TAC and the Riverfly Anglers' Monitoring Initiative
The Thames Anglers' Conservancy have become the first organisation on the River Thames to join the Anglers' Monitoring Initiative following a training day with the Riverfly Partnership.
The Anglers' Monitoring Initiative (AMI) was launched in 2007 to establish groups monitoring their local rivers. Anglers are natural guardians of the river environment and are in an ideal position to monitor the health of the watercourses they fish and know well. The AMI is used alongside routine monitoring by the Environment Agency and ensures that water quality is checked more widely and action taken at the earliest opportunity should any problems be detected.
The trained TAC volunteers will use a simple monitoring technique to record the numbers of eight invertebrate groups, seven of which are riverflies, to monitor the biological water quality of their rivers. Sampling is done on a monthly basis at agreed sites and results given to the Environment Agency.
The training day, which was funded by the Environment Agency, consisted of both 'in river' sampling and classroom work examining and understanding the range of species that live on the river bed. Training had to be switched from the main river due to unsafe conditions to a small tributary, which proved to have an abundance of life.
Louis Kitchen Riverfly AMI Coordinator said:
“It is fantastic to see such enthusiasm for the ecology of the Thames catchment harnessed for the protection of the river. This is a neighbourhood watch scheme for rivers, allowing people who care about their watercourses to keep an eye on water quality. By monitoring the invertebrate life of the Thames, the volunteers trained here will make a real difference to the local environment.”
David Harvey of the Thames Anglers Conservancy said:
“Rivers can look healthy on the face of it but its only when you start to look closely at the invertebrates that a more informed assessment can be made. By doing routine sampling we will detect any inbalances or missing species and crucially then report this information back to the Environment Agency. We are very pleased to have become part of the important Anglers' Monitoring Initiative.”
You can check out all of the excellent work carried out by the TAC HERE
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