Throughout this summer’s electrofishing season, we’ve been giving people the chance to come along and help us with our surveys.
Like many of the activities that the Trust take part in electrofishing captures the attention of all our audiences, from fishermen to conservationists to students. Naturally the opportunity to take part in this exciting task receives high demand and so throughout the summer we’ve been running Fish Fridays (and Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays!).
The first of our eager volunteers was keen course angler and Ribble Trust volunteer Bill Auty from Rochdale. Heavy rains fell in the build up to Bill’s Fish Friday which made fishing a depletion survey challenging. This meant a change of tactic and we instead fished the semi quant sites on Easington Brook and, even though the water levels were dropping the conditions really tested Bill’s netting skills! Unfortunately, despite our best efforts the day had to be called short due to water levels and flows.
The following Friday we were joined by another hardy volunteer, Charles Alan Kenyon, a retired surveyor from Blackburn who is also a keen fisherman. After heading to the United Utilities area of the Bowland Estate we undertook a quantitative survey which yielded a great number of trout fry, following this we carried out a number of semi-quants which yielded several salmon fry- a clear sign of a healthy river! Despite weather being against us once again this was another productive day fishing.
With so many eager volunteers we took our next volunteer, Finn, out with us on the following Tuesday. As a marine biology Masters student Finn was keen to learn all about the science behind freshwater electrofishing. With Finn’s help a quantitative survey of Colne Water at Barrowford was undertaken; this site in particular involves a physically challenging day’s work along a considerably long stretch of river which requires all the (very heavy!) equipment to be carried to and from the site. However, Finn proved to be a great netter and helped us catch several trout fry, this proved that despite the area being urbanised and industrialised trout can still thrive in these improving waters!