly Partnership tutors have delivered free Support days to many AMI groups across the UK since the spring, giving volunteers the chance to refresh their AMI knowledge and develop new skills. RP will be happy to attend AMI / organisation meetings and provide classroom based training to answer your AMI and riverfly questions during the winter months. Free AMI Support days will continue in 2012 – booking required.

Riverfly posters

A1 laminated riverfly posters of the riverfly life cycles and British mayflies are available to AMI Groups. PDFs of the life cycle posters are available for download to all at

The Riverfly Partnership is recruiting a Coordinator for its Anglers’ Monitoring Initiative (AMI)

This is an exciting opportunity to join The Riverfly Partnership Team to coordinate the successful Anglers' Monitoring Initiative, an example of best practice in citizen science, and contribute to the delivery of the EU Water Framework Directive. Closing date: Monday 5 December 09.00hrs. RP AMI Coordinator AMI contact: Louis Kitchen, email tel: 07714487209

Our Rivers – their status

The Environment Agency (EA) listed 10 most improved rivers in England and Wales, rivers once devastated by industry, such as the Mersey and Taff, that suffered over-abstraction such as the Darent and that have faced damaging structural change such as the Nar. Brought back from the brink, the hard work and cooperation of the Environment Agency and local stakeholders is to be applauded and celebrated. Our Rivers, an RSPB, WWF, Angling Trust and Salmon & Trout Association partnership, responded with a list of 10 rivers that are still under threat. Although some of our most damaged rivers are improving, it suggests many of our previously more pristine rivers are increasingly under threat. ‘Clean’ rivers such as the Wye and Kennet are listed alongside those with a history of pollution such as the Rea. The Thames appears on both lists.  Our Rivers campaigner, Jack Clarke, states ‘It is right to celebrate the improvements that our rivers have seen in recent decades – but we cannot ignore the continuing threats our native river wildlife face.’ Our Rivers aims to ensure that the government is taking appropriate action to restore Britain’s watercourses to the thriving ecosystems they should be. See There is no debate amongst the organisations that The Riverfly Partnership Anglers’ Monitoring Initiative plays an important role in helping to ensure the good water quality of our rivers.

Flies on line

·  Like Riverfly Partnership on Facebook – RP Tutors will help with identification of images you post ·  Follow @Riverflies on Twitter for latest news ·  Follow Mostly about Mayflies a new blog by mayfly expert and RP Tutor Craig Macadam ·  See BioFresh blog for articles, photos and videos celebrating mayflies with contributions from Malcolm Greenhalgh author of The Mayfly and the trout; Gaylord Schanilec onthe role of the mayfly in art and culture; Paul Gaskell (Wild Trout Trust) on “Mayfly in the classroom” amongst others. BioFresh is an EU funded project on global freshwater biodiversity.

Flies on film - National Insect Week 2012 Riverfly Photo Competition

The Royal Entomological Society’s (RES) National Insect Week (NIW) will run from 25 June to 1 July 2012. The Riverfly Partnership/RES will be holding a competition for the best riverfly photograph – the competition will run until autumn 2010. RES welcomes all organisations to hold NIW events - email for more information. NIW2010 commended image © Alistair Maltby – Newsletter banner

Flies in question

Send your questions to: Craig Macadam email

Flies on record

The Riverfly Recording Schemes (RRS) welcome your riverfly species records – records inform distribution maps, are shared with the National Biodiversity Network, and can help inform conservation effort. All Ephemeroptera records can be entered on line. RRS fold out leaflets are available online and from RP.

Applauding Trichoptera

In recognition of Dr Ian Wallace’s outstanding work on Trichoptera, spanning 40 years, Ian has been made an Honorary Research Fellow at the Freshwater Biological Association.

BBC Living World – Malham Caddisfly

BBC Radio 4 Living World series joined Dr Ian Wallace on recent fieldwork for the Malham Caddisfly Agrypnia crassicornis. Listen again (20 mins).

UK’s newest caddisfly species, Synagapetus dubitans

The caddisfly species, Synagapetus dubitans, discovered by for the first time in 2010 in North Yorkshire by Stuart Crofts has been found at further nearby locations in the region of other calcareous springs (super saturated with calcium carbonate, known as ‘tufa’). The last time a new species of caddisfly was found in the UK was in 1965.

Mayfly lifecycle completes in double-quick time in response to warming temperatures

The effects of climate change on British mayflies are discussed in a recent Water Crisis News article by James Owen. Water Crisis News is a special National Geographic News series on global water issues. Owen, who is trained in the Anglers' Monitoring Initiative, speaks to Nick Everall of Aquascience about his research into the shortening lifecycle of Ephemera danica populations in the River Dove, and the potential link to warming temperatures in the river. The article also features contributions from Steve Ormerod of Cardiff University and Craig Macadam of Buglife, highlighting the changes taking place in British mayfly populations and the ongoing research into the ecological impacts of climate change in British rivers.

For love, not money – Steve Ormerod receives Marsh Award

Professor Steve Ormerod, Cardiff School of Biosciences and a founding member of RP, was awarded the Marsh Award for Marine and Freshwater Conservation by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). The award honours those who dedicate themselves in the field “out of love, not for money.” Professor Ormerod is the first freshwater biologist to receive this award – previous winners have been marine biologists.

Invasive Non Native Species


Third Sector takes a stand for a catchment approach

The 2011 Third Sector GB Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) and Biosecurity Conference, London, coordinated by The Rivers Trust and Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland, implored the Government and its agencies to support a UK wide strategy for the introduction of biosecurity measures and plan for the management of aquatic and riparian INNS to be delivered in partnership with the third sector - based on a strategic catchment approach in accordance with the EU Water Framework Directive, Habitats Directive and Convention on Biodiversity. See ART website for news and Angling Trust website for more information on freshwater INNS.

The threat of the Killer shrimp Dikerogammarus villosus

The Killer shrimp, a highly invasive non-native species, found for the first time in the UK in Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire in 2010 and later recorded at two sites in Wales has, to date, not been recorded at further locations. This voracious predator significantly alters ecosystems and remains a huge threat to our freshwater systems and their native species including young fish and invertebrates. It continues to be vital that we stop its spread to new locations - the vigilance of the AMI Groups in their surveillance for this invasive species is key.  RP, Angling Trust, Salmon & Trout Association and Invertebrate Link partners (a UK network of more than 30 organisations with an invertebrate conservation interest including RSPB, WWF & Buglife) remain in dialogue with the statutory bodies on the issue.  Further information including briefing notes and biosecurity advice from the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat.

Is liming of streams and rivers an effective intervention for restoring water quality to support fish and invertebrate populations?

Acidification as a result of acid rain has frequently caused changes in rivers and streams, often reducing fish and invertebrate numbers. Liming, by which calcium carbonate is added to the water, is one of the most widespread mitigation techniques used. The Centre for Evidence Based Conservation at Bangor University examines the effects of liming on the abundance and diversity of fish and invertebrate populations - the authors invite comments on the draft review.

Diary of events 2012

Riverfly events and courses held by RP partner organisations are included. RP holds no responsibility for partner events and courses. 27-28 March Freshwater Biological Association (FBA) course: Identifying freshwater invertebrates, FBA Windemere, Cumbria. Tutor: FBA Director Mike Dobson, Cost: £210; early bird rate £195; FBA member £185. Tel. 01539 442468 or email 24 April Salmon & Trout Association (S&TA) Annual Meeting of the membership. RP operates through the S&TA. 30 April – 4 May Field Studies Council course: Identifying freshwater invertebrates. FSC, Kindrogan Field Centre, Perthshire. Tutor: Craig Macadam (Buglife Conservation Officer, RP AMI Tutor & Coordinator of the Ephemeroptera Recording Scheme). Non resident £154. Accommodation available. Tel 01743 852101 or email 12 May FBA course: Entomology for anglers Level 1. FBA Windemere, Cumbria. Tutors: Stuart Crofts (RP AMI Tutor) & Andrew Dixon. Cost £50. Details as FBA above 19 & 20 May AMI one-day workshops run by the John Spedan Lewis Trust for the Advancement of Natural Sciences. Open to those interested to set up, or join, an AMI Group. Cost: £35 per person. To book a place email: 26 May FBA course: Entomology for anglers Level 2. FBA Windemere, Cumbria. Tutors: Stuart Crofts & Andrew Dixon. Cost £50. Details as FBA above. 12-13 June FBA course: Identifying caddis. FBA Windemere, Cumbria. Tutor: Ian Wallace (RP Tutor) Cost: £210; early bird rate £195; FBA member £185. Details as FBA above. 16 June FBA course: Identifying freshwater invertebrates: an introduction. FBA Windermere, Cumbria. Tutor FBA Director Mike Dobson. Cost £50. Details as FBA above. 21-23 June National Moth Night. Date tbc - Join Ian Wallace at the Freshwater Biological Association, Windemere, for a moth & caddis trap event
23-24 June British Fly Fair. Visit RP stand. 25 June - 1 July National Insect Week (NIW) organised by Royal Entomological Society. NIW/RP competition for the best riverfly photograph. RES welcomes all organisations to hold NIW events - email 18-20 July National Science Meeting of the Royal Entomological Society Conference, Cambridge. RP stand 20-22 July CLA Game Fair, Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire. Visit the RP on The Salmon & Trout Association stand 7 October Game Fishing & Fly Tying Festival, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Visit Stuart Crofts at the RP stand. 23 October FBA course: Organisms and their environment: an introduction to freshwater ecology. Location: FBA Windermere, Cumbria. Tutors: Alan Hildrew, Paul Raven, Allan Pentecost, Mike Dobson, Cost: £120; early bird rate £105; FBA member £95. Details as FBA above. Visit for AMI workshops and news, publications, posters on the riverfly life cycles (free to download), species surveys and recording, dossiers on the Biodiversity Action Plan species, identification sheets on killer shrimp and more. Note that this newsletter includes highlights only following on from RP Spring e-newsletter. The ongoing and outstanding work of all involved in each AMI Group and the various activities of partner organisations is acknowledged. To subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter email: with the email title ‘subscribe’ or ‘unsubscribe’. Please forward this email to others that may be interested. The Riverfly Partnership is hosted by The Salmon & Trout Association. The Salmon & Trout Association Limited is a company registered in England and Wales. Registered Number 5051506. Charity Number 1123185 Bridget Peacock Director, The Riverfly Partnership tel. 07590928842 email.