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Scotland to Sargasso education project

CRF : May 15, 2017 4:51 pm : Education, News

Today we’re delighted to bring you a blog post from Paul Fraser, our MSci Marine and Freshwater Biology placement student, about Scotland to Sargasso – an eel education project that he is delivering in four local primary schools. Paul, Dr Willie Yeomans (Clyde River Foundation) and Dr Vic Paterson (University of Glasgow) visited Eastfield, Ballmalloch, St Patrick’s and Kilsyth Primary Schools today with some very special deliveries to get the project started. Scotland to Sargasso is a Clyde River Foundation project aimed at raising awareness of the critically endangered European eel and is supported by the Sustainable Eel Group and Bristol Water.  

Hi everyone, I just wanted to talk to you all about the Scotland to Sargasso outreach programme and how things are going. But first let me take you back to the beginning…

A few weeks ago I came into the Clyde River Foundation office at Glasgow University and was told there was a parcel waiting for me. I kind of had an idea what it was, but when I saw the box with the word ‘Elver’on the side I was full of excitement. Inside the box were hundreds of small European eels which I knew I would be looking after. So for 2 weeks I fed them, watched them grow, and made sure they were healthy and ready for their new homes.

Well today was the day they went to their new primary school homes to meet their class mates, and what a day it was!!

First thing this morning Dr Yeomans, Dr Paterson and I drove to Glasgow and collected the eels into pots so that we could carry them to the schools. It was sad to see them go, but I know they’re going to be in great hands in all the schools taking part. So off we went to each school and spoke to everyone about the eel lifecycle. We also had the chance to share some eely good facts, which will help us understand more about eels each week.

Eely good fact #1 …. ‘Eels swim at 15km per day, to get back to the Sargasso Sea it would take 433 days’

After we learned about the eels we then popped them into their new tanks in the classes. I couldn’t believe how enthusiastic and happy all the children were when the eels went into their tanks. Everyone was super excited and asked some amazing questions, I was thoroughly impressed, I think we may have some future biologists in these classes.

Over the next few weeks we will watch the eels grow in their new homes and look at a variety of topics on eels. The next lesson we have is going to look at why eels have become critically endangered. We will explore if the reasons for number declines are natural or man-made.

All in all I had a great day, I can’t wait to get back to the schools soon to see all the happy faces, answer new fantastic questions, and watch the eels develop over the next 4 weeks.

 

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Fish in Schools Competition Winner

CRF : April 26, 2017 3:52 pm : Education, Fish in Schools, Foundation work

We received lots of amazing and inspiring entries for the Fish in Schools competition and invite you to check them all out below.

During Fish in Schools, pupils learned about their local rivers and some of the challenges they face such as litter and pollution. After several weeks of looking after their brown trout, many of the participants were keen to spread the word about taking care of our rivers so we made it the focus of the competition. Each class was invited share their message with the local community in order to promote their river and encourage better stewardship, so it can be enjoyed by everyone. We are delighted to announce St Andrew’s Primary School, with their ‘Respect Your Rivers’ video, as the competition winner.

The prize: The winning class will win a “guddle” event for their local community who will be invited to come and take a closer look at the wildlife the river supports. We will report back after the event. 

Winner: ‘Respect Your Rivers’, St Andrew’s Primary School, Airdrie

Well done to St Andrew’s Primary – looking forward to seeing you at the river!  

 

Check out the other amazing entries here…

  • Highpark Primary School, Glasgow: ‘Highpark News’  

 

  • Quarry Brae Primary School, Glasgow:  ‘Fish Song’ (lyrics below)

Lyrics: 

Our Burn at Toll cross park, some people do not care and
Drop their litter there  mm mm
Drop their litter there  mm mm

We like playing at the park and want
people to take care and not drop
their litter there mm
and not drop  their litter there mm

But the fish are living and
Can’t stop won’t stop swimming

It’s time to love our park,  in Parkhead 
saying keep our rivers clean

Chorus

cause the children gonna play, play, play, play, play
and the rivers gonna flow, flow, flow, flow, flow
and the fish are gonna swim, swim, swim, swim, swim
swim along swim along

  • St Paul’s Primary School, Shettleston: ‘The River Clyde; Keep it Clean’ leaflet

  • St Vincent’s Primary School, Glasgow: ‘St Vincent’s Primary School News – brought to you in association with Fish in Schools’

 

 

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From Fish in Schools to fish in rivers!

CRF : March 8, 2017 2:36 pm : Education, Fish in Schools, News

After weeks of dedication and meticulous hatchery care, our Fish in Schools participants are saying farewell to brown trout they have raised from eggs to fry. Over the project pupils have learned about brown trout life cycles, ecology and protecting our rivers, and are very excited to be visiting their local rivers to release their fish. Fish in Schools has been met with much enthusiasm from pupils and we’d like to say a big “well done!” to everyone who took part!  

Here’s just a few photos from the Fish in Schools release days: 

About to release fish into the Kirk Burn, Cambuslang (Carins Primary School)

To the river they go! (St David’s Primary, Plains)

Brown trout fry are carefully released into the wild

Pupils (and scientist) excited about setting free their fish!

Open afternoon in St Vincent’s Primary ahead of their fish release – pupils prepared presentations, games and quizzes to share learning with their families 

Pupils from St Mungo’s Primary gather before releasing their trout into the White Cart, Pollok Park

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Splash of success as children release fish into the Avon Water

CRF : March 4, 2017 11:01 am : Angling, Education, News, River Avon, Salmon Homecoming

Almost 500 primary school children from across the Avon Valley are taking to the Avon Water and its tributaries this month to set free young fish that they have raised in school.

Children from 21 Primary Schools are participating in Salmon Homecoming, a multi-phase education project that celebrates the return of the iconic Atlantic salmon to their local river, the Avon Water.

P5 pupils of Blackwood Primary School before releasing their brown trout fry into the Avon Water at Linthaugh Bridge (photo: Clyde River Foundation)

Salmon Homecoming is supported by Heritage Lottery Fund supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) and Greggs Foundation, and is delivered by the Clyde River Foundation.

The project follows the recent completion of the Avon Barriers project which created two fish passes on the sites of Millheugh and Ferniegair Weirs near Larkhall and Hamilton, South Lanarkshire.  Part of Lanarkshire’s industrial legacy includes weirs and other structures which were built to harness water for power.  These two large weirs were preventing fish movement upstream and the alterations will open up significant watercourses upstream for migratory fish.

For the first part of the project, children have reared brown trout from eggs to fry, in special classroom hatcheries. Working closely with Clyde River Foundation scientists, the children were responsible for ensuring that hatchery conditions mimicked those of the Avon Water, to prepare their fish for the wild.

Pupils of Kirklandpark Primary School with their interactive brown trout life cycles (photo: Clyde River Foundation)

Dr William Yeomans, Catchment Manager at Clyde River Foundation explains, “Children have been caring for a close relative of the salmon – the brown trout – in classroom hatcheries before releasing them into the Avon. Brown trout, rather than salmon, have been reared because they are already present throughout the Avon catchment. This will allow us to monitor the salmon’s natural recolonisation of their former spawning grounds when they return.”

He continues, “The children have done a fabulous job so far and we look forward to working with them on the second phase of the project which involves a detailed assessment of the river.”

Salmon Homecoming connects children with their local rivers, from their industrial history to the exciting wildlife they support. It promotes continued stewardship of the natural environment in light of the recent significant investment in improving conditions for migratory fish.

The flagship engineering project, that saw the creation of fish passes at Ferniegair and Millheugh Weirs in 2016, will lead to the upgrading of Water Framework Directive status of eight rivers – six of which will achieve high status. The two new fish passes give salmon and other migratory fish access to 200km of watercourse and make it far easier for them to travel upstream.  It is hoped that the first salmon will be visible later this year, leaping up the Avon Water and associated tributaries, as they make their way back from the Atlantic Ocean, following an absence of over a century.

The fish passes project was funded by Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s (SEPA’s) Water Environment Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) and was delivered by Rivers and Fisheries Trust Scotland (RAFTS) in association with South Lanarkshire Council, Clyde River Foundation, anglers and local communities.

P4 pupils of Newfield Primary School say farewell to their brown trout fry (photo: Clyde River Foundation)

“We have been delighted to have been working in partnership with so many agencies to be able to bring about these improvements to the biodiversity of the Avon Water.  The work to construct the two new fish passes will help boost fish populations and benefit the wider ecology of the river helping us achieve more for wildlife and the environment” explains CAVLP Manager Donna Marshall.

“This follow on schools project in partnership with the Clyde River Foundation provides a fantastic link to ensure the broader community get involved in celebrating and caring for their river.  Rivers are such an important part of our daily lives and yet it is a connection that is easily forgotten.  They’ve shaped the landscape in the Clyde and Avon Valley, and local towns have often been designed around them.  Given how important rivers are for our everyday lives and our environment, we’ve all got a role to play in making sure our rivers are as healthy and cared for as they can be.”

Avon Valley schools will be involved with Salmon Homecoming over six months.  The project will culminate in a series of public events where local communities will be invited to celebrate the river improvements and the anticipated return of this iconic species to the upper reaches of the Avon. Details of these will be released at www.clydeandavonvalley.org.

For more information, visit www.clydeandavonvalley.org  and www.clyderiverfoundation.org/salmon-homecoming.

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Community take action with Fish in Schools river clean-up

CRF : March 3, 2017 2:07 pm : Education, Fish in Schools, White Cart Water

Pupils, parents and staff at St Vincent’s Primary joined forces to improve their neighbourhood with a clean-up of the Auldhouse Burn ahead of the Fish in Schools fish release day. The burn, which runs directly under the school and through the park next door, is a great asset for the community but is sadly on the receiving end of a large amount of littering. The pupils, who have spent the past few weeks caring for brown trout in class and learning about factors than can impact ecosystems, were inspired to taken action and organised a clean-up of the riverbank. We were delighted to see the school get so on-board with the stewardship aspect of the project and sharing it with their community!     

St Vincent’s lead the way in making their local river more enjoyable for all  (Photo from St Vincent’s Primary Twitter feed)

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Fish in Schools pupils share their learning

CRF : March 1, 2017 12:35 pm : Education, Fish in Schools, News

We’ve had a great time visiting our Fish in Schools classes each week as they raise their brown trout. Our visiting scientist sessions provide an opportunity for questions and discussion of topics ranging from fish biology to environmental stewardship, and allows children to share their learning.  As Fins in Schools unfolds we are delighted to see so much work that has been inspired by the project! Here are just a few examples: 

Multilingual pupils produced Fish in Schools information leaflets in English and their first language (St Vincent’s Primary, Glasgow)

Hatchery monitoring data displayed in graphs (St Martha’s, Glasgow)

Brown trout life cycle display (St Benedict’s, Easterhouse)

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Hundreds of school children join Avon Water salmon science project

CRF : January 26, 2017 12:03 pm : News, Salmon Homecoming

Almost 500 schoolchildren from across the Avon Valley have embarked on an exciting new education project that will celebrate the return of the iconic Atlantic salmon to their local river, the Avon Water.

The ‘Salmon Homecoming’ project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) and the Greggs Foundation, and is delivered by the Clyde River Foundation. It follows the recent completion of the Avon Barriers project which saw two obstacles to migratory fish made passable by the creation of natural rock fish passes on the sites of Millheugh and Ferniegair Weirs near Larkhall and Hamilton, South Lanarkshire.

Children from 21 Primary Schools attended a special launch event for the project at Glasgow Science Centre this week where they learned about the colourful history of salmon in the Clyde and conservation measures that are now in place on the Avon.

Wester Overton learn how to operate a classroom hatchery for their brown trout eggs at the launch
of the Salmon Homecoming at Glasgow Science Centre on 19 January, Clyde River Foundation

Dr William Yeomans, Catchment Manager at Clyde River Foundation explains, “In the first phase of the project children will care for a close relative of the salmon – the brown trout – in classroom hatcheries before releasing them into the wild.”

He continues, “They will work closely with scientists from the Clyde River Foundation to raise their fish and will learn about fish biology and factors affecting survival in the wild. Brown trout, rather than salmon, are being reared because they are already present throughout the Avon catchment. This will allow us to monitor the salmon’s natural recolonisation of their former spawning grounds when they return.”

Salmon Homecoming will connect children with their local rivers, from their industrial history to the exciting wildlife they support. It will promote continued stewardship of the natural environment in light of the recent significant investment in improving conditions for migratory fish.  

Leaping salmon, Malcolm Muir, South Lanarkshire Council

The flagship engineering project that saw the creation of fish passes at Ferniegair and Millheugh Weirs in 2016 has led to the upgrading of Water Framework Directive status of eight rivers, six of which will achieve high status. It is hoped that the first salmon will be visible later this year, leaping up the Avon Water and associated tributaries, as they make their way back from the Atlantic Ocean, following an absence of over century. 

The fish passes project was funded by Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s (SEPA’s) Water Environment Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) and was delivered by Rivers and Fisheries Trust Scotland (RAFTS) in association with South Lanarkshire Council, Clyde River Foundation, anglers and local communities.

The completed fish pass at Ferniegair Weir, Larkhall, Rivers and Fisheries Trust Scotland

“The watercourses of the Clyde and Avon Valley are an important and unique habitat for native wildlife”, explains CAVLP Manager Donna Marshall.

She continues, “The return of Atlantic salmon to the upper Avon after a century or more, following improvements to allow them to pass two weirs which previously blocked their passage upstream, provides a particular impetus for ‘Salmon Homecoming’ in 2017.”

The multi-phase project will span six months and will culminate in a series of public events in which local communities will be invited to celebrate the improvements the river and the anticipated return of this iconic species to the upper reaches of the Avon.

 

For more information, visit www.clydeandavonvalley.org and www.clyderiverfoundation.org/salmon-homecoming.  

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Clyde in the Classroom welcomes its 25,000th pupil

CRF : January 16, 2017 2:31 pm : Education, News

The Clyde River Foundation celebrated a major milestone last week as we welcomed the 25,000th pupil to date to the project.

The 17th season of the project was launched in partnership with Glasgow Science Centre between Wednesday 11th and Friday 13th January. 46 classes across 41 Primary Schools across the River Clyde catchment are participating – a total of 1265 children, ranging from P3 to P7.

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Pupils at the Clyde in the Classroom 2017 launch at Glasgow Science Centre, Clyde River Foundation.

Clyde in the Classroom started in 2000 with five schools in Glasgow. It is now the Clyde River Foundation’s longest running and largest education project. The project links very well with the Curriculum for Excellence and it enables teachers to deliver many learning outcomes from science and maths to arts and drama.

The project is crowd-funded by the participating schools plus a range of supporters which this year include: The Crown Estate Scotland Portfolio (2017 main sponsor), the John Mather Charitable Trust, the WA Cargill Fund and the Cruden Foundation.

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Research insights into the impact of invasive crayfish on fish

CRF : August 3, 2016 2:05 pm : Angling, Invasive Non-Native Species, News

In this video from the National Crayfish Conference, Prof. Jon Grey of the Wild Trout Trust provides a round-up of research surrounding the impacts of invasive crayfish on fish.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESikgMfeYzk

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Brock Burn fish rescue

CRF : July 28, 2016 2:52 pm : Foundation work, News, White Cart Water

Today the Clyde River Foundation completed a fish rescue on the Brock Burn (East Renfrewshire) as part of a programme of works by Scottish Water. A £120m investment to improve the drinking water network for people in parts of East Renfrewshire and Ayrshire requires the installation of a 13 mile-long water main that will pass through several burns along the route. We have several routine monitoring sites on the Brock Burn but this particular stretch is new to us and we were pleased to see what a good site it is – the contractors seemed to enjoy seeing how many fish came out too! We removed a total of 178 fish (63 brown trout, 17 stone loach, 95 minnows and 3 three-spined stickleback) and safely relocated them outside of the works site. We look forward to working closely with Scottish Water as the work progresses.

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Clyde: Celebrated Past, Debatable Present, Wide-Open Future

CRF : July 22, 2016 5:54 pm : Clyde Catchment, News, Uncategorized

NGS_Clyde_poster_smaLast Sunday, 17th July, New Glasgow Society hosted ‘Clyde: Celebrated Past, Debatable Present, Wide-Open Future’ as part of the Architecture Fringe 2016. Held in the beautiful West Boathouse at Glasgow Green, this public event comprised talks from representatives of Lost Glasgow and the Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club, Alan Crossan (The Clutha Bar & Clutha Trust), and the Clyde River Foundation. The talks offered a starting point for discussions about how we use the River Clyde today (or how it is largely ignored) and about what could be done to bring life back down to the river – looking forward to keeping the conversation going!

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Join us for Clyde in the Classroom 2017!

CRF : July 19, 2016 3:11 pm : Education, News

We are now booking for Clyde in the Classroom 2017 and would love to have you on board! This project summary outlines the basics but please get in touch if there’s anything else you’d like to know. Please note places are limited so book early to secure a spot!

Download (PDF, 955KB)

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Welcome to our new MSci student!

CRF : July 19, 2016 2:44 pm : Clyde Catchment, Education, News, Uncategorized

A slightly overdue welcome to Paul Fraser who joined the Clyde River Foundation team in June for a placement year as part of his MSci degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology at the University of Glasgow. Paul will gain experience in a range of fields and has already been pretty busy, joining us amid the end of several school projects and the onset of the field season. He has particular interests in fish parasitology and community engagement and will undertake two formal projects as part of his degree. Paul passed his SVQ Level II Introduction to Electrofishing Training Course during his first week with us and we look forward to put his skills to good use this field season!

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Paul recording data during a recent electrofishing survey

 

 

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Riverfly Census

CRF : July 15, 2016 3:46 pm : Angling, crimp_news, News

Spring 2015 saw the launch of the Salmon and Trout Conservation UK Riverfly Census. This involved taking invertebrate samples from five sites from each of the selected 12 rivers. The rivers being deliberately chosen based upon geographic and geological diversification.

Invertebrates are food not only for fish but also certain species of birds and mammals.

Understanding how and why the riverfly numbers are declining is the first step in the process of safeguarding the aquatic environment.

The Salmon and Trout Conservation UK says that Environment Agency historic data has been based upon family level and fails to address the question of abundance. S&TC UK Riverfly Census focuses on individual species and also abundance; so important as each species has specific tolerances to aquatic stresses.

The first Riverfly Census Report published earlier this year can be read here.  Visit the Salmon and Trout Conservation UK website for further information (http://www.salmon-trout.org/)

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Clyde: Celebrated Past, Debatable Present, Wide-Open Future

CRF : July 13, 2016 3:17 pm : Clyde Catchment, News

This Sunday, 17th July, New Glasgow Society is hosting discussions around the River Clyde’s past, present and future. A range of stakeholders, including the Clyde River Foundation will be present and all are invited to attend. Please see below and the eventbrite link for details.

NGS_Clyde_poster_smaThe Clyde made Glasgow, and Glasgow made the Clyde’, runs the old saying. It gave Glasgow life, connected it to the world, enabled it to become the trading powerhouse it once was, and has provided inspiration for centuries of writers and artists. So how is being treated in the city’s largely post-industrial phase? Who really ‘owns’ the Clyde? What should we ask of it? What are the priorities for its future?

As part of Architecture Fringe 2016, New Glasgow Society will be hosting a series of talks and open-ended debate on Glasgow’s river.
We will be bringing together stakeholders of all sorts to present their viewpoints – from the practical and strategic to the idealistic and speculative. Join us and contribute to a debate around what we can make of the Clyde. and what it may make of us.

Doors 2:30pm for a 3pm start. Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club – Glasgow Green, G1 5QA

Full details and booking here

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4th National Riverfly Partnership Conference – Registration now open

CRF : July 1, 2016 9:50 am : Angling, crimp_news, News

Registration for the 4th National Riverfly Partnership Conference ‘Riverfly Monitoring and Beyond’ 06.01.16_riverfly_monitors
in the Flett Theatre, Natural History Museum, London on Thursday 17th November 2016, is now open.

The conference will bring together organisations and individuals participating in the Riverfly Partnership and the Anglers’ Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (ARMI).  The morning will focus on the role that ARMI plays within participating organisations. In the afternoon the theme will be on additional monitoring that volunteers can do to improve their knowledge of their rivers.

For full programme details and to purchase your ticket for the conference click the link below to visit the Eventbrite Riverfly Partnership Conference 2016 page: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/riverfly-conference-2016-tickets-25052942024

Please note that there is a limited capacity in the Flett Theatre so we advise that you purchase your ticket now to avoid disappointment.

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Riverfly Partnership Photography Competition 2016

CRF : June 30, 2016 9:50 am : Angling, crimp_news, News

The Riverfly Partnership is excited to launch its 2016 national photography competition                                                                                                                  ‘Riverflies’* on 30th June The Riverfly Partnership 2016 photography competition poster2016. Digital photographs are invited from amateur and professional photographers featuring Riverflies’ in a natural freshwater habitat setting. A 1st prize of £500 is up for grabs which it is hoped will attract large numbers of entrants and help the Riverfly Partnership to promote the importance of Riverflies as indicators of river water quality. The competition is being sponsored by Pro>Media whose owner and founding Director, Mark Vesey-Thompson shares the concerns of every Riverfly monitor:

‘As a keen coarse & game angler, I am really pleased to offer support to the Riverfly Partnership and the important work that they are undertaking.’

 Competition entries will be judged according to a range of factors including technical skill, diversity, originality and creativity of composition by a panel of four experts. The Riverfly Partnership is extremely grateful to the judges for agreeing to take part, they are: fly fishing journalist, photographer and traveller Paul Procter; wildlife film maker and author Hugh Miles; writer, author and angler Kevin Parr; Pro>Media print specialist and photographer Mike Hamling.

Here’s what they had to say about being involved:

‘Often overlooked, invertebrates form a complicated fabric upon which most life depends.  This competition will hopefully create awareness about just how remarkable insects are and of the plight they face.  I’m therefore delighted and honoured to form part of the judging panel.’ – Paul Procter

‘I am excited by this opportunity to view the work of people whose skill I admire and of a subject that has never before been more pertinent or allegorical.’ – Kevin Parr

‘As a Print Specialist and a keen photographer I am looking forward to using my knowledge and experience coupled with my interest in nature and wildlife to judge the forthcoming photographic competition.’ – Mike Hamling

 Full competition rules and details, including how to enter, can be found by visiting the Riverfly Partnership website: www.riverflies.org.

 

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Volunteers’ Week

CRF : June 10, 2016 11:37 am : Clyde Catchment, Foundation work, News

Neil_PerchIt’s Volunteers’ Week and we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has volunteered with the Clyde River Foundation over the years, supporting many aspects of our work from education to electrofishing. We got in touch with Neil Robins (SEPA) who volunteered with us after graduating to find out about his volunteer experience. This is what he had to say:

“After finishing a BSc in environmental science in 2008 and then a MSc in aquatic ecosystems in 2009 I found that getting someone to pay me for my new found skills was more difficult than I’d anticipated, largely thanks to the financial crash and the subsequent lack of funding available, particularly for environmental organisations.

I started to look around for ways to improve my skill set and hit upon the idea of contacting the CRF.  I arranged to meet Willie, the Director of the Foundation, and we agreed on a programme for me – as he said, there would be no point in me spending my time helping them if I didn’t get something out of it, too.  Willlie’s experience as a University of Glasgow lecturer really helped here because he knew exactly how to structure my time at the Foundation so that we both got the most out of it.

I started by sorting through the huge collection of invertebrate samples that the Foundation had amassed from their survey work.  I can’t remember exactly how many there were, but it was more than enough to keep me occupied!

The staff at the Foundation couldn’t have been more helpful – they took time out to explain the finer points of invertebrate ID and, once I’d gained a huge amount of experience here, I joined them in the field where I was able to learn about fish habitat and electrofishing surveys.

I really can’t overstate just how good my experience with the CRF was; I was trained by some of the most experienced and knowledgeable fish biologists in Scotland and there aren’t many people who can say that.  You might not think it to look at them, but they are hugely respected in their field.

The skill set I developed with the CRF led directly to me getting my first paid contract, as a fish biologist with SNH on their Loch Leven reserve.  After that, I went back to the CRF and spent my time as a mixture of part-time volunteer and part-time paid employee before getting a seasonal countryside ranger job at Mugdock Country Park. I was told after I started that the one thing that made me stand out from the other candidates was the time I’d spent as a volunteer.  I then got a full time job with SEPA, and these days I’m based on the west coast of Scotland where the skills I learned from volunteering with the CRF are put to good use on a regular basis.”

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Lessons on the Lamington Burn

CRF : June 3, 2016 5:22 pm : Angling, Clyde Catchment, Lamington Burn, News

We’d like to say a very big thank you to the Lamington & District Angling Improvement Association (www.lamingtonfishing.co.uk) who got in touch recently because they were keen for us to do some work with the school and local community on the Lamington Burn. The Association kindly funded a Meet Your River for Lamington Primary School in May and a community event at the burn last night.

The burn, which is one of our routine fish survey sites, proved to be a great wee site for learning more about local wildlife (it scored ‘good’ in the river health assessment) and the pupil feedback we received was great! For more pics please see our Facebook post here.

If you’d be keen to do something similar on your local burn please contact us via info@clyderiverfoundation.org.

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Angler’s Riverfly Monitoring Initiative news

CRF : May 30, 2016 12:05 pm : Angling, crimp_news, News

A very informative update from the ARMI coordinator Ben Fitch, download the Pdf to read all the recent news and developments. 

Download (PDF, Unknown)

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The very latest in riverfly news from ‘SALMO TRUTTA’

CRF : May 30, 2016 11:51 am : Angling, crimp_news, Foundation work, News

Download (PDF, Unknown)

A recent article about riverfly monitoring published in Volume 19 of SALMO TRUTTA (The annual journal of the Wild Trout Trust) Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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Clyde Salmon Homecoming Conference – Dr Willie Yeomans

CRF : May 17, 2016 4:33 pm : Angling, Clyde Catchment, Education, News

Only 4 days to go until the Clyde Salmon Homecoming Conference on World Fish Migration Day, Saturday 21st May, so we thought we’d share a profile on our very own Dr Willie Yeomans, Catchment Manager for the Clyde River Foundation:

NCAL0036In his first job after graduating from the University of Stirling in 1987, Willie Yeomans reared the fish which were stocked to reinstate the salmon run on the River Carron in Stirlingshire.  Since then he has worked at the Institute of Aquaculture (Stirling) and for the Environment Agency (EA) and its predecessors in England and Wales.  He undertook a PhD (fish parasites and water quality) while working as a Biologist for the EA on the River Thames and subsequently became a Senior Fisheries Scientist at the Agency’s National Salmon and Trout Fisheries Centre in Cardiff.

He became the first full-time employee of the Clyde River Foundation (CRF) in 2002 and currently leads a team of five scientists researching the ecology of the Clyde and its tributaries.  The CRF team is based within the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow, from where it delivers its science, environmental education and community engagement programmes across the Clyde catchment. Willie’s talk will be an overview of the CRF monitoring and investigative work on Clyde salmon since 2002.

Tickets: Registration is FREE via https://clydesalmonhomecoming.eventbrite.co.uk. Hope to see you there!

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Clyde Salmon Homecoming Conference – Paul Reid

CRF : May 12, 2016 2:27 pm : Angling, Clyde Catchment, Education, Foundation work, News

Just over a week to go for the Clyde Salmon Homecoming Conference on Saturday 21st May (World Fish Migration Day)!

Today we’d like to shine a light on Paul Reid who is the Director of the River Clyde Fishery Management Trust, Secretary of the River Kelvin Angling Association and is also one of our very own board members!

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Originally from Falkirk, Paul learned to fish on the River Carron and River Avon. Having moved to Glasgow when he started University, Paul then turned his attention to the River Kelvin. Keen to get further involved in the sport, with an eye on improving the environment and making fishing more accessible, Paul was elected as the Secretary of the River Kelvin Angling Association, a position which he has held for 8 years. The River Kelvin Angling Association was formed in 1992 and has over 400 members. The Association holds the fishing rights for the whole of the River Kelvin, the Allander Water, the Luggie Water and part of the Clyde.

6 years ago Paul was then invited to join the board of the River Clyde Fisheries Management Trust, were he continues to serve as a Director. The RCFMT was formed in 1985 in response to the return of salmon and sea trout to the Clyde.

Sometime after that he was pressganged into joining the board of the Clyde River Foundation (thanks Paul!), who’s work involves improving the scientific understanding of the ecological health of the River Clyde and its tributaries, and driving environmental improvements across the catchment. He often wonders how much time he would have to go fishing if he’d had the good sense to decline some of these positions!

Tickets still available: Registration is FREE via https://clydesalmonhomecoming.eventbrite.co.uk. Hope to see you there!

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Wildlife Crafts Fair – Concrete Garden, Possil

CRF : April 28, 2016 12:05 pm : Clyde Catchment, Education, News

Wildlife Crafts Fiar Concrete GardenExcited to be taking part in this Wildlife Crafts Fair at the The Concrete Garden for Voluntary Arts Week!

The event is on Saturday 14th May and is being organised by Froglife. There’ll be a whole load of different art activities on offer, all totally free!

See the full-size poster here.

 

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Clyde Salmon Homecoming Conference – Karen Dobbins

CRF : April 27, 2016 4:53 pm : Angling, Clyde Catchment, Foundation work, News, River Avon

Less than 4 weeks to go for our Clyde Salmon Homecoming Conference and we are delighted to introduce another of our speakers! 

Today’s focus is on Karen Dobbins of the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership:

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Karen Dobbins is a Development Officer with the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP).  CAVLP is a Heritage Lottery Fund supported programme which aims to conserve, enhance and celebrate the unique landscape and cultural heritage of the Clyde and Avon Valleys.  Part funded by HLF until 2018, the programme will deliver over 70 projects with key partners including Central Scotland Green Network Trust, Clydesdale Community Initiatives, New Lanark Trust, Northlight Heritage, RSPB Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Wildlife Trust, South Lanarkshire Council, North Lanarkshire Council and Rural Development Trust.

The range of projects being delivered focus on four different work streams: conservation of built and natural environment, increasing community participation, enabling access to, and learning about, the landscape of the Clyde and Avon Valley and providing new training opportunities in heritage skills.  The emphasis for all projects across the work streams is to provide a platform for community engagement, volunteering, learning and training.

 

The conference is aimed at anyone with an interest in salmon biology, fishery management or in the ecology of the Clyde system. Register for your free ticket here: https://clydesalmonhomecoming.eventbrite.co.uk.

Clyde Salmon Homecoming Conference

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Mayfly Tales and River Rangers in the Douglas Water

CRF : April 27, 2016 10:20 am : Clyde Catchment, Douglas Water, Education, News

This week we launched into the second phase of ‘Rediscovering the Douglas Water‘, a project involving Coalburn, Douglas & Rigside Primary Schools.

Yesterday we were in Douglas with primaries 1-3, trying out some new material which went down really well with the children. In our ‘Mayfly Tales’ session P1 learned all about mayflies and made their own Project Mayfly art display. In ‘River Rangers’ P2/3 looked at litter and pollution and took action to prevent litter entering the Douglas Water!

The project is supported by the Hagshaw Hill Windfarm Trust.

Mayfly Day Douglas P1 Project Mayfly Dougls P1  Ronnie the Raindrop Ronnie the Raindrop Douglas P2-3Litter pick Douglas P2-3Litter pick group Douglas P2-3

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Clyde Salmon Homecoming Conference – Dr Phil McGinnity

CRF : April 20, 2016 3:24 pm : Angling, Education, Foundation work, News

In the run-up to our Clyde Salmon Homecoming Conference on Saturday 21st May we’ll be posting a profile for each guest speaker.

Today’s focus is on Dr Phil McGinnity (School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University College Cork):

phil mcginnityDr McGinnity has been working in fisheries research and management for more than quarter of a century. He started his career in fisheries as an Inspector with the Northern Regional Fisheries Board in 1985, taking study leave from the Board to complete a BSc in Biology (Hons) at Queens University Belfast in 1989.  He has a PhD, also from Queen’s, in population genetics, supervised by Professor Andy Ferguson which he completed part-time in 1997, while working as a biologist for the Salmon Research Agency of Ireland (now the Marine Institute) at it’s famous research station on the Burrishoole River in County Mayo. He was a biologist and team leader with the Institute until 2008. He did a spell on secondment as Director of Protection and Conservation in the Central Fisheries Board between 2000 and 2002 and since 2008 has been employed by University College Cork, though, still based at Burrishoole, as the Principal Investigator for the prestigious Beaufort Marine Research Award in Fish Population Genetics, which is a seven year, €4m, joint collaboration between University College Cork, Queens University Belfast, and the Marine Institute.

He is probably best known for his research on the genetic impacts of farm escapes, but has also been published widely in the areas of salmonid population biology and ecology, stock assessment, population genetics, evolutionary biology, and the inventory of freshwater fish habitat. Phil has served on many important commissions and working groups, including the National (Ireland) Salmon Commission, the Salmon Commission’s Standing Scientific Committee, the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Loughs Agency (formerly the Foyle Fisheries Commission), as a member of the ICES Working Group on the Application of Genetics in Fisheries & Mariculture, to name a but a few. He is a member of the Honorary Scientific Panel of the Atlantic Salmon Trust and is on the Council of the Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

The conference is aimed at anyone with an interest in salmon biology, fishery management or in the ecology of the Clyde system. Tickets are free but limited so please register at https://clydesalmonhomecoming.eventbrite.co.uk.

Clyde Salmon Homecoming Conference Flyer

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Clyde Salmon Homecoming Conference – Prof. Neil Metcalfe

CRF : April 6, 2016 10:15 am : Angling, News, Uncategorized

In the run-up to our Clyde Salmon Homecoming Conference on Saturday 21st May we’ll be posting a profile for each guest speaker.

First up is Professor Neil Metcalfe (Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow):

11903933_103026256718902_27077199048311859_nProf. Neil Metcalfe has been studying the biology of Atlantic salmon and brown trout for over 30 years. His research group at the University of Glasgow has focussed on understanding how small behavioural and physiological differences between individual fish affect their performance – for instance, why is it that apparently identical fish, living in the same environment, grow at different rates or migrate to sea at different ages? Why are some able to get territories while others are displaced? And can we predict how these patterns will alter if the environment changes?

Neil is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and has been given ‘Highly Cited’ status by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), being in the top 300 most-frequently cited scientists worldwide in Animal & Plant Sciences.

 

The conference is aimed at anyone with an interest in salmon biology, fishery management or in the ecology of the Clyde system. Tickets are free but limited so please register at https://clydesalmonhomecoming.eventbrite.co.uk.

Clyde Salmon Homecoming Conference Flyer

 

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Clyde Salmon Homecoming Conference, Saturday 21st May 2016

CRF : April 1, 2016 4:40 pm : Clyde Catchment, Education, News

In just over 7 weeks we’ll be celebrating World Fish Migration Day with our Clyde Salmon Homecoming Conference.  The conference is aimed at anyone with an interest in salmon biology, fishery management or in the ecology of the Clyde system.  Please see the flyer below for an updated list of speakers.

Tickets are free but booking is essential via https://clydesalmonhomecoming.eventbrite.co.uk.

Hope to see you there!

Clyde Salmon Homecoming Conference Flyer

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American signal crayfish in the Clyde Catchment – A Position Statement

CRF : March 31, 2016 5:05 pm : Clyde Catchment, Education, Invasive Non-Native Species

The Clyde River Foundation (CRF) is a registered Scottish charity which researches the ecology of the Clyde and its tributaries and promotes community engagement and environmental education throughout the catchment.  The Foundation receives no core funding and has no statutory responsibility for the control of non-native species.  The CRF has, however, been involved in the study of the invasive, non-native American signal crayfish since 2002.  Our scientists were instrumental in the development of a rapid technique for detecting crayfish in rivers and we have documented the effects of the species on native invertebrates.  We involve students from the University of Glasgow in our work, which brings benefits to them and to the river as a whole because we cannot secure funds for the sort of in-depth work they are sometimes able to carry out.  We update our distribution records regularly but deliberately choose not to publicise the location of our research, in order to minimise potential theft of traps.

While it is unpalatable, it is nonetheless true that there is currently no effective method of eradicating crayfish from rivers (and that specifically includes trapping).  The only effective defence against American signal crayfish is a biosecurity regime which educates the public not to introduce the species to new localities.  For that reason, and because evidence from Scandinavia suggests that even licenced trapping inevitably leads to crayfish range extension, we do not promote trapping as a viable method of control in the Clyde system.  The Foundation has never been involved in any eradication trials but does sometimes deploy licensed traps for research purposes.  We have evidence of illegal, unlicensed trapping taking place in the River Clyde (traps, receipts for traps, social media, etc.) and this has caused the death of at least one otter (see here for original post).  Please do not be tempted to break the law – leave licensed traps alone and do not trap illegally.  There are, unfortunately, now five (widely spread) populations of signal crayfish known to the CRF in the Clyde catchment.  If you find one, please let us know via info@clyderiverfoundation.org.

 

crayfish workL-R: 1) American signal crayfish in the River Clyde catchment; 2) The CRF’s monitoring work is enriched by research projects undertaken by University of Glasgow students; 3) Dead otter removed from a crayfish trap deployed illegally on the River Clyde
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Save the date – Clyde Salmon Homecoming Conference, 21st May 2016

CRF : March 13, 2016 10:52 am : Angling, Clyde Catchment, Foundation work, News

The return of the iconic Atlantic salmon to the River Clyde is possibly the biggest good-news story in freshwater biology.  On World Fish Migration Day 21st May 2016, the Clyde River Foundation is holding a one-day conference entitled ‘Clyde Salmon Homecoming – the Status and Future of Salmon in the River Clyde’. The event marks 30 years since the Institute of Fisheries Management 1986 conference which was convened to “discuss the implications of the return of Atlantic salmon after an absence of more than 100 years”.

Since 1986, considerable progress has been made in our understanding of the biology and ecology of the species, its history in and relationship with the Clyde catchment and in the management of one of the most urban salmon fisheries in the world.  The conference is aimed at anyone with an interest in the ecology of the Clyde system and will discuss current distribution, population monitoring, threats and future developments in research, habitat improvement and education work.  Confirmed speakers include Dr Colin Bean (SNH), Dr Phil McGinnity (University College Cork), Professor Neil Metcalfe (University of Glasgow), Paul Reid (River Clyde Fisheries Management Trust) and Dr Willie Yeomans (Clyde River Foundation).

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Salmon leaping Blantyre Weir, 1983. (Photo: Glasgow Herald)

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Caring for the Clyde – 4th Citizen Science Meeting a success!

CRF : February 29, 2016 4:00 pm : Clyde Catchment, crimp_news, Education, News, Uncategorized

The Clyde River Foundation hosted it’s 4th Caring for the Clyde meeting yesterday celebrating three years of Citizen Science in the River Clyde catchment. Over fifty delegates gathered to hear talks from a variety of guest speakers. CRIMP coordinator Lesley Deans, Clyde River Foundation, opened the meeting by providing an overview of the achievements made by our riverfly monitors throughout the catchment.

Ben Fitch, Coordinator of The Riverfly Partnership, shared the most recent developments at the Riverfly Partnership as well as reporting on some pollution incidents picked up by Riverfly monitors in England. Ben also gave an up-to-date tour of the Riverflies Monitoring Database, developed by the Freshwater Biological Association.

Elaine Gallaher, Strathgryfe Angling Association, gave a captivating account of her experiences getting involved in riverfly monitoring since retiring and the learning and enjoyment that she has gained from it.

Theo Thomas, London Waterkeeper, was invited for a second year to talk about his passion for clean water on the River Thames and how one day residents and tourists alike should be able to use the river to bathe, like other European countries already do! Theo also showed how volunteers are using water testing kits to monitor E. coli levels in the river.

Michael Anderson, Development Officer for Science, Education Scotland, talked about citizen science in the context of education, outlining how citizen science activities can be used to deliver Curriculum for Excellence learning outcomes.

Finally William Yeomans, Clyde River Foundation, spoke of the Foundation’s future plans for Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership. Thank you to all the delegates and guest speakers for making the day a real celebration of three years of citizen science and hopefully much more in the future!

If you would like to become a certified riverfly monitor please contact Ben Fitch to inquire about training opportunities in 2016 at ben@riverflies.org.

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Spotlight on our citizen scientists – 3. Bridge of Weir Angling Association

CRF : February 19, 2016 2:52 pm : Angling, crimp_news, News, River Gryfe

On Saturday 27th February ‘Caring for the Clyde’ will celebrate 3 years of citizen science in the River Clyde catchment. In the run-up to the event we’ll be highlighting some of the great groups involved in our biggest citizen science initiative, the Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership (CRIMP).

Today we are championing our CRIMP team from the Bridge of Weir Angling Club. Members of the club joined CRIMP in May of 2013 and have been actively involved in monitoring stretches of the Gryfe catchment ever since. Their regular riverfly monitoring resulted in the detection of sewage debris on the Gotter Water last August which was passed on to SEPA for investigation – full story on page 2 of the newsletter here. If not for the team’s dedication it’s unlikely this problem would have been detected!

If you’d like to find out more about using citizen science to care for our rivers then we’d love to see you at Caring for the Clyde! Tickets are free and available here:https://4thcaringfortheclyde.eventbrite.co.uk

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Bridge of Weir Angling Club CRIMP team out on the Carruth Burn in August 2015

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Sorting through a riverfly sample using the CRIMP technique

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Vote to bring Flying Fish project to Drumchapel!

CRF : February 12, 2016 1:06 pm : Clyde Catchment, Education, Foundation work, News, Uncategorized

Please consider voting for us in the Galaxy Hot Chocolate Fund to help us bring our Flying Fish project to children in Drumchapel!

Flying Fish is an eco-education project aimed at Primary 6 pupils in communities near Glasgow Airport. To date Flying Fish has been delivered in 17 primary schools in the Clydebank High and St Peter the Apostle High School learning communities, and our aim is to reach pupils from other communities in the area!

So far we have secured some further funding from the Glasgow Airport Flightpath Fund but we need to raise more to make the project possible!

Voting is quick and easy, just click here – thank you!

Our Lady of Loretto invertebrate lab

 

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Spotlight on our citizen scientists – 2. Hollybrook Academy

CRF : February 12, 2016 11:02 am : Clyde Catchment, crimp_news, Education, News

On Saturday 27th February ‘Caring for the Clyde’ will celebrate 3 years of citizen science in the River Clyde catchment. In the run-up to the event we’ll be highlighting some of the great groups involved in our biggest citizen science initiative, the Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership (CRIMP).

Today we’re focussing on the CRIMP team from Hollybrook Academy. The Glasgow school, which supports pupils with additional learning needs, is enthusiastic about outdoor learning and is actively involved in the John Muir Award scheme. Teacher Graham Munro became a trained CRIMP-er in 2014 and has been using the technique to deliver outdoor education with his classes at the Castlemilk Burn. At at last Caring for the Clyde meeting Mr Munro said that CRIMP was unique among many of the outdoor activities on offer in that it involves water and the “chance to splash about” and he talked of the real benefit it gives pupils, providing new skills and helping to build up resilience.

If you’d like to find out more about using citizen science to care for our rivers then we’d love to see you at Caring for the Clyde! Tickets are free and available here:https://4thcaringfortheclyde.eventbrite.co.uk

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Spotlight on our citizen scientists – 1. Quarriers

CRF : February 9, 2016 11:16 am : Angling, Clyde Catchment, crimp_news, Education, News

On Saturday 27th February ‘Caring for the Clyde’ will celebrate 3 years of citizen science in the River Clyde catchment. In the run-up to the event we’ll be highlighting some of the great groups involved in our biggest citizen science initiative, the Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership (CRIMP).

First up, we have Quarriers who are monitoring the Tollcross Burn in Tollcross Park. John Davidones, Quarriers Project Worker explained why they got involved: “My role as a support worker is to support people with disabilities to live independently and achieve their potential. The people who are joining CRIMP are all very keen anglers and wanted to learn more about the ecosystem of the waterways. The Clyde River Foundation has given us a great opportunity for them to do this, develop new skills and knowledge and encourages involvement in their local community.” The project also gets a mention Quarriers Annual Review 2015 (https://quarriers.org.uk/…/annual-review-2015choosing-how-…/).

If you’d like to find out more then we’d love to see you at Caring for the Clyde! Tickets are free and available here:https://4thcaringfortheclyde.eventbrite.co.uk

Keen anglers from Quarriers learning more about riverflies for the Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership. The group is now actively involved in monitoring the health of the Tollcross Burn.

Keen anglers from Quarriers learning more about riverflies for the Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership. The group is now actively involved in monitoring the health of the Tollcross Burn.

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Opening up the Avon Water to migratory fish

CRF : February 4, 2016 3:17 pm : Angling, Clyde Catchment, Foundation work, News, River Avon

Up to 35km of spawning habitat is to be opened up to migratory fish on the Avon Water, a major tributary of the River Clyde,  through barrier easement at the Ferniegair and Millheugh Weirs. The initiative is a result of the Avon Barriers Project – a partnership project between the Rivers & Fisheries Trust for Scotland (RAFTS), SEPA, South Lanarkshire Council, Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) and the Clyde River Foundation.

David McColl, Fisheries Management Planner for the Clyde River Foundation, has been an integral part of the Avon Barriers Project for the past few years. The CRF first surveyed the fish populations of the River Avon in 2002, in collaboration with the Avon Angling Club and South Lanarkshire Council, primarily to determine the distribution of migratory fish species (Atlantic salmon and European eels). We have surveyed the catchment intermittently since then with University of Glasgow students and the relatively recently-formed Upper Avon Angling Association. The CRF is delighted to have contributed fisheries data from 52 sites (worth some £15,000 commercially) and local knowledge during the development of this initiative.

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Ferniegair and Millheugh Weirs, Avon Water, South Lanarkshire

A public meeting has been organised by RAFTS on Tuesday 8th March so that the easement designs can be presented and questions can be answered, details below:

Tuesday 8th March – 7pm
The Auditorium
Chatelherault Country Park Visitor Centre
Ferniegair, Hamilton, ML3 7UE

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Caring for the Clyde – 4th Citizen Science Meeting

CRF : December 21, 2015 1:00 pm : crimp_news, Education, News, Uncategorized

Come and celebrate 3 years of riverfly monitoring on the River Clyde at our 4th Citizen Science Meeting on Saturday 27th February 2016.

Interested in getting involved in citizen science whilst looking after your local river?

The Clyde River Foundation has been coordinating citizen science across the River Clyde catchment for three years and will hold its 4th Citizen Science Meeting on Saturday 27th February. This is an excellent opportunity to hear what’s been going on and whether you’re a member of a community group, school community, angler or just have an interest in your local river, you’re welcome to come along to our celebration event and hopefully get involved in the future of citizen science on the River Clyde!

We have a great line-up of speakers for the day including representatives from the Riverfly Partnership, Waterkeeper Alliance and Education Scotland.

Booking essential. Please book online at: https://4thcaringfortheclyde.eventbrite.co.uk

Download (PDF, Unknown)

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Latest CRIMP newsletter

CRF : December 14, 2015 1:00 pm : Angling, crimp_news, News

Find out everything that’s been happening Clyde wide in our latest newsletter below

Download (PDF, Unknown)

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Planning to celebrate!

CRF : November 21, 2015 1:00 pm : Angling, crimp_news, News

The Clyde River Foundation’s annual citizen science meeting will take place on Saturday 27th February. Caring for the Clyde will celebrate three years of coordinating CRIMP, our largest citizen science project, on the River Clyde.

We are very grateful to Scottish Natural Heritage for supporting CRIMP and helping us to train over 100 monitors. We will continue to support our current monitors across the catchment and hope to secure further funding to continue to coordinate riverfly monitoring on the River Clyde. The Clyde River Foundation now has two trained and accredited tutors who are able to deliver further training workshops. If you are interested in becoming a riverfly monitor please get in touch – we may deliver more training workshops next year if there is significant demand.

Earlier this month we met with Ben Fitch, Anglers’ Riverfly Monitoring Initiative Coordinator, SEPA and representatives from the, Annan, Almond, Forth, Galloway and Tweed Fisheries Trusts, all of whom have had a level of participation in riverfly monitoring within their catchments in the past.

We are very pleased to announce that Ben Fitch has agreed to be our guest speaker at our Citizen Science meeting in February. Ben will introduce the Riverfly Partnership’s new online repository, demonstrate its uses and functionality and talk about opportunities to join the Riverfly Partnership in Scotland.

 If you are interested in attending the Caring for the Clyde – Citizen Science meeting – contact us!

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Celebrating 15 years of education in the Clyde catchment

CRF : November 19, 2015 12:05 pm : Education, Foundation work, News

This year marks our 15th year of  delivering education projects in the Clyde catchment. We first delivered ‘Clyde in the Classroom’ to five Primary Schools in Glasgow back in 2001. Increasing demand for outdoor education and our desire to engage more proactively with communities has led to opportunities for us to increase the presence of our scientists in schools and in 2015 we welcomed the 20,000th pupil to the project! Education now makes up about half of our work programme and we regularly work with in excess of 100 schools annually, which is around 20% of all Primaries in the Clyde catchment. In 2013 we embarked on our first Primary-to-Secondary education transition project called ‘Trout at Transition’ and we are now developing citizen science projects specifically for High Schools and look forward to broadening our Secondary education portfolio. We believe that engaging with the future stewards of the River Clyde – today’s young people – as well as the broader community, is critical in ‘caring for the Clyde’. We will build upon the links made within our existing education initiatives to grow the ‘river adoption’ model developed through ‘Healthy Rivers, Healthy Communities’ and continue to engage in projects that make rivers better understood – this way they can be better looked after!

The timeline below outlines the developments made in our Education Programme between 2001 and 2015.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

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Scottish Anglers Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) meeting outcomes

CRF : November 18, 2015 1:00 pm : Angling, crimp_news, News, Uncategorized

During the November meeting SEPA pledged continued support for Citizen Science and particularly riverfly monitoring. Some of the main outcomes from the meeting were to make significant progress in setting specific trigger levels for Clyde riverfly monitoring sites in 2016 and allocating a named SEPA Ecology contact for the River Clyde catchment to deal with the follow up of pollution incidents and SEPA investigations.

 

Another significant outcome is the planned transfer of CRIMP data to the National Riverfly Monitoring database. Over the winter period, Ben will register current monitoring sites with the transition to the new database taking place after the Caring for the Clyde meeting in February.

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Trout at Transition a success!

CRF : November 16, 2015 4:59 pm : Clyde Catchment, Education, News

We have now completed Trout at Transition, our very first primary-to-secondary school transition project. The project was delivered by the Clyde River Foundation in partnership with artist Holly Keasey and the Biggar High School learning community between 2013-2015. Trout at Transition began with Primary 7 pupils from the 12 Primary Schools associated with Biggar High School. Pupils raised brown trout in classroom hatcheries (‘Phase 1’) and participated in ‘Meet Your River’ workshops (‘Phase 2’) at their local burns. As pupils progressed into S1 of Biggar High School we worked closely with the Science and Art departments (‘Phase 3’) to deliver a range of practical outdoor learning experiences and to produce a final, public art installation as a lasting legacy for the project. We’d like to say a big “thank you” to all involved and we hope you enjoy reading about the High School component of the project in the latest project update below.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

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8th annual Grayling Day

CRF : October 18, 2015 4:26 pm : Angling, Foundation work, News, South Calder

Today we met up with local anglers to survey grayling in the Clyde for our 8th annual grayling day. Every year we meet with members of local angling clubs to electrofish the South Calder Water in Motherwell and this year we were also joined by members of the University of Glasgow Fish Biology Group – thanks to everyone who came out and braved the cold to help out! The grayling day allows us to collect long-term data for this species within the Clyde catchment and provides a great opportunity for hands-on teamwork between anglers and scientists.

A full set of photos are up on the Fish Biology Group’s Facebook page here and a video of the day is here.

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Trout at Transition art trail now open!

CRF : October 17, 2015 3:11 pm : Clyde Catchment, Education, News

This morning we opened the Trout at Transition art trail as part of Biggar Little Festival. The art trail is the final installation from our first primary-to-secondary school transition project which involved artist Holly Keasey and the learning community of Biggar High School. We are delighted with how the installation turned out and would love to hear your thoughts. The trail runs along the Biggar Burn between Burnbraes Park and Biggar High School. A copy of trail map can be found here.

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Flying Fish project continues to grow with Glasgow Airport funding boost

CRF : October 12, 2015 12:21 pm : Clyde Catchment, Education, News

Primary school pupils in West Dunbartonshire and Glasgow City have been fishing for facts in their local waterways thanks to a recent funding boost from Glasgow Airport. More than 250 pupils from seven primary schools in the north and west of the City of Glasgow waded into water in the second phase of an education initiative called the Flying Fish project, devised and delivered by the Clyde River Foundation.

Through its FlightPath Fund, Glasgow Airport provided the charity with £9,000 to deliver the innovative conservation project, which will help raise awareness of river ecology amongst young people in the Clydebank area.

Throughout autumn, the budding environmentalists waded into their local patch of the Duntocher Burn to fish for wildlife. They learned about the techniques that scientists use to monitor fish and invertebrate populations in rivers, how to sample aquatic invertebrates and uncovered the links between what lives in and around the river. After a morning at the river each class spent an educational afternoon identifying their beasties in a ‘pop-up’ laboratory and calculate the health of their river.

The primary schools involved in the Flying Fish project this year are: St. Joseph’s Primary, St. Clare’s Primary, Our Lady or Loretto Primary, St. Mary’s Primary, St. Stephen’s Primary, St. Eunan’s Primary and Our Holy Redeemer Primary.

Dr Willie Yeomans, Catchment Manager for the Clyde River Foundation said:

“The aim of the Flying Fish project is to give youngsters a real understanding of the ecology of their local waterways through a hands-on outdoor experience. Children learn about health of their local river and how this links back to the health of their community. We’re delighted to receive this support from Glasgow Airport for a second year running. We also acknowledge the support of the TrustHouse Charitable Foundation, Cashback for Communities and Dalmuir Park Ranger Team for allowing us the use of their facilities to deliver part of the project.”

West Dunbartonshire Councillor Kath Ryall said:

“This is a really fun, dynamic and educational project which has given hundreds of children the opportunity to gain practical conservation experience and learn about our ecosystems. The Clyde River Foundation has a fantastic reputation for delivering these workshops and this additional funding will allow it to deliver more sessions for schools throughout West Dunbartonshire. It is educational and inspiring projects like these that the FlightPath Fund is eager to support.” St Stephen’s Primary 6 teacher Mrs Sullivan said “I have to say that our field study trip today was one of the best I have had the privilege to be part of. We were all greatly surprised by the animal life found in the burn water and delighted that we had the opportunity to view the varieties of species ‘up close and personal’. The children had nothing but positive comments to make about today, with many wishing that it could have been longer. Thanks to everyone involved for such an enjoyable and educating experience which has managed to cover many of our experiences and outcomes across the curriculum.”

St Clare's P6a kick-sampling Cochno Burn

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Campsie Angling Association back in the river

CRF : October 9, 2015 4:00 pm : Angling, crimp_news, News, River Kelvin

We met with the Campsie Angling Association secretary Lawrence Meechan on the Glazert Water for a refresher in the riverfly monitoring technique. Lawrence attended one of the first Riverfly monitoring training courses on the River Clyde in 2012, before CRIMP was launched. Lawrence hopes to send some ‘new young blood’ along to a training course next year to pick up some riverfly monitoring skills and cover more sites in the headwaters of the River Kelvin.

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Trout at Transition art trail opening

CRF : October 9, 2015 8:59 am : Camps Water, Clyde Catchment, Education, Glengonnar Water, Mouse Water, News

Next week we’ll be opening a riverside art trail as part of Biggar Little Festival. The trail will consist of artwork produced by pupils of Biggar High School during our Trout at Transition project and we are very excited about it! Hope to see some of you there!

Date: Saturday 17th October
Time: 11am-12pm
Meeting point: Burnbraes Park, Biggar

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Fish kill report

CRF : October 7, 2015 11:48 am : Angling, Clyde Catchment, News, River Gryfe, River Kelvin, Uncategorized

We have received the final report from Marine Scotland’s Fish Health Inspectorate on the fish kill that occurred in the Gryfe and Kelvin catchments throughout August and September. Fish collected from the Gryfe were analysed for disease and a number of pathogens were detected (bacterial, fungal and parasitic but not viral), as outlined in the summary below. The cause of death was attributed to haemodilution – meaning that the osmotic balance of the fish was disrupted by the breakdown of the skin by disease. We are very grateful to everyone who contacted us about sightings during the course of the investigation and to Marine Scotland for undertaking a thorough analysis. While we now know what caused the losses, this doesn’t shed any light on why so many fish were in such poor condition. We appreciate that such losses are of great concern to all of those involved in the river and can only ask at this stage for people to continue to inform us of any further issues.

The summary from the final report:

“The River Gryffe was visited after a call from a The Clyde River Foundation informing the fish health inspectorate of a number of dead or moribund fish being found in a section of the river known locally as the ‘The Pots’. Four moribund fish were sampled for a diagnostic investigation. Another moribund fish was removed before the inspector arrived and frozen. This fish was also sampled at a later date.

A histopathological examination revealed that losses were attributed to osmotic haemodilution resulting from oomycete infected skin tissue.
Interpretation of bacteriology plates revealed Saprolegnia sp. and three colonies of bacteria identified as Aeromonas hydrophila, cavia, and sobria. These motile aeromonads are known to be fish pathogens however in this case the mixed nature of the growth suggests they have occurred initially as an opportunist and increased to result in a significant bacterial infection.

Examination of fins and vents took place under a microscope. Examination of the fins found the fish to be negative for Gyrodactylus species. Examination of the vents identified a number of the parasitic nematode Anisakis simplex. The vents had varying levels of infestation with between 9 to 43 individuals identified per vent. Please contact myself or the duty inspector should you require any further information, have any queries regarding this report or if any problems develop.”

Please follow the links below to access the full reports for this case:

Interim Fish Health Inspectorate report (includes detail for the majority of the analysis)
Final Fish Health Inspectorate report

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Diseased salmon found on the Gryfe in August 2015. Photo credit: Alan Beaton

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Duncanrig students take the plunge

CRF : September 1, 2015 2:47 pm : crimp_news, Education, News, White Cart Water

This term at Duncanrig Secondary some new students were getting to grips with riverfly monitoring for the first time as part of their biology lessons. Their local burn, a small tributary of the Kittoch Water, flows beneath the school and is a short walk away. One pupil donned chest waders to take a sample for the rest of the class to see what is thriving in the water right next to their school. As much of the river is culverted upstream in Westwood, the fly-life was slightly impoverished – not many of the groups found score on the ARMI index. The sample did however yield freshwater hog-louse, plenty of leeches and blackfly larvae! It was great to get outdoors and learn about the factors affecting biological water quality and biological indicators species!

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CRIMP Training – 24th October 2015

CRF : August 25, 2015 3:54 pm : Clyde Catchment, crimp_news, Foundation work, News, Uncategorized

Sampling_BridgeofWeir_13.08.2015Interested in looking after your local river? The Clyde River Foundation will run a ‘CRIMP’ workshop on Saturday 24th October 2015. Twelve places are available to anyone who wishes to learn the standardised methodology for riverfly monitoring and is interested in taking regular biological samples on their local burn. Attendance costs £35 per participant. The workshop will run from 09.30 – 1700, location tbc. For more information contact Lesley at the Clyde River Foundation. Booking is essential, please download a booking form here and return it to Lesley lesley.deans@glasgow.ac.uk.

 

 

 

 

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Clyde in the Classroom 2016

CRF : August 25, 2015 3:43 pm : Clyde Catchment, Education, News

hatcheryWe are now booking for Clyde in the Classroom 2016, a hands-on project in which children raise brown trout from eggs to fry before releasing them into their local river or burn. The project webpage is www.clydeintheclassroom.com and if you’d like to see what pupils got up to in 2015 please check out our latest newsletter.

If you would like your school to participate in 2016 or to find out more please contact Caroline on caroline.mcgillivray@glasgow.ac.uk.

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Clyde invertebrate samples become part of Hunterian collection thanks to paid internship

CRF : August 24, 2015 4:10 pm : Clyde Catchment, Education, Foundation work, News, Uncategorized

Aquatic invertebrate samples from the Clyde catchment have become part of the Hunterian Zoology Museum collection thanks to an internship delivered through the Third Sector Internships Scotland (TSIS) programme. In June we were joined by Katie Grimmond – a Zoology undergraduate from the University of Aberdeen – for a ten-week paid TSIS internship. Katie was tasked with developing a cataloguing system for our archive of aquatic invertebrate samples. Since 2005 the Clyde River Foundation has collected a large number of kick samples and Surber samples across the Clyde catchment and while the data from these samples had been used for individual reports, it hadn’t been collated into a central database. Thanks to Katie’s project we now have a system in place for adding records to a central database, as well as for moving data and specimens to the Hunterian collection. In developing the system Katie processed a total of 489 samples, 805 ‘events’  (data for which we no longer held the original samples) and transferred 100 samples to the Hunterian collection.

Willie Yeomans, Catchment Manager for the Clyde River Foundation said: “One purpose of Third Sector Internships was to allow hosting organisations the opportunity to carry out a well-defined piece of work which would be otherwise outside its reach, either financially or logistically. The Clyde River Foundation has expended considerable effort collecting and analysing samples of river invertebrates over the last ten years. We had accumulated hundreds of samples but could never have followed-up the Hunterian’s idea of initiating a research collection without having Katie on board and funding from TSIS. Katie organised, catalogued and curated our specimens, and made them useful for future researchers. She can come back any time!”

Maggie Reilly, Curator of Zoology for the Hunterian said: “Katie was an ideal person for this job – quick to learn, methodical and self motivated – a pleasure to see the work done perfectly!”

Before and after

Before: Katie Grimmond with the original Clyde River Foundation invertebrate samples (left) and those prepared for the Hunterian collection (right)

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Organisation of the original invertebrate samples

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Samples sorted to family level and deposited with the Hunterian Zoology Museum

 

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Lots of CRIMPing on the Kelvin

CRF : August 24, 2015 3:40 pm : crimp_news, Foundation work, News, River Kelvin, Uncategorized

We caught up with two ‘long-standing’ dedicated riverfly monitors Allan Twigg (Friends of the River Kelvin) and Ernest Atlee (Caurnie Angling Club). Both have been sampling on the River Kelvin since early 2013 and we felt it would be a good idea to drop in check everything was running smoothly! River levels have been particularly low of late which made for easy access for kick sampling. A lot of comments from our river fly monitors have mentioned the low water levels. Allan recently noted “River very low. No stonefly unlike the last sample. Exceptional number of Olives – concentration due to low water?” Ernie also mentioned the low flow, “Barely a trickle, one brown trout fry about three inches in length”. Ernie emailed to let us know that, “The trout you put back was the biggest (only one) I caught all day.”

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New American signal crayfish populations in the Clyde catchment

CRF : August 21, 2015 5:11 pm : Angling, Clyde Catchment, Invasive Non-Native Species, News

We have had two reports of “new” populations of American signal crayfish in the River Clyde catchment this week, one of which we have confirmed and the other we will be investigating further. While these populations of the alien species could have been present for some time, this brings the total number of areas known to be infested in our catchment to five.  Signal crayfish are impossible to eradicate once established in rivers and because they are large, aggressive omnivores, they can drive ecological and environmental change. Non-native crayfish management is a very sensitive issue and it is currently illegal to trap or be in possession of live crayfish in Scotland without the appropriate licences. Removal of the large crayfish may actually make the impacts worse, not better and moving them around creates incentives for illegal trapping. The best management is to avoid transporting the animals to new locations and to that end, anglers and other water users should practice ‘Check, Clean, Dry‘ on their equipment.  We will be posting further updates from the Clyde, and some snippets from this week’s national Crayfish Conference that we attended shortly.

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American signal crayfish from a newly-confirmed site in the Clyde catchment. Sampled on 21.08.15.

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Clyde fish kill extends to the River Kelvin

CRF : August 21, 2015 3:55 pm : Angling, Clyde Catchment, News, River Gryfe, River Kelvin

The fish kill reported last Friday on the River Gryffe (article here) is ongoing and affected fish have been seen in the River Kelvin this week. Since appealing for sightings on Monday, the Clyde River Foundation has received several reports of dead or dying fish showing obvious signs of disease. We are keeping a diary of events – so far an estimated 90 Atlantic salmon on the Gryffe and and 30 on the Kelvin have been recorded, as well as a couple of resident brown trout. Five fish were collected for analysis on Tuesday and we expect to receive the results from the Fish Health Inspectorate (Marine Scotland) next week. Until then we would be very grateful for any further sightings to be sent to info@clyderiverfoundation.org with a photograph and a note of the location if possible. Thanks again to everyone who has contributed information.

We reported a pollution incident on the Dargavel Burn (a tributary of the Gryffe) on Tuesday – see here for the full story. While there is no obvious connection between this and the large numbers of fish dying on the Gryffe, the scale and potential impact of the event is of concern. SEPA is investigating.

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Salmon in the River Kelvin, Kelvingrove Park 16.08.15. Photo Credit: Dave Ferrie

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Salmon on the banks of the River Kelvin, 19.08.2015. Photo Credit: John Wilson (River Kelvin Angling Association)

 

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Another potential problem on the River Gryffe…

CRF : August 18, 2015 3:38 pm : Black Cart Water, Clyde Catchment, News, River Gryfe

Further to the ongoing fish kill, we have been informed of a pollution incident on a tributary of the Gryffe – the Dargavel Burn. The photographs (taken today by Alan Beaton of the Bridge of Weir Angling Club) show what looks like silt or other suspended solids flowing into the tidal stretch of the Gryffe. We have received reports of diseased fish in the tidal stretch of the Gryffe but there is currently no evidence to link the two events. The incident has been reported to SEPA and we will post updates as soon as we hear anything.

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Pollution incident on the Dargavel Burn, 18.08.15. Photo credit: Alan Beaton

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Pollution incident on the Dargavel Burn, 18.08.15. Photo credit: Alan Beaton

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Fish kill on the River Gryffe

CRF : August 18, 2015 12:40 pm : Angling, Black Cart Water, Clyde Catchment, News, River Gryfe, Uncategorized

A fish kill was discovered on the River Gryffe in Renfrewshire over the weekend by Alan Beaton of the Bridge of Weir Angling Club (BoWAC) and Sandy Ritchie of Paisley Abercorn Angling Club. Alan took measurements and photographs of eleven dead adult salmon plus one trout which showed obvious and significant signs of a currently unidentified disease. In excess of 40 of these iconic fish have died since Friday and the occurrence has been reported to the Fish Health Inspectorate (Marine Scotland). An Inspector is on-site today with BoWAC to assess the situation and collect samples from freshly dead fish for further analysis. We are grateful to Marine Scotland for its prompt action. In addition to the Gryffe incident, we received a report of a dead salmon (showing disease) from the River Kelvin in Kelvingrove Park on Sunday. We are anxious to gauge the scale of this problem and we would ask that reports of any diseased or dead fish in the Clyde area be sent to info@clyderiverfoundation.org with a photograph and a note of the location if possible.

The photographs of the two salmon below give an example of the differing degrees of external damage seen on the dead fish.

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Example 1: Dead Atlantic salmon from the River Gryffe on 16.08.15. Photo credit: Alan Beaton

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Example 1: Head of the same fish showing significant disease. Photo credit: Alan Beaton

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Example 1: Dorsal view. Photo credit: Alan Beaton

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Example 2: Dead Atlantic salmon from the River Gryffe on 16.08.15. Photo credit: Alan Beaton

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Example 2: Head view. Photo credit: Alan Beaton

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Example 2: Tail view. Photo credit: Alan Beaton

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Bridge of Weir AC riverfly monitoring

CRF : August 13, 2015 3:09 pm : crimp_news, News, River Gryfe, Uncategorized

The Bridge of Weir Angling Club are keeping very up to date with their sampling regime. We caught up with them and particularly Peter Rentoul who was trained last year and has since taken over the sampling site on the Carruth Burn, that handily runs through this garden and the Scart Burn, another tributary of the River Gryfe. If only every day looked like river-fly monitoring, in the sunshine and with a table and chairs – Keep up the great work guys!

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Refresher sessions in full swing

CRF : August 6, 2015 3:13 pm : crimp_news, Invasive Non-Native Species, News, River Kelvin

Between 2013 and 2015 the Clyde River Foundation trained a total of 113 ‘CRIMP’ monitors, from 24 organisations over eleven training courses. The riverfly enthusiasts or ‘CRIMPers’ who are helping protect their river’s water quality have been visited by project staff to offer encouragement and ensure everything is running smoothly. Most recently we caught up with Stef Scott (Marine and Freshwater Biology undergraduate, University of Glasgow). On this occasion, despite the sunshine, the river level of the Allander Water was not in our favour. We did however note the sea of Himalayan Balsam lining the tributary of the River Kelvin and another clump of Skunk Cabbage under the Balmore Road bridge.

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INNS OUT – free invasive plant workshops

CRF : July 28, 2015 1:33 pm : Education, Invasive Non-Native Species, News

flyerInterested in learning more about invasive non-native plant species? We are running a series of outdoor workshops as part of ‘INNS OUT’ – a partnership between Clyde River Foundation, Clyde and Avon Valley Partnership and Central Scotland Green Network. Come along and learn how to identify Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam and giant hogweed, as well as what to do if you find them.  The workshops are FREE to attend and open to all. Just wear suitable outdoor clothes and boots.

 Dates for our workshops are:

  • 29th July, 18:30, Glasgow, River Kelvin – NOW FULLY BOOKED
  • 15th August – 10:00, 11:30, 13:30, 15:00, Baron’s Haugh Nature Reserve
  • 23rd August – 10:00, 11:30, 13:30, 15:00, Baron’s Haugh Nature Reserve

If you would like to come along or would like more information please email Caroline at info@clyderiverfoundation.org. 

 

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CRIMP refresher sessions – book now!

CRF : July 24, 2015 4:39 pm : Clyde Catchment, crimp_news, News

We’re pleased to say that our CRIMP volunteers have taken over 450 samples since we started riverfly monitoring on the River Clyde. That’s 80,321 mini beasts counted, scored and uploaded to the database! We’re impressed! Thank you to our dedicated team of volunteers who spend their spare time kicking around in their local stretch to help safeguard it’s water quality and deter polluters. If your CRIMP team could do with encouragement, coordinator Lesley Deans is offering a refresher session. Email Lesley: lesley.deans@glasgow.ac.uk to arrange your refresher session before the summer is out!

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Schools and communities in the West of Scotland get active in new river adoption project

CRF : July 20, 2015 12:11 pm : Clyde Catchment, Education, News

Pupils across the River Clyde and River Ayr catchments have taken on the challenge of caring for their local rivers in a new project called ‘Healthy Rivers, Healthy Communities’. The project, which is delivered by the Clyde River Foundation in partnership with the Ayrshire Rivers Trust, sees scientists encourage schools and communities to take an active role in the stewardship of their local environment by adopting a stretch of their local river or burn. ‘Healthy Rivers, Healthy Communities’ has been funded with a donation of £25,000 from leading food-on-the-go retailer, Greggs, with support from Keep Scotland Beautiful.

The project explores the connection between the health of a river and the health of the community living around it and aims to promote responsible use rivers and greater enjoyment of the wildlife on our doorsteps. This year five schools have signed up to ‘Healthy Rivers, Healthy Communities’: Golfhill Primary School and St Serf’s Primary School in Airdrie, Kilsyth Primary School, St Patrick’s Primary School in Dumbarton and Greenmill Primary School in Cumnock.

The pupils embarked on their challenge with each class taking two trips to their river in June. Firstly, the pupils spent a day getting to know their river through a series of hands-on activities. They learned how to take an invertebrate sample (an indicator of water quality), witnessed a fish survey using electrofishing, identified trees along riverbank and made a map highlighting the good and bad features of their river. Back in class they identified their invertebrates in a ‘pop-up’ laboratory and calculated a river health score based on their findings.

They then returned to the river to take action on some of the issues identified. A river corridor clean-up was performed and pupils recorded data on the different types of litter collected. They also learned about pollution and invasive non-native species found along the riverbank including Giant hogweed and Japanese knotweed, both of which were discovered across the five sites.

Dr Gemma Jennings, Community Engagement Officer at the Clyde River Foundation, said:

“We have a long history of working with primary schools through Clyde in the Classroom, a project in which pupils raise brown trout in class before releasing fry into the local watercourse. This ‘river adoption’ is the next step in promoting better stewardship and enjoyment of rivers that are often over-looked. We are delighted with how enthusiastic the children have been so far and are looking forward to seeing how the next stage of the project unfolds after the summer break. The children are now armed with the facts and lots of creative ideas and we will work with the schools to get the broader community actively involved in celebrating and caring for their river – this is essential for long-term sustainability of the project. ”

Gordon Macdermid, Project Officer at Ayrshire Rivers Trust, said:

“Adopting a stretch of a local river or burn provides a great natural classroom for outdoor learning while making a positive difference to the local community. The school we are working with in Cumnock has two rivers nearby which really differ in terms of human impact – this was a great lesson for the children and gives us plenty to work with. We look forward to tackling some larger in-stream littering with the help of the community as the project progresses.”

Find out more about the project on the Healthy Rivers, Healthy Communities pages here.

 

Sampling invertebrates

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Galloway Fisheries Trust join the Riverfly Partnership

CRF : July 20, 2015 11:46 am : crimp_news, News, Uncategorized

Last week on behalf of the Riverfly Partnership, the Clyde River Foundation delivered two training workshops in Newton Stewart and Gatehouse of Fleet. The two training courses which took place on the River Cree and the Water of Fleet have made the Galloway Fisheries Trust the latest trust in Scotland to join the growing national network of riverfly monitors. Rowan Armstrong, Galloway Fisheries Trust, will be coordinating the new monitors in the months to come helping them choose monitoring sites and setting up a data repository hub on the new ARMI database. CRF staff were happy to deliver two successful workshops and were quite relieved the rain held off for both days. Good luck to all the newly qualified monitors in Dumfries and Galloway!

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Giant hogweed toxicity warning

CRF : July 14, 2015 8:42 pm : Clyde Catchment, Invasive Non-Native Species, News, River Kelvin, White Cart Water

Giant hogweed is a toxic plant found throughout Scotland. The plant is one of several invasive non-native plant species found in the River Clyde catchment but it stands out due to the risk it poses to human health, as highlighted by some severe recent cases (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-33474810 and http://www.scotsman.com/news/scotland/top-stories/girl-10-suffers-third-degree-burns-from-hogweed-1-3830101 for examples). Giant hogweed sap contains chemicals called furanocoumarins – light-sensitising chemicals – which cause skin to burn and blister, and can even cause blindness. Once burned by the plant, skin can be sensitive to light for many years.

The Clyde River Foundation is currently investigating the spread of invasive plants throughout the Clyde catchment to inform a management strategy (funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, see http://www.clyderiverfoundation.org/clyde-invasive-plants/). It is found along our riverbanks, railways, footpaths and roadsides. Until control measures are in place we would urge people to be aware of this plant, to avoid going near it at all costs and to spread the word!

A useful giant hogweed ID guide can be downloaded here.

Today I visited George Parsonage of Glasgow Humane Society to discuss giant hogweed along the Clyde at Glasgow Green. George kindly donated a lot of information he’s been gathering on the plant, including newspaper cuttings dating back to the 1980’s.

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Below are just a few examples of giant hogweed that I’ve encountered while out and about in Glasgow this week.

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River Kelvin, near the Riverside Museum

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New giant hogweed shoots by the River Kelvin

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River Kelvin, Kelvin Way

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White Cart, Kilmarnock Road

 

 

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Management strategy for invasive plants on the Clyde

CRF : July 14, 2015 7:12 pm : Clyde Catchment, Foundation work, Invasive Non-Native Species, News

We are currently undertaking a survey of invasive non-native plant species across the River Clyde catchment upstream of Glasgow Tidal Weir. The work, which is funded by Scottish Natural Heritage​, will be used to inform a management strategy for invasive plant species including giant hogweed, Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam. Before fieldwork commenced we collated existing records into a single database, combining our own data with records from a variety of other sources including councils and other environmental organisations.  We are now mid-way through a ‘bridge-hopping’ survey in which we are visiting every bridge that crosses a tributary of the Clyde (within the survey reaches) to assess for the presence and abundance of invasives. This alone is a pretty big task but should provide a good indication of the spread of these plants across the catchment, which is essential for an effective control programme.

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Surveying for invasive non-native plant species in the Clyde catchment

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A stand of Japanese knotweed at one of the survey sites

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Scotland to Sargasso

CRF : July 2, 2015 4:41 pm : Education, News, Uncategorized

Last week pupils from Lanarkshire became the first in Scotland to release European eels into the wild in a pilot of a new project called Scotland to Sargasso. Based on the Avon Wildlife Trust’s ‘Spawn to be Wild’ project, Scotland to Sargasso involves placing a part of the life cycle of the eel directly into schools to raise awareness of this critically endangered species. Pupils from Chryston Primary School (P3/4) and St Dominic’s Primary in Airdrie (P6) reared eels in class for a few weeks before releasing them into their local rivers to allow them to continue their life cycle.

Eels are catadromous, meaning they must migrate from freshwater to saltwater to breed – this life cycle makes for a fascinating study species but also makes it vulnerable to a variety of pressures across its migratory range. It is thought that all European eels begin life in the Sargasso Sea (near Bermuda) and spend up to two years drifting towards Europe before entering our rivers and streams to mature. On arrival in our waters they are known as ‘glass eels’ due to their transparent appearance – it is at this stage that the eels for this project were collected. Glass eels were collected from the River Parrett, Somerset and taken to Bridgwater College where they were fed in a specialist facility before being distributed among schools. Once in school, the eels were easy to look after (they are fed once a day) and provided a great focus for learning about life cycles, migration and conservation.

We are very grateful for the help of the many partners who made this project possible – the Avon Wildlife Trust and Bristol Water (not only for the idea but also for providing teaching materials), Bridgwater College, the Sustainable Eel Group, Marine Scotland (for permission to stock the eels in Scottish waters), the aquarium staff at the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine (University of Glasgow) who provided tanks, and to the River Kelvin Angling Association and the Mid Clyde Angling Association who provided support for this project.

We are currently looking at sponsorship and funding opportunities to develop the project further and to enable more schools to take part in this unique experience.

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Diseased salmon caught on River Kelvin

CRF : June 24, 2015 4:51 pm : Angling, News, River Kelvin

A female adult salmon in very poor condition was brought to us by a member of the River Kelvin Angling Association today after being caught last night near Kelvinhall. The fish had extensive pathology around the head and tail but showed no signs of internal damage. It was too late to take samples for effective histology – these need to be taken almost immediately after capture. Please let us know if you see any fish in this condition by emailing info@clyderiverfoundation.org or calling us on 0141 330 5080. Thank you.

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CRIMP Sharing Good Practice

CRF : June 24, 2015 10:16 am : crimp_news, News

The report from the recent Sharing Good Practice event is now available on the SNH website link http://www.snh.gov.uk/docs/A1665462.pdf. This explored opportunities for getting involved in surveying the local environment, and focused on practical approaches to monitoring the quality of air, water, soil and land. The Clyde River Foundation attended the event and used CRIMP as a showcase as part of a freshwater workshop. The report contains a full record of the day’s workshops and also many useful links to surveys and practical guidance and will be of interest to everyone involved as a contributor or organiser of citizen science environmental monitoring projects.

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CRIMP in the community

CRF : June 15, 2015 3:44 pm : crimp_news, News

Quarriers (http://www.quarriers.org.uk/) is the most recent group to sign up to ‘Caring for the Clyde’ by joining the Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership. Last month volunteer Alistair Baird became a certified CRIMPer and has since been out a few times to practice his new skills. The CRF met with Alistair and John Davidones, Quarriers employee, along with a few of the guys they work with to try the sampling techniques in the river. John told us why they have got involved in the project – “Quarriers is a unique, inspirational Scottish charity which grew from one man’s vision to an organisation that helps people reach their potential. My role as a support worker is to support people with disabilities to live independently and achieve their potential. The people who are joining CRIMP are all very keen anglers and wanted to learn more about the ecosystem of the waterways, the Clyde River Foundation has given us a great opportunity for them to do this, develop new skills and knowledge and encourages involvement in their local community.” Alistair and John intend to sample regularly on the Tollcross Burn in Tollcross Park – we’re looking forward to seeing the results from this very urban burn.

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Board Burn monitored by local community

CRF : June 15, 2015 11:51 am : crimp_news, News, River Kelvin

Members from the newly established ‘Board Burn Improvement Group’ have taken to their local river to understand more about the fly life living in the watercourse that runs right under Twechar Main Street and next to the community centre and recreation grounds. The locals are keen to keep an eye on any pressures they are concerned may affect the health of the river, such as farm run-off, quarries, sewage treatment works (STWs), combined sewer overflows (CSOs), recycling depots and housing development. Finally this month, now the rain has briefly ceased, the CRF met with the new members to help choose their sites from a strategic biological monitoring point of view. There are still a few more sites to choose later in the month but it was great to make a start! Thank you to Foundation Scotland for funding this community led project.

 

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The Green Water, Gryfe and Blacketty are under watch

CRF : June 10, 2015 10:05 am : crimp_news, News, River Gryfe

CRIMP welcomes Elaine Gallaher and Barrie Dean to the Strathgryfe monitoring group.  Thanks to them, the communities who fish the Gryfe Water as part of Strathgryfe Angling Association have got almost all the bases covered! They recently added the Blacketty Water, a small tributary of the River Gryfe to their sampling regime as well as another site of the Gryfe just above Kilmacolm. The Clyde River Foundation caught up with them to help out with the first monitoring session and catch up with ‘old hands’ who have been CRIMPing for a couple of years now. Alan Wright, committee member, said they really believe their monitoring presence is acting as a deterrent to potential polluters and are happy they are widening their coverage across the catchment with the addition of more monitors! We’re impressed with their dedication to looking after the river and hope it continues to safeguard the health of the River Gryfe and it’s feeder streams.

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South Lanarkshire Council Outdoor Learning Showcase

CRF : May 27, 2015 11:33 am : crimp_news, Education, News

Jacqui Meldrum and Christine Matthews, biology teachers from Duncanrig Secondary School attended the South Lanarkshire Council Outdoor Learning Showcase event last Thursday 21st May at the Popinjay Hotel. Jacqui and Christine set up at stall where they promoted CRIMP and other outdoor learning activities to primary and secondary schools within South Lanarkshire Council. Christine contacted the Clyde River Foundation today to tell us, “You may hear soon from other Secondary Schools regarding CRIMP – here’s hoping!” Thank you Jacqui and Christine for spreading your enthusiasm and promoting CRIMP!

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Pupils make a splash in the glen with Greener Greenock

CRF : May 22, 2015 12:35 pm : Education, Foundation work

Around 100 Greenock school children have been gaining hands-on eco-experience of their local river system as part of Greener Greenock, a new project led by the Clyde River Foundation. Working with the Clyde River Foundation scientists, pupils have been assessing the health of the Carts Burn which flows through Auchmountain Glen into the River Clyde. Classes from four local Primary Schools – Aileymill (P5), All Saints (P6), King’s Oak (P5) and St Patrick’s (P6) – took part in the project which explores the themes of biodiversity, wellbeing and sustainability.

Each class spent a morning at the burn where they learned how to sample aquatic invertebrates such as mayflies and caddis flies, identified trees along the riverbank and witnessed an electrofishing demonstration – a technique used by scientists to survey fish populations. After learning how litter and pollution can impact the environment they performed a litter pick, recording the different types of litter collected. The bugs and beasties collected from the burn were taken back to the classroom and identified in a pop-up laboratory. All of the information gathered on the day – from the species of fish, vegetation and invertebrates present, to litter, invasive species and barriers to fish migration – was used to assess the health of the river and consider how we can be that little bit ‘greener’.

Dr Willie Yeomans, Catchment Manager of the Clyde River Foundation explained “We have visited the Carts Burn for the past few years to release brown trout raised by All Saints Primary as part of our Clyde in the Classroom project and identified the site as one which could benefit from some extra attention. Through Greener Greenock we discovered a healthy population of brown trout and good riverfly life, and the area is now looking much better due to the children’s litter-picking efforts. We are hoping to leave them with powerful memories of the animals and plants they see and show how, through their stewardship and responsibility, they can make a real difference in their own communities. We are grateful to the Scotrail Foundation and the Craignish Trust for supporting this project and to Inverclyde Council for collecting the litter at the end of each session.”

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Clyde in the Classroom Competition Winner

CRF : May 21, 2015 10:50 am : Education, News, Uncategorized

We had an amazing response to this year’s Clyde in the Classroom competition, receiving over 600 eco bag design entries in total! The theme ‘Caring for the Clyde’ inspired a whole variety of amazing designs, but we are delighted to announce the winner as Emma Docherty from Newark Primary School P4/5, Port Glasgow. The winning design will be printed onto eco bags for everyone in Emma’s class.

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The winning design – well done Emma!

A big well done and thank you to everyone who entered. So many of the entries carried great messages about looking after our rivers (see below, for example) and we plan to share these through our social media pages for all to see!

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Training in Twechar

CRF : May 17, 2015 9:51 am : crimp_news, News, River Kelvin

We’re pleased to say that more volunteers have been added to the growing number of CRIMPers across the Clyde. This year residents in Twechar held their own training course and will soon have new monitoring locations on the Board Burn to add to the increasing number of sites throughout the Kelvin catchment. Also in attendance at the workshop were two volunteers from Strathgryfe Angling Association and Alistair Baird who volunteers with Quarriers. Participants used the Board Burn that runs through Twechar as their practice sampling site. After lunch everyone had a closer look at the specimens under the microscope and identification skills were put to the test. Luckily they all passed and are now certified to start monitoring their local stretch! We are very grateful to Foundation Scotland for supporting the Twechar community in starting their own riverfly monitoring scheme on the Board Burn.

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Citizen Science in the Community – Sharing Good Practice

CRF : May 5, 2015 10:27 am : crimp_news, News

The Clyde River Foundation attended the Scottish Natural Heritage event that looked at ongoing and new opportunities for getting involved in local environmental surveying – focusing on air, water and soil & land. It was attended by 85 participants from a wide range of disciplines including those working with community groups, young people and schools. The Foundation contributed to the Coasts and Freshwater workshop and shared their experiences coordinating and delivering the Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership. Our presentation on the day, along with a few others can be found here.  This event followed on from a series of citizen science events hosted by SNH, with a further event on the “Contribution of Citizen Science to Learning for Sustainability” planned 2016.

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Carts Burn gets Greener Greenock treatment

CRF : April 28, 2015 11:47 am : Education, Foundation work

We kicked off ‘Greener Greenock’ with pupils from St Patrick’s Primary at the Carts Burn yesterday. Pupils took the train from Drumfochar to Whinhill to spend a morning at the burn before heading back to school for an afternoon of invertebrate ID and river health scoring. The burn had a great brown trout population, healthy fly life and is now looking even better thanks to the pupils’ litter-picking efforts! Thanks to the ScotRail Foundation and the Craignish Trust for supporting the project and to Inverclyde Council for collecting the bagged litter. Pupils from King’s Oak, All Saints and Aileymill Primaries will also be participating in the project over the next few weeks.

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CRIMP Winter 2014 Newsletter

CRF : March 31, 2015 12:11 pm : crimp_news, News

It might be cold out but that hasn’t stopped our CRIMP volunteers from getting out and doing their bit over the winter! The project has been getting a fair bit of coverage in recent months; we were invited to speak at the 2015 Conference for Nature in February and it was the focus of ‘Caring for the Clyde’ citizen science meeting in March. You can download the latest CRIMP newsletter here to find out more.

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Riverfly enthusiast Josh is Trout ‘N’ About

CRF : March 25, 2015 2:59 pm : Angling, crimp_news, News

One of our younger citizen scientists Josh Maitland, East Kilbride Angling Club, has been out in all weathers surveying the Rotten Calder. Josh has been out regularly since he attended a training course at the end of August and the river appears to be looking healthy and fly life pretty steady so far. Check out his data below. Josh has also been posting his activity on his Facebook page Trout ‘N’ About: https://www.facebook.com/TroutNAboutFlyfishingSalmonidae. We’re loving your work Josh – well done!

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Do you want to help care for the Clyde?

CRF : March 25, 2015 2:53 pm : Angling, crimp_news, Education, News

The Clyde River Foundation seeks to gauge interest amongst community groups and anglers with a love for rivers and their fly life. We hope to run a one-day training workshop that will introduce volunteers to riverfly monitoring and the monthly sampling technique volunteers can do to help monitor changes in water quality and potential pollution events. If you’re interested in looking after your local river in this way then please drop Lesley an email to register your interest at lesley.deans@glasgow.ac.uk.

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Third Caring for the Clyde – Citizen Science Meeting

CRF : March 23, 2015 5:52 pm : Angling, crimp_news, Education, News

On Saturday 7th March the Clyde River Foundation held its third ‘Caring for the Clyde’ citizen science meeting. The meeting was opened by Catchment Manager Dr. Willie Yeomans, after which Project Coordinator Lesley Deans gave an overview of CRIMP and presented some highlights of the project to date as well as plans for the future. John Blair (President, Bridge of Weir Angling Club) gave a terrific account of CRIMP in action on the River Gryffe – it was great to hear about how CRIMP is being used as a boost for ensuring that the river is properly managed. After tea and cake Graham Munro (Teacher, Hollybrook Academy) gave us a heart-warming version of how he has been using CRIMP for outdoor education with his classes at the Castlemilk Burn. Graham explained that the school, which is for pupils with additional support needs, greatly values outdoor learning and is actively involved in the John Muir Award scheme. He said that CRIMP was unique among many of the outdoor activities on offer in that it involves water and the “chance to splash about” and he talked of the real benefit it gives pupils, providing new skills and helping to build up resilience. Finally, Jack Perks (www.jackperksphotography.com) shared some excellent stories of filming fish all over the UK followed by a short preview of the freshwater fish he’s managed to catch on camera. It was an excellent day and we’d like to say a great big thanks to our guest speakers, all of our citizen scientists and everyone who attended.

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Talking about citizen science – Conference for Nature

CRF : March 23, 2015 11:59 am : crimp_news, News

Last month, the Clyde River Foundation attended the 2015 Conference for Nature held at The Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh. The aim of the conference was “to look at how innovative projects can help address the State of Nature in Scotland, linking organisations, businesses and individuals who are forming groundbreaking partnerships”. This was an excellent opportunity to share the contribution that citizen scientists involved in CRIMP have made to Caring for the Clyde. It was great to talk about what has been happening across the River Clyde catchment on a local level, in particular how riverfly monitoring can detect severe changes in water quality and thus help to safeguard the fauna of rivers and burns for future generations.

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Glengonnar Water inspires Leadhills stained glass

CRF : February 20, 2015 4:36 pm : Education, Glengonnar Water, News

Had a lovely trip up to Leadhills Primary School yesterday to spend the afternoon talking about the Glengonnar Water and its brown trout population. Many of the trout in the Glengonnar have black tails as a result of lead in the water and we don’t see this anywhere else in the Clyde. Local artist Fiona Foley is working with pupils to design a new stained glass window for their recently-renovated school building and they plan to incorporate elements of the natural surroundings, including these unique brown trout. After the talk we got to work on some designs and we’re really looking forward to seeing the end result! When the window is complete (later in the year) we are going to hold a ‘guddle the Glengonnar’ day for the whole village.

See http://www.foleystainedglass.com/ for some of Fiona’s work. More photos can be seen on our Facebook page here

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Now booking – Caring for the Clyde: 3rd Citizen Science Meeting

CRF : February 10, 2015 11:24 am : Angling, Clyde Catchment, crimp_news, Education, News

Are you interested in looking after your local river? Come along to ‘Caring for the Clyde’ on Saturday 7th March to find out how citizen scientists have been helping to care for the River Clyde. We’re delighted to have presentations from some of our experienced CRIMPers as well as special guest speaker Jack Perks.

Caring for the ClydeBooking essential via https://caringfortheclyde.eventbrite.co.uk/

The line up so far:

  • Riverfly Monitoring? – What’s been happening across the River Clyde catchment and how to get involved.
  • Kick sampling on the River Gryfe – John Blair, President, Bridge of Weir Angling Club
  • The Monitoring Experience – Graham Munro, Hollybrook Academy
  • ‘Filming freshwater fish of the British Isles’ – Jack Perks – Wildlife Photographer, is coming to speak to us about the exciting work he does.

 

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Caring for the Clyde – 3rd Citizen Science Meeting

CRF : January 26, 2015 3:07 pm : crimp_news, News

The Clyde River Foundation is hosting Caring for the Clyde – 3rd Citizen Science Meeting on Saturday 7th March.

The line up so far:

  • Riverfly Monitoring? – What’s been happening across the River Clyde catchment and how to get involved.
  • Kick sampling on the River Gryfe – John Blair, President, Bridge of Weir Angling Club
  • The Monitoring Experience – Graham Munro, Hollybrook Academy
  • ‘Filming freshwater fish of the British Isles’ – Jack Perks – Wildlife Photographer, is coming to speak to us about the exciting work he does.

If you are interested in attending this event please email lesley.deans@glasgow.ac.uk for information.

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Winter sampling with Mid-Clyde anglers

CRF : December 8, 2014 4:20 pm : Angling, Clyde Catchment, crimp_news, News

You could tell we’re almost at the shortest day when we met up with the Mid-Clyde Angling Club on the main stem of the Clyde last week. Alistair and Robert from the club, who are both new to CRIMP this year, found most of the groups in their kick sample but also turned up a few additional taxa not recorded in the CRIMP programme – pea mussels, limpets, hoglouse and a few leeches. It looks to us like a decent baseline for the River Clyde. Alistair and Robert will be checking the water quality on the waters where they fish in the hope that ‘fish-food’ is in plentiful supply and, with their eyes on the river, hopefully it should stay that way. Great work guys!

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CRIMP on camera

CRF : December 8, 2014 3:33 pm : crimp_news, News

Angler and freshwater biologist-come-photographer, Josh Maitland has been braving the cold on the Rotten Calder once again this month. Keen CRIMPer, Josh, who trained in riverfly monitoring in August has been out sampling every month and this time uncovered caseless caddis flies, a pleasant surprise. There was also a large ‘gadger’ that definitely wanted to make sure it was included in the record that day. Stoneflies and caddis flies are a sure sign that the burn is running clear and we hope to see more of the same great results in the future. Here are just a few of Josh’s great pics. If you take any photos whilst out sampling be sure to send them into us at the Clyde River Foundation., we’d love to see them!

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CIRB Conference

CRF : December 2, 2014 3:13 pm : Invasive Non-Native Species, News

Last week we went along to the CIRB End of Project Conference in Stranraer. The CIRB project (Controlling Priority Invasive Non-native Riparian Plants and Restoring Native Biodiversity) was a 4-year project aimed at controlling four invasive riparian plant species in the Island of Ireland and Scotland; Giant Hogweed, Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and Rhododendron. The conference gave a platform for those involved in CIRB (including Queen’s Univeristy Belfast, RAFTS, CABI, Ayrshire Rivers Trust, Tweed Forum, Galloway Fisheries Trust, River Forth Fisheries Trust and Argyll Fisheries Trust) to present their results, pass on best practice and discuss the future of INNS plant control. On Wednesday morning we went on a field trip to the Luce to an area that had been cleared of Japanese Knotweed by the Galloway Fisheries Trust. Although no growth was visible above ground the roots could be felt and seen in some places so the Trust is awaiting results from QUB to determine if the plant is truly dead, the take-home message being that while it is possible to effectively control INNS, full eradication may be more challenging. The meeting was very informative and certainly gave us food for thought about treatment methods for INNS control in the Clyde catchment.

 

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Riverfly Partnership Conference – what does the future hold?

CRF : November 24, 2014 4:02 pm : crimp_news, News

On Wednesday 19th the Riverfly Partnership (RP) held a conference in the Natural History Museum, London, for the Angler’s Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) coordinators and tutors. A series of talks were given from Steve Brooks (RP Chairman), Ben Fitch (ARMI national coordinator) and many others. The Clyde River Foundation took the opportunity to attend and we were keen to discuss the progress and future plans for riverfly monitoring nationwide. Thanks to the Riverfly Partnership for the invitation and we look forward to making positive steps towards riverfly monitoring and protecting the water quality of the River Clyde.

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Teachers and pupils help care for the Kittoch Water

CRF : November 24, 2014 2:28 pm : crimp_news, Education, News

Pupils from Duncanrig Secondary School in East Kilbride are working with teachers to help monitor the health of their local burn, a tributary of the Kittoch Water. The school is one of four secondary schools to get involved in the Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership (CRIMP), with CRIMP-trained teachers incorporating the citizen science project into the curriculum. Biology teachers Mrs Meldrum and Mrs Matthews have been working with twenty S1 pupils on the burn since June. Their first venture hit the headlines in their local news paper, the East Kilbride News (see below) and the school recently shared their CRIMP activity in their Biology Department news; it’s great to see such positive publicity for the Kittoch Water and we’re proud that young people are taking an interest in their local river and the health of the riverfly populations.

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Spaces left for Clyde in the Classroom 2015

CRF : November 5, 2014 1:53 pm : Education, News

Would your class like to take part in Clyde in the Classroom 2015? We have just 12 spaces left so please contact our Education Outreach Officer Caroline McGillivray on caroline.mcgillivray@glasgow.ac.uk if you’re interested! Find out more about Clyde in the Classroom at www.clydeintheclassroom.com.

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British Ecological Society conference

CRF : November 4, 2014 11:24 am : crimp_news, News

Project Coordinator Lesley Deans attended the British Ecological Society Citizen Science conference titled ‘Citizen Science – Fit for the Future?’, at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford. The idea was to share and reflect on the experiences, challenges and positives of choosing and using citizen science. The event followed on from the recent publication, ‘Choosing and Using Citizen Science’ a best practice guide produced by SEPA and the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology (CEH). The conference was an excellent opportunity to learn from others carrying out similar projects and also to promote and raise awareness of the great work carried out on the Clyde by those involved in the Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership.

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How clean is the Rotten Calder?

CRF : October 31, 2014 10:42 am : crimp_news, News

How clean is the Rotten Calder? Josh Maitland, Junior Secretary and member of the local angling club in East Kilbride has signed up to CRIMP to answer that very question. After attending the final CRIMP workshop in August, he visited the Rotten Calder last month to start his monitoring. There were a number of small stoneflies and mayflies on the wing that day and he may have found the last ‘Blue Winged Olive’ of the season in the sample. Disappointingly no caddis flies were picked up in his CRIMP sample, but let’s hope that the Rotten Calder doesn’t live up to its name – only time will tell in the months to come!

 

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Clyde mitten crab on Russian TV

CRF : October 7, 2014 4:47 pm : Clyde Catchment, Invasive Non-Native Species, News

Last week we were joined in the field by a Russian TV crew (London-based) who were visiting Scotland to cover two stories; the bicentenary of the birth of the Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov and the discovery of a Chinese mitten crab on the Clyde. Here’s the link our Russian TV debut, in Russian!  

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Willie with Liza and Boris from REN TV preparing for the report

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Number of CRIMP monitors passes the 100 mark

CRF : October 7, 2014 4:26 pm : crimp_news, News

The final CRIMP workshop held at the end of August took the number of CRIMPers trained on the Clyde catchment into triple figures. Exactly 108 volunteers have registered with CRIMP since the project launched in March 2013. Attendees at the final workshop came from a wide variety of organisations, including a Bridge of Weir resident (who is lucky enough to have a burn in his back yard); bailiffs from the Mid-Clyde Angling Association; Josh Maitland (East Kilbride Angling Club); teachers from Parkhill Secondary School and a new Park Ranger in Dalmuir Park. The workshop took place at the University of Glasgow with the sample demonstration site on the River Kelvin. As well as riverfly ID we even got to brush up on our invasive non-native species (INNS) identification down on the banks of the Kelvin with the Himalayan Balsam, Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed all in full-bloom. ‘CHECK, CLEAN, DRY’ was learned first-hand on this occasion. We’re looking forward to adding new CRIMP sites to the monitoring programme soon!

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Chinese mitten crab: update

CRF : September 25, 2014 5:34 pm : Invasive Non-Native Species, News

We’ve had quite a lot of interest in the mitten crab story today. As we all know, the tabloids love a good scare story so I’d just like to point out a few facts about the discovery, or the so-called “Chinese crab invasion”:

1) To date, the remains of a single Chinese mitten crab have been found in the River Clyde. This is the only evidence of the species in the wild in Scotland.
2) The origin of the crab (i.e. exactly how it arrived in the Clyde) is currently unknown.
3) The Clyde River Foundation appreciates the severity of the potential implications of this invasive non-native species. Our first priority is to determine whether there is an established population in the Clyde; survey work ongoing. 

Everything we know so far is summarised in our original news article here

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Remains of a Chinese mitten crab found in the River Clyde. Copyright: Dr Willie Yeomans

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Upper Avon build on CRIMP data record

CRF : September 22, 2014 3:58 pm : crimp_news, News, Uncategorized

The Upper Avon Angling Club have been out sampling recently on four of their CRIMP sample sites. All but one of the sites have seen an improvement in the number and variety of fly-life since last year’s samples. It’s really great to see the occurrence of some very large stoneflies or ‘gadgers’; these ones found on the Upper Avon are in the ‘Perlidae’ family, one of eight families in the Stonefly group. The gills at the base of each leg or ‘hairy armpits’ are a giveaway for this family. The species, Perla bipuntata, is depicted by the pale last body segment (see photo below). It’s safe to say that the Upper Avon and the Calder Water are in safe hands and are looking healthy according to the latest results. Keep up the good work guys!

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Chinese mitten crab found in the River Clyde

CRF : September 12, 2014 3:43 pm : Clyde Catchment, Invasive Non-Native Species, News

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Image: Chinese mitten crab. Photographer: Phil Crabb, Copyright: Trustees of the Natural History Museum London/Phill Crabb

A Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis has been found in the River Clyde and this is the very first record of this alien species in the wild in Scotland. The specimen (the remains of a female) was discovered near Dalmarnock by John Clark, a member of the Mid Clyde Angling Association, and passed on to the Clyde River Foundation. It has since been deposited at the Hunterian Museum in the University of Glasgow and a full report has been submitted for publication (William Yeomans & John Clark 2014; in press).

Dr Willie Yeomans, Catchment Manager for the Clyde River Foundation said “Another invasive, non-native species appears to have arrived in the Clyde. This chance discovery by an angler poses a potentially significant ecological threat to the Clyde system, the biota of which is recovering from centuries of poor water quality and structural modification. Without putting too much emphasis on this one specimen, this finding potentially has very serious implications for river management under the EU Water Framework Directive. Our first priority is to follow up the finding with survey work to determine if there is an established population of mitten crabs in the Clyde and we are appealing for information from anyone who may have encountered these animals on the river.”

Dr Paul Clark of the Crustacea Research Group at the Natural History Museum added “An established River Clyde Chinese mitten crab population could pose an enormous environmental risk to the salmon and trout in this catchment. Recent research undertaken by Royal Holloway University of London and the Natural History Museum suggests mitten crabs can eat salmon and trout eggs. If this reported Clyde specimen came from a deliberate human release and if this were the case, then the environmental authorities need to urgently consider what appropriate actions are required to prevent such introductions happening again in the future.”

The mitten crab, native to China, was introduced to Germany in 1912 and subsequently spread throughout Northern Europe. It was recorded in the Thames in 1935 and is now well-established in the Rivers Thames, Humber, Medway, Wharfe, Ouse and Tyne, which was until now the northernmost reach of the species in the UK. It is thought they were first brought to the UK in ship’s ballast water but the origin of the Clyde specimen is unclear. Mitten crabs are catadromous meaning they spend most of their life in freshwater but return to salt water to breed, and they travel well on land, aiding their spread. While in freshwater, they spend their time burrowed into riverbanks, hiding under rocks and searching for food.  They are included in the IUCN’s list of “100 of the worst alien species in the world” and not only negatively impact native biodiversity but can cause severe structural damage to riverbanks.

The Clyde River Foundation is appealing for any information relating to mitten crabs in the Clyde catchment. Please report any sightings, along with details (date, location, size) and a photograph if possible to the Clyde River Foundation via info@clyderiverfoundation.org.

MITTEN CRAB INFORMATION

For more information about mitten crabs visit the Mitten Crab Recording Project website at http://mittencrabs.org.uk. The site includes a mitten crab guide, which you can download here – http://mittencrabs.org.uk/assets/resources/mitten_crab_guide.pdf. Some other useful links are provided below:

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CRIMPing on the Culter

CRF : August 18, 2014 4:34 pm : crimp_news, Culter Burn, Lamington Burn, News

CRIMPers from the Lamington and District Angling Improvement Association got kicking with their first sampling sessions on the Lamington Burn and Culter Water. Riverfly enthusiast Jim Lees, who writes his own fly fishing blog http://www.palewatery.com/blog/, and Marc Light, a keen angler from the club started monitoring their CRIMP sites last month. Jim and Marc who were both trained in March 2013, have been very busy working and at university. We caught up with them to choose their sites and we’re looking forward to seeing more healthy samples from these two tributaries of the River Clyde in the months to come.

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University of Glasgow student making valuable contribution to CRIMP

CRF : August 18, 2014 4:12 pm : crimp_news, News, River Kelvin

Marine and Freshwater Biology student, Stef Scott, is about to embark on her third year of study and is also volunteering her spare time to look after her local river, the Allander water.
Steph hopes to go into environmental consultancy after completing her degree; at the same time she has joined the network of CRIMPers on the River Kelvin monitoring fly-life. She said, ‘I’ve always had a love for bugs and beasties so CRIMP is a great way for me to indulge in my interests whilst contributing towards monitoring the health of the local rivers.’ Steph has been out and about this summer and started taking regular monthly samples on the tributary of the Kelvin. The Allander Water is a very productive burn and no wonder with the variety and magnitude of riverflies caught in her sample net. Great work Steph!

 

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Plea for salmon information

CRF : August 15, 2014 2:50 pm : Angling, Clyde Catchment, News, River Kelvin

A freshly dead salmon was brought to our lab by a bailiff from the River Kelvin Angling Association yesterday. The fish had extensive lesions around the head and fin damage as shown in the pictures below. We have informed the Fish Health Inspectorate and taken samples for disease testing, should they be required. In the meantime please let us know if you have seen any fish in this condition by emailing info@clyderiverfoundation.org.

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Keeping watch on the White Cart

CRF : August 15, 2014 12:16 pm : Angling, crimp_news, News

New ‘CRIMPers’ from the Busby Angling Association have stepped up to keep watch over their local river the White Cart Water. Scott Ferguson and Ken Gillies, who trained up back in May, have strategically selected sites on the river to best pick up a problem if pollution occurs. Project Coordinator Lesley Deans visited the guys on their water to help them get up and running. Thankfully both up and downstream of the Kittoch Water confluence appeared healthy. Looking forward to their results in the months to come!

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Himalayan balsam removal update

CRF : July 31, 2014 12:09 pm : Foundation work, Invasive Non-Native Species, News

Teams of volunteers have been hard at work during July to pull and help stop the spread of Himalayan balsam from the banks of the River Clyde. Events were organised by the Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) in association with the Clyde River Foundation, Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). On Saturday 26th we were worked along the Clyde Walkway at Crossford and we had events earlier in the month at Maudslie Bridge (Thursday 3rd) and Strathclyde Park (Friday 4th). Thanks to everyone’s hard work, thousands of plants have been removed, reducing the spread and numbers of seeds (each plant has ~800 seeds) entering our river habitats.  It’s great to see what difference even a few days can make and we’ll be going back to monitor the sites we’ve worked on so far. Hopefully the project will continue and be developed further next year!

A before and after…

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Some Himalayan balsam facts:

  • Introduced as an ornamental plant in the early 19th century, subsequently escaped and naturalised along our watercourses.  First recorded in the wild in 1855.
  • Latin name – Impatiens glandulifera which describes the characteristics of the plant well as the seeds explode on touch when ripe.
  • Tall, annual plant reaching heights of 2m+
  • Fleshy, reddish-purple stems with nodes (stems not dissimilar in appearance to (small) bamboo stems).
  • Reddish- purple, opposite leaves and pink, trumpet-shaped flowers.
  • Seed heads become ripe 6 -8 weeks after flowering.
  • The explosive seed heads can send their seeds to a distance of 7m from the plant.
  • Seeds easily carried by wind or water (upstream, downstream, in floodwater etc).

 

Key problems:

  • Plant out-competes native plants which grow along our riverbanks.
  • Increased bank erosion (because the banks are left bare in autumn/winter).
  • Distraction of pollinators from native plants, as Himalayan balsam flowers have a lot of nectar and are in flower for much of the summer.

Pulling HB

The solution:

One approach – our preferred approach – is pulling. Pulling is the most effective method of control.  It reduces the number of seeds entering our rivers and allows for selective removal of plants and limited damage to native species. The method is simple, although long sleeves and gloves essential!

  • Plants must be pulled before the seed pods are ripe (usually mid-July onwards), ensuring that the plant roots are removed.
  • Once pulled, break the stem below the bottom node – this step is essential, because plants can survive if they have enough water in their stem to sustain themselves, flower and set seeds or re-root and send up more flowers.  At the same time, crush the whole stem throughout.
  • Leave broken stems to dry out and decompose – no need to take away from the site!
  • Check sites repeatedly throughout the season, removing any new plants up until the first frost.

Bashed balsam

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Glasgow University student researching protozoan communities on Clyde crustaceans

CRF : July 30, 2014 1:22 pm : Education, Foundation work

University of Glasgow student Claire Jones joined us last month after being awarded a Vacation Scholarship by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. After coming to the end of the third year of a degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology, Claire is undertaking a summer of research with the Clyde River Foundation (CRF) before going on to complete the final year in September. The project is titled ‘Analysis of the diversity of protozoan communities found on the surface of freshwater crustaceans from streams of different qualities across the Clyde catchment’ and is supervised by Dr Willie Yeomans (Catchment Manager, CRF).

Claire is working alongside Margaret Mullin, Integrated Microscopy Technician in the University’s School of Life Sciences. She is using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to investigate protozoan communities living on the surface of crustaceans including water hoglouse and freshwater shrimp. The SEM produces high resolution images from which the number of protozoan individuals and of taxa on the host crustaceans can be counted. The project is a preliminary assessment of the applicability of this methodology in environmental monitoring. David McColl, the CRF’s Fishery Management Planner, took Claire to collect samples from selection of our routine monitoring sites in June, including “clean” and “dirty” streams. Claire has since processed the samples and has started producing some fantastic SEM images, a selection of which are shown below. We are looking forward to the results of the study in August.

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The fish that never swam: Dead fish spotted during Commonwealth Games flotilla

CRF : July 28, 2014 1:33 pm : News, Uncategorized

Following the news of the fish kill that occurred over the weekend of July 19th/20th (http://www.clyderiverfoundation.org/river-clyde-fish-kill-near-glasgow-green/) we have received further reports of dead fish being spotted in the River Clyde by members of the public watching the Commonwealth Games flotilla on Saturday 26th. On Friday we were told about Atlantic salmon “leaping” near King George V dock and we spotted a couple surfacing when watching the flotilla pass Partick on Saturday.

Significant numbers of salmon are on the move up the Clyde to their spawning grounds after returning from the North Atlantic. During this critical stage in their migration they are at risk of suffocation due to low levels of dissolved oxygen (DO) in the water (associated with low rainfall and warm temperatures). Salmon were once extinct in the Clyde due to pollution and man-made structural changes. Now, with improving water quality, the Clyde boasts a recovering salmon population but these iconic animals still suffer during warmer periods. SEPA are responsible for investigating the poor water conditions that cause such fish kills but we are keen to hear from anyone else who saw dead fish so that we can get an idea of numbers and locations. If you saw any dead or struggling fish over the weekend please contact Dr Gemma Jennings at gemma@clyderiverfoundation.org with details.

Dead fish in the River Clyde across from the Riverside Museum. Photo taken during the Commonwealth Games flotilla on Saturday 26th July 2014. (C) Blair James.

Jane Hartshorn

Dead Atlantic salmon by Glasgow Green on Sunday 27th July. Image (C) Jane Hartshorn.

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Stopping the spread – Check, Clean, Dry

CRF : July 24, 2014 4:26 pm : Angling, crimp_news, Education, Invasive Non-Native Species, News

As we continue to track the spread of invasive non-native species (INNS) throughout the Clyde catchment we’d like to remind all river users of how you can help halt the spread of these harmful organisms. Remember these 3 simple steps: Check, Clean, Dry.

  • Check your equipment and clothing for live organisms – particularly in areas that are damp or hard to inspect.
  • Clean and wash all equipment, footwear and clothes thoroughly. If you do come across any organisms, leave them at the water body where you found them.
  • Dry all equipment and clothing – some species can live for many days in moist conditions. Make sure you don’t transfer water elsewhere.

Download ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ poster
Biosecurity for anglers

 

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River Clyde fish kill near Glasgow Green

CRF : July 23, 2014 2:18 pm : Clyde Catchment, News

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Dead salmon from the River Clyde following a fish kill in July 2013

Yesterday we learned of yet another fish kill on the main stem of the River Clyde in Glasgow. The fish kill occurred upstream of the Tidal Weir at Glasgow Green – the same location as last July’s large fish kill. In July 2013 the death of an estimated 200 fish, including large numbers of returning salmon, was attributed to a combination of factors during a warm spell that led to low dissolved oxygen levels in the river (full story here). SEPA and Kemp Meikle (Mid Clyde Angling Association) have provided information on the latest incident. A spokesperson from SEPA said:

“SEPA received reports of dead fish on the River Clyde upstream of the Tidal Weir at Glasgow Green over the weekend of 19 and 20 July.

Officers attended and SEPA are investigating at this time. Some dead fish were observed (around a dozen on Saturday and the same again on Sunday). These were salmon and trout and it is thought they had been dead for a few days.

What we know at present is that our monitoring of the River Clyde over recent days and weeks has been telling us that conditions for fish life in this area have frequently been poor. A period of high tidal ranges has seen oxygen depleted water brought up from the estuary and into the impounded section of river upstream of the tidal weir. Low river flows and have not been able to refresh the impounded section sufficiently to bring up levels of dissolved oxygen and water temperatures have been also been high.”

Mr Meikle, following communication with the Skipper of Glasgow City Council’s river clean-up vessel the St Mungo, reported that the situation had started slowly with two dead fish found on Thursday, two more on Friday and then 24  between Saturday and Sunday with a couple more on Monday. Amongst the dead salmon were grilse and some fish up to 15lb.

It is now clear that fish kills in this area are not ‘one-off’ incidents; with increasing runs of salmon and sea trout migrating through the lower Clyde and ongoing climate change we need action to prevent future occurrences. We will provide further updates as more information becomes available.

 

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CRIMP in the Classroom

CRF : July 21, 2014 11:21 am : crimp_news, Education, Uncategorized

Duncanrig Secondary School, East Kilbride, recently started using CRIMP to cover aspects of the Curriculum for Excellence such as indicator species and pollution. Biology teachers Mrs Matthews and Mrs Meldrum attended training sessions earlier in the year to learn the sampling and identification skills used by CRIMP. S1 students made a trip to their nearest burn (a tributary of the Kittoch Water) to investigate the water quality using the CRIMP methodology. The burn flows right underneath the school and is a perfect sampling site. Pupils found all sorts of river life including pond snails, leeches, black-fly larvae, two caseless caddis fly larvae, freshwater hoglouse and one olive Baetid mayfly larva. Despite this diversity, most of the invertebrates found are pollution-tolerant and indicate that the water quality and habitat could be better. Nevertheless, the class are going to monitor the fly-life after the summer holidays and note any improvements or change in the invertebrate diversity. We’re proud that CRIMP is enhancing science lessons and encouraging outdoor learning at Duncanrig Secondary. Check out Duncanrig’s CRIMP photos here.

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It’s all go on the Gryfe!

CRF : July 14, 2014 4:56 pm : crimp_news, News

The River Gryfe catchment is now well covered by three dedicated teams of riverfly monitors. All three angling clubs (Paisley Abercorn Angling Club, Bridge of Weir (River) Angling Club and Strathgryfe Angling Association) have trained nineteen riverfly monitors in total and are keeping an eye on their sites on a regular basis. Check out the CRIMP Photos page to see pictures from each of the clubs. Great work guys!

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River Kelvin CRIMP coverage

CRF : July 10, 2014 2:08 pm : Angling, crimp_news, News, River Kelvin

The River Kelvin Angling Association to date has eleven trained and active monitors covering the catchment and its tributaries. This week we met with recently trained volunteers from the River Kelvin Angling Association to assist with choosing sampling sites. We were joined by Eilidh Morrison, who is completing a Nuffield Foundation Research Placement with the Clyde River Foundation. Eilidh will be looking at the first samples taken by CRIMPers throughout summer 2014. All photos can be viewed on the CRIMP Photos Page. Areas accounted for in the River Kelvin catchment include the Luggie Water and the Bothlin Burn and a number of sampling points on the main stem of the River Kelvin. However there is always room for more monitoring – other tributaries could benefit from the help of some dedicated citizen scientists! We would like to see the Board and Garrel Burn and the Glazert and Allander Water regularly checked for changes in water quality. If you are interested in getting involved and becoming a riverfly monitor there is still time to sign up to our 10th and final training workshop on August 30th. Contact Project Coordinator, Lesley Deans (lesley.deans@glasgow.ac.uk) for more details.

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Himalayan balsam removal on the Clyde walkway

CRF : June 27, 2014 1:48 pm : Invasive Non-Native Species, News

himbalsInterested in spending some time along the River Clyde to help tackle aliens?  Then join in and help to pull Himalayan balsam along the River Clyde walkway to stop the spread of this invasive plant. The Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT), in association with the Clyde River Foundation, Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership and Scottish Natural Heritage, has organised three Himalayan balsam pulling events throughout July – Thursday 3rd (Maudslie Bridge), Friday 4th (Strathclyde Park) and Saturday 26th (Orchard Knowe).

Follow the links below for full details of each event.

Thursday 3rd July – Maudslie Bridge

Friday 4th July – Strathclyde Park

Saturday 26th July – Orchard Knowe

Gloves will be provided but long sleeves and long trousers recommended! We hope you can make it and if you’re interested in finding out more, please contact Emilie at CSGNT on emilie.wadsworth@csgnt.org.uk or  01501 822015. You can find out more about Himalayan balsam here.

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We’re ‘Choosing and Using Citizen Science’

CRF : June 25, 2014 4:23 pm : crimp_news, News

Citizen science guideThe Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership (CRIMP) has been used as an example in a new best practice guide produced by SEPA and the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) titled ‘Choosing and Using Citizen Science: a guide to when and how to use citizen science to monitor biodiversity and the environment’. CRIMP features alongside two other recording initiatives – the Conker Tree Science project and the Biological Records Centre. The efforts of dedicated riverfly monitors across the Clyde are shown in several photographs in the guide, so you may recognise a few faces! You can download your own copy here.

 

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Website updates

CRF : June 23, 2014 3:27 pm : crimp_news, News

We are in the process of updating the Clyde River Foundation website this week, so please bear with us while we make some much-needed changes! For anyone uploading CRIMP data, the CRIMP pages should remain the same.

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Darngaber under observation

CRF : June 23, 2014 2:23 pm : crimp_news, News

Click  to here to read the first ‘CRIMP Update’ about the Darngaber which is under observation by anglers on the Avon Water. This is a just a taster of the quarterly electronic newsletters that are planned to come. The next full issue will be available in early July. If you have an article that you wish to be included in the next newsletter please get in touch and don’t forget to take photos to help paint a picture of your story. Please submit your story by Monday 30th June if you would like it included. All other recent news-posts can be found on the news page of the CRIMP webpage.

 

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Final CRIMP training course – booking now

CRF : June 13, 2014 12:01 pm : crimp_news, News

NCAL00011The final Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership (CRIMP) training course will take place on Saturday 30th August. If you are interested in joining CRIMP and would like to learn the riverfly monitoring technique to carry out regular water quality checks on your local river, then this is the final opportunity to sign up! The training course costs £35 per person. Places are limited so to secure your place please download the booking form and return your completed form to Lesley Deans (Lesley.Deans@glasgow.ac.uk) no later than August 1st 2014.

Download CRIMP Booking Form

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Take me to the river

CRF : June 6, 2014 12:32 pm : Education, News

We were delighted to receive a copy of the ‘outdoor special’ edition of Teach Primary Magazine in the office this week. The magazine highlights a range of outdoor education initiatives and includes a great article on Clyde in the Classroom. Thanks to Miss Weir (Millersneuk Primary), Miss Smyth (St Blane’s Primary), Mrs Kenney (Castlehill Primary) and Mr Campbell (St Columba’s Independent School) for their contributions to the article! Click here to read.

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Children’s author Mike Nicholson joins us for Scottish Book Trust writing sessions

CRF : May 28, 2014 4:11 pm : Education, News

Children’s author Mike Nicholson is working with us to deliver his ‘Write a story in 60 minutes’ sessions to three primary schools – Saracen (Glasgow), Braidwood (South Lanarkshire) and All Saints (Inverclyde). The project is supported by the Scottish Book Trust’s Live Literature Fund and the Clyde River Foundation.

We visited Saracen Primary School yesterday for the first session. We decided the story would be based around the Clyde but other than that is was an open book (excuse the pun).  It was great to see every child in the class engage and contribute ideas to the story-writing session and after 60 minutes we had all the key components of a story which Mike took away to type up overnight. The result – Zip’s Big Decision, a story about Zip the brown trout who faces the tough decision of a life in the river or going to sea to become a sea trout. A copy of the complete story was sent to the class this morning, with their all their ideas and phrases that were included highlighted. The next two school sessions are lined up for next week, updates to follow!

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Celebrating Clyde salmon on World Fish Migration Day

CRF : May 27, 2014 5:18 pm : Education, News

The inaugural World Fish Migration Day took place on Saturday 24th May. We were delighted to participate in this global initiative, the theme of which was ‘connecting rivers, fish and people’. We held ‘Salmon Homecoming’ at the David Livingstone Centre on the banks of the River Clyde. The event was aimed at enthusing people of all ages about migratory fish, with a particular focus on the status of Atlantic salmon in the Clyde. Our celebration consisted of talks, demonstrations of Clyde fish (migratory and non-migratoty) and riverfly species and fish-themed crafts.

Dr Willie Yeomans of the Clyde River Foundation said “The Clyde, a river where salmon were once extinct due to pollution and man-made structural changes, now boasts a recovering salmon population. It’s amazing to think that a fish starting life in the Clyde can make a journey to feeding grounds in north Atlantic off Greenland only to return years later to breed. However there is much more to be done to ensure the continued success of this iconic species and we hope this celebration of Clyde salmon will draw attention to the issues surrounding fish migration as well as highlighting the broader value of healthy rivers for all.”

The Clyde River Foundation, in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage and RWE Innogy UK operate a fish counter on the nearby Blantyre Weir to help monitor the salmon population. A series of video footage of fish passing through the counter was also showcased on the day. Dr Colin Bean of SNH said: “The restoration of the River Clyde as an Atlantic salmon river reflects just how well the system has recovered following decades of industrial pollution. This iconic species is an indicator of ecosystem health, and this is a positive sign for other aquatic animals that rely on good water quality. So whilst there is still much to do within the River Clyde for Atlantic salmon and other migratory species, we are clearly on the right track.

“The installation of a state-of-the-art fish counter on the Blantyre Weir, a partnership project involving SNH, Clyde River Foundation and RWE Innogy UK, has provided information to support the view that the River Clyde could become a significant salmon fishery if improvements in water quality, and fish access, progress.  The World Fish Migration Day gives us the chance to look back at what has been achieved for Atlantic salmon within one of the UK’s most industrialised areas, but also calls on us to focus on the work that remains to be done.”

We’d like to thank everyone who came along to help us celebrate and we’re already looking forward to next year’s event. More pictures can be seen on our Facebook page here.

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CRIMPing in Castlemilk

CRF : May 20, 2014 9:58 am : crimp_news, News

Pupils from Hollybrook Academy took to CRIMPing last week for an afternoon of outdoor learning. Teachers Graham Munro and John Sharkey brought their class of 16 to the Castlemilk Burn (a tributary of the Cityford Burn) to try out some kick sampling. These  budding citizen scientists now have the opportunity to collect real life data for the Clyde River Foundation and SEPA. We were very pleased to find both caseless and cased caddis and some stonefly larvae in this urban burn. The CRF hope to engage the students as part of the catchment-wide citizen science initiative by collecting real life data that can contribute to environmental protection. CRIMP is ideal for science lessons in biodiversity and interdependence and riverfly monitoring can be used to form the basis of lesson plans and help bring learning to life. Hollybrook Academy’s participation in the project will help increase young people’s environmental awareness and sense of responsibility as they learn about how people’s actions can affect freshwater habitats whilst encouraging them to make connections between what they learn in the classroom and how it relates to their local environment. We’re looking forward to their follow-up survey next month and hope it’s as good as this month’s result!

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1st World Fish Migration Day

CRF : May 19, 2014 2:49 pm : News

Saturday 24th May is the first World Fish Migration Day 2014(WFMD), a global initiative to promote awareness of the importance of migratory fish and healthy, free-flowing rivers. A total of 250 events are taking place worldwide based on the theme ‘connecting rivers, fish and people’, and we are delighted to be taking part with an event of our own on the banks of the River Clyde. Join us to celebrate the day with ‘Salmon Homecoming’ at the David Livingstone Centre in Blantyre. This family-friendly day will celebrate the return of salmon to the Clyde. Come along to find out about their history and the story of their migratory journey. Meet different species of migratory fish found in the Clyde, the beasties that they feed on and chat to scientists who work on the river. Salmon Homecoming is being held at the David Livingstone Centre in Blantyre from 11am-3pm on Saturday 24th May (see flyer). The event is free to attend following registration. To register contact Dr Gemma Jennings at the Clyde River Foundation on gemma@clyderiverfoundation.org or 0141 330 5080.                                              banner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Riverfly workshop on the White Cart

CRF : May 19, 2014 12:37 pm : crimp_news, News

New monitors from Busby Angling Club, Avon Angling club and the Nuffield Foundation have joined the Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership (CRIMP) following a training workshop on the White Cart. During the practical session, CRIMPers spent time learning how to kick sample and what to look out for when choosing a sampling site. The White Cart Water downstream of the railway viaduct in Pollok Country Park was a suitable sampling site as far as the river was concerned but we had to take care to avoid dense stands of Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum, read more on this dangerous invasive plant here). Once confident with the sampling technique, each group estimated the numbers of the target invertebrate groups in their sorting tray. These results were then compared back in the visitors centre, to see the difference in results collected and after a short riverfly ID ‘examination’ delegates received their certificates. Now we’re looking forward to the follow-up days with the new CRIMPers, from which we hope to increase the coverage of sample sites across the Clyde catchment.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How healthy is your river?

CRF : May 19, 2014 12:23 pm : crimp_news, News

Paul Knight, Salmon and Trout Association asks the question ‘How healthy is your River?’ in this month’s edition of Trout & Salmon magazine and encourages us as river enthusiasts to set our eyes on the flies. Paul said “Just a few hours commitment every month will not only get you intimately involved with your river’s ecosystem, it will provide invaluable data on its ecological status, which will help build an accurate picture UK-wide”. The full article can be read here.

 

 

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First Blue Winged Olive of the season

CRF : May 15, 2014 2:30 pm : crimp_news, News, Uncategorized

Whitelee Windfarm Countryside Rangers Rennie Mason and Maree Morrison may have spotted the first Blue Winged Olive (BWO) mayfly of the season. Rennie and Maree joined CRIMP last month and have begun surveying the burns that run through the Whitelee Windfarm. They have chosen the Ardoch Burn and the Dunwan Burn that runs downstream of the Dunwan Dam – it was here they found the tiniest BWO that we’ve ever seen, just 3mm in length! We normally expect to see BWO from May to September, so we were very pleased to see they had hatched from their eggs right when nature intends. The diversity in both samples was pretty impressive, make sure you check out some of the photos our photo gallery. Good luck with the sampling, perhaps there will be more and bigger BWO’s next month – watch this space!

 

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CRIMP – Linking citizen science with Curriculum for Excellence

CRF : May 14, 2014 3:50 pm : crimp_news, Education, News

CRIMP’s third workshop was attended by five teachers from Brannock High School, including head teacher Robert Colquhoun. Brannock High has previously been involved in the Clyde River Foundation’s initiative, Clyde in the Classroom. This time they are going to use riverfly recording with their secondary school pupils to fulfil the learning intentions of the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). Two other schools, St Margaret’s High School in Airdrie and Duncanrig Secondary School in East Kilbride trained their science teachers and plan to use CRIMP for future biology lessons, bringing learning outdoors! We hope these partnerships will be a great opportunity to deliver outdoor and environmental learning whilst protecting our rivers and inspiring environmental stewardship throughout the wider community across the Clyde.

Representatives from the River Kelvin Angling Association also came along to the training, taking the total number of trained riverfly recorders on the River Kelvin to ten!

Great progress in 2014 thus far – and now to choose sites and start monitoring!

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CRIMPing in Quarriers

CRF : April 28, 2014 3:29 pm : crimp_news, News

The first CRIMP workshop of 2014 was held in Quarriers Village on Saturday 26th April. New eager CRIMPers attended from Bridge of Weir (River) Angling Club, Duncanrig Secondary School,  Hollybrook Academy, Strathgryfe Angling Association and Whitelee Windfarm Countryside Ranger Service. We were happy to welcome our first lot of secondary school teachers to CRIMP and are looking forward to developing the project in line with the Curriculum for Excellence. All the groups have shown a keen interest in covering more sites on the Clyde catchment. Wider coverage – geographically and over time – makes it more likely that pollution incidents will be picked up. Many thanks to Tom Coy and Emma Pitman from SEPA who assisted with the workshop. We’re looking forward to the follow-up days with all the groups, when we’ll select and risk assess sites before starting sampling on a monthly basis! Check out more pics from the day on the CRIMP photo page here.

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Farewell to the fish…

CRF : April 23, 2014 3:16 pm : Education, News

The practical part of Clyde in the Classroom project came to a close just before the Easter Holiday, as the last of the classroom-raised brown trout were released into the wild. With 102 classes taking part, we’ve enjoyed a busy few weeks helping to introduce the little brown trout fry to their new homes. We are now going through the some fantastic entries for the Clyde in the Classroom competition, the deadline this Friday so you still have time to get your entry in!

I’d like to say a massive well done and thank you to all who took part this year, including those who came along to help out on the fish release days. Thanks again to all our project supporters. Although we’ll have to wait another year for the next Clyde in the Classroom, the adventure is only just beginning for these amazing little fish! Have a look at the Clyde in the Classroom website to find out more!

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CRIMP training available in May

CRF : April 23, 2014 1:01 pm : crimp_news, News

Interested in riverfly monitoring? We have a few places still available on our Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership (CRIMP) training courses on Saturday May 3rd and 10th.

Contact the project coordinator Lesley Deans to book a place: lesley.deans@glasgow.ac.uk.

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East Kilbride Angling Club open day

CRF : April 23, 2014 12:47 pm : Angling, crimp_news, News

East Kilbride Angling Club invited us along to their open day event at Greenhills Library on Saturday April 12th. The club set up a fly-tying demo, kid’s crafts, a raffle and even a collection of the library’s fishing literature! We took along some real-life freshwater invertebrates from the local area. The samples were collected from known ‘good’ and ‘poor’ quality sites (the Rotten Calder and the Kittoch Burn respectively) so that we could demonstrate the diversity (or lack of) of fly life in the area. From leeches to mayflies, the beasties on show proved a big hit with children and adults alike. To everyone’s surprise the Kittoch sample was much better than expected in terms of diversity, a promising result that could warrant further investigation – could make for a good CRIMP monitoring site! We also set up one of our classroom hatcheries complete with brown trout alevins in the library for the day, which was a first for us. You can keep up to date with the club by following them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Eastkilbrideanglingclub. Thanks to the club for inviting us along and good luck for the rest of the season!

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An afternoon with the beasties of the Brock Burn

CRF : April 23, 2014 11:43 am : crimp_news, News

Our riverfly expert Lesley joined the Dams to Darnley Country Park Rangers Joe and Eilidh on Saturday 22 March for a fun-filled afternoon of riverfly sampling and ID as part of National Science & Engineering Week. The rangers, both of whom are taking part in the Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership (CRIMP), invited members of the public along to try their hand at being scientists for the day. The budding scientists learned how to collect freshwater invertebrates by taking a kick sample and how to sort a sample on the riverbank before taking a closer look at the beasties under the microscope in a pop-up laboratory. We’d like to thank Eilidh and Joe for organising the event, fun was had by all!

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River Clyde foam pollution caused by illegal detergent discharge

CRF : April 8, 2014 10:58 am : News

A pollution incident which produced large amounts of foam on the River Clyde on Friday 4th April is thought to have been caused by an illegal discharge of detergent. Foam was also visible on the White Cart and some of its tributaries (Bagabout and Auldhouse Burns). The incident is under investigation by Scottish Water and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and we will pass on further updates as they become available. 

A spokesperson from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said:

“In liaising with Scottish Water, the source of pollution on the River Clyde is now believed to be as a result of an illegal discharge of detergent to the sewer network. Scottish Water is currently in the process of carrying out an investigation to trace the origin of the discharge and SEPA will continue to monitor the situation while carrying out analysis of the samples collected on Friday, in order to ascertain the nature of the material.

“SEPA is aware of another discharge of foam on the Auldhouse Burn and White Cart Water near Thornliebank, however it is unclear at this stage whether the two incidents are connected.

“Investigations so far have not found any evidence of a fish kill in the River Clyde, Auldhouse Burn or White Cart Water as a result of the pollution and SEPA intend to carry out further assessments to determine any environmental impact.”

The scale of the pollution incident can be seen on the BBC’s coverage of the story here.

As always, we would encourage you to report any pollution incidents to SEPA as soon as possible on their Pollution Hotline – 0800 80 70 60. When reporting an incident, please provide as much detail as you can about the location, type and duration of the incident, and take photographs if possible.

 

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Unexplained foam on the River Clyde

CRF : April 4, 2014 7:00 pm : News

Some photographs of the currently unexplained occurrence of foam on the River Clyde in Glasgow today.  SEPA Officers are investigating.  We will update when we have further information.Detergent at GSC_005

 

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SFCC Scale Reading Course

CRF : April 1, 2014 11:38 am : Foundation work, News

Fish scales, like trees, have growth rings which show the growth history of the fish and can therefore be a useful tool in fishery management. The Clyde River Foundation’s Fisheries Management Planner David McColl recently attended a scale reading course run by the Scottish Fisheries Co-ordination Centre (SFCC) at the Marine Scotland Science Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory. The course was delivered by Ronald Campbell (Tweed Foundation) and Ross Gardiner (Marine Scotland Science), both of whom imparted a wealth of knowledge over the two-day course. The SFCC plan to run this course annually and more info can be found on their new website at http://www.sfcc.co.uk/.

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Second Clyde Citizen Science Meeting – Caring for the Clyde a success!

CRF : March 14, 2014 2:11 pm : crimp_news, News

Thanks to everyone who came along to Caring for the Clyde on Saturday 8th March. The event was well attended with a total of 51 delegates including representation from 18 organisations. The Clyde River Foundation’s Lesley Deans presented an overview of the Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership (CRIMP) and outlined the way forward for the project, including the announcement of training availability for 2014. Special thanks go to Thames 21’s Theo Thomas and the Wear Rivers Trust’s Lizzie Willows, both of whom delivered insightful and inspirational talks about their work with people and rivers. We were happy to welcome representatives from six secondary schools across the Clyde catchment who came along to find out more about our new project in development, ‘Clyde Living Lab’.

We’ll  be in touch very shortly with all of those budding citizen scientists who expressed an interest in training and picking up monitoring in 2014.

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More photos from Caring from the Clyde can be viewed here.

 

 

 

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Second Clyde Citizen Science Meeting – ‘Caring for the Clyde’

CRF : February 6, 2014 4:20 pm : crimp_news, Education, News

If you are interested in ‘Caring for the Clyde’ there are a number of ways you can get involved as ‘Citizen Scientists’. You may wish to participate in the Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership (‘CRIMP’, which was launched at our first meeting last year) or in our new secondary schools project, Clyde Living Lab. So if you live in the River Clyde catchment and are interested in looking after your local river, come to our Caring for the Clyde meeting on Saturday 8th March to find out more about our Citizen Science opportunities. 

We are pleased to announce we have confirmed two guest speakers for the day:

Theo Thomas – Senior Programme Manager , Thames 21 – the leading waterways charity in London. Theo and the team work with communities across Greater London to improve their rivers, canals, ponds and lakes for people and wildlife. Theo specifically coordinates their Citizen Science programmes including their Love the Lea campaign.

Lizzie Willows – Education Officer, Wear Rivers Trust – Lizzie began working for the Trust in 2012, taking on and developing the educational projects that they run with school groups. She also liaises with volunteers and community group partners and co-ordinates their Riverfly monitoring network.

To reserve a place and for more information contact Lesley Deans at the Clyde River Foundation on Lesley.deans@glasgow.ac.uk. Registration for the meeting closes on Friday 21st February.

 

 

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CRIMP – What’s happening in 2014?

CRF : January 27, 2014 5:43 pm : crimp_news, News

The Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership (CRIMP) got off to a great start in 2013. To find out what we have planned for the coming year, register today to attend our meeting on Saturday 8th March.

  • Sign up for next year’s training workshops – there are a further 36 places this year
  • Present your results/experiences of CRIMP-ing in the last year
  • Guest speaker (to be confirmed)

For further details or if you are keen to give a short presentation (10 minutes) contact Lesley at the Clyde River Foundation.

To register to attend the next Clyde Riverfly Monitoring meeting, please contact Lesley – Lesley.deans@glasgow.ac.uk

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SEPA latest on the lower Clyde fish kill

CRF : November 26, 2013 3:06 pm : News

Willie Yeomans, Catchment Manager of the Clyde River Foundation, attended the Clyde Water Framework Directive AAG meeting on October 11th where Stephen Cowie and George Rattray of SEPA presented the findings of an investigation into the fish kill which occurred on the lower Clyde in late July 2013. SEPA were informed about dead fish (salmon and flounder, an estimated 200 fish in total) upstream of the Tidal Weir near Glasgow Green on Sunday 28th July, although the event is thought to have occurred around July 26th.  Below is a summary of the information presented at the meeting.

  • SEPA has four monitoring stations on the main stem of the Clyde (at Daldowie, the Tidal Weir, the Science Centre and Braehead) which record levels of dissolved oxygen, turbidity, flow and temperature. At the time of the fish kill a combination of factors including low flow, high temperature and urban run-off/sewer overflows contributed to low levels of dissolved oxygen in the river.
  • Dissolved oxygen (DO) was found to be particularly low at the Tidal Weir compared to the three other monitoring sites at the time of the incident. The UK Technical Advisory Group on the Water Framework Directive advises that ‘to avoid damage to salmonids, DO values should not fall below 4 mg/l for more than an hour, more than once per year’. At the Tidal Weir, levels dropped to below 1mg/l for a few hours, and were below 4mg/l for almost two days.
  • Water temperature was high in the days leading up to the event (ranging from approximately 19 to 20°C on the 26th) and there was a distinct peak in turbidity (the measure of suspended particles in the water) at the time of the event. This high turbidity can be attributed to an influx of pollution to the river caused by an unusual storm event on the afternoon of July 25th. A 1-in-4-year rainfall event occurred during a 30 minute period, which is likely to have flushed Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs), and caused sewage treatment works to overflow. Increased ammonia levels were therefore another possible contributing factor.
  • Finally, in addition to these unfavourable changes in water quality, the operation of the Tidal Weir may have compounded the situation by allowing a run of salmon into the area immediately upstream but preventing them from retreating downstream when the water quality was poorest.

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Dead salmon from the fish kill dumped in a skip on the riverbank

 

It is deeply regrettable that these incidents occur intermittently at this location and it confirms that our current infrastructure and river management are not fully compatible with sustaining migratory fish populations.  Collectively, we need to do better than this; these were large, iconic animals dying in plain sight and with increasing runs of salmon and sea trout migrating through the lower Clyde and ongoing climate disruption, this issue is not going to go away.  We need to future-proof the lower Clyde.

 

 

The need for rapid reporting and clear communication in the case of such events was discussed. We would encourage you to report any pollution incidents to SEPA as soon as possible on their Pollution Hotline – 0800 80 70 60. When reporting an incident, please provide as much detail as you can about the location, type and duration of the incident, including photographs if possible.

 

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New Masters student adding value to CRIMP

CRF : November 7, 2013 4:14 pm : crimp_news, Education, News

Thomas

Thomas sorting his first CRIMP sample in the lab

Thomas Hobson (University of Glasgow) is undertaking his first MRes project on CRIMP, supervised by the Clyde River Foundation. His project sets out to determine the accuracy of CRIMP data (by looking at the sources of error in the sampling and analysis of the samples, which will be done by assessing the initial bankside assessment of CRIMP invertebrate samples compared to a later, more detailed laboratory assessment of the same samples by Thomas). Thomas intends to answer a number of questions regarding CRIMP:

1.      How does the discriminatory power of the Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (RMI) method compare with that of classical community indices used by regulatory agencies?

2.      Does the RMI method describe the macroinvertebrate community in a kick sample adequately?

3.      What is the relationship between Biological Monitoring Working Party (BMWP) and RMI methodologies?

Thomas will be looking at the first samples taken by CRIMPers throughout the summer, when accompanied by Project Coordinator Lesley. If you have any data from your kick sample sites that you still need to send in, please email them to lesley.deans@glasgow.ac.uk. Thank you!

 

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Girls’ Brigade get sampling for Duke of Edinburgh Award

CRF : November 6, 2013 4:33 pm : crimp_news, News, River Avon

The Avon Angling Association CRIMP team has been joined by members of Stonehouse Girls’ Brigade to undertake riverfly monitoring. Club secretary David Paterson thought it would be an excellent idea to involve members of the Girls’ Brigade, who are working towards their Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award, in their CRIMP sampling programme. Two of the girls took the CRIMP training course back in June and a further five who were keen to get involved (but didn’t attend the course) are working under the supervision of David (although their results won’t be included in the official sampling programme).  The girls have been sampling Nellies Burn which runs into the Cander Water – great work ladies!

 

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Clydebelt Newsletter introduces CRIMP

CRF : November 6, 2013 2:29 pm : crimp_news, News

Sam Gibson, one of our trained CRIMP volunteers in the Dalmuir Park area, is the Secretary of Clydebelt – a group dedicated to retaining and enhancing the heritage and green belt status of the Kilpatrick Hills and their surrounding environment in Clydebank, Dumbarton, Milngavie, Bearsden and Glasgow. Sam, along with six other citizen scientists, is sampling the Duntocher Burn and it’s tributaries for CRIMP (see the pictures below).  It is hoped that the strategic selection of sites within this relatively small catchment will enable the riverfly monitors to be be the first to detect any deterioration in water quality. Sam has written an article about CRIMP for the Clydebelt Newsletter – click here to read it and find out more about Clydebelt!

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River Kelvin Angling Association get kick sampling…

CRF : October 22, 2013 12:43 pm : crimp_news, News, River Kelvin

NCAL0004Last month the guys from the Kelvin began their first monitoring day for CRIMP. It seems it was the last day of summer here in Glasgow but we took the opportunity to get out and about. Paul Reid (River Kelvin Angling Association secretary), Jim Burns and Stuart Baggot ( RKAA members), and Alan Twigg from the Friends of the River Kelvin met to brush up on their I.D., choose their sampling sites and collect their first samples. We chose and sampled five sites. So far, so good – the river looked healthy enough for some of the urban sites that we looked at. It was great to make a start and set a baseline to continue on from, but there is always more work to be done! The RKAA want to cover as much of the catchment as possible – this is the easiest way to recognise pollution at the earliest opportunity. The RKAA hope to train more keen citizen scientists next year when we will be running three more training courses in the spring. You can check out more photos from the day in the RKAA CRIMP Photos page.

 

 

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CRIMP gets underway on the Upper Avon

CRF : October 21, 2013 2:11 pm : crimp_news, News

NCAL00041The Upper Avon Angling Association got going with their riverfly monitoring on September 14th. We chose six sites on the Upper Avon – that’s one each for the CRIMP volunteers to monitor on a monthly basis. It was a really good day, the sun was shining and all the sites looked great and absolutely full of life. David Learmonth, River Manager on the Upper Avon, posted a piece about the day on their club website. Follow this link to have a read and check out more pictures from the day on the river, including a shot of the many beasties found in one of the kick samples. Thanks to David for the feedback and all the best with the sampling! You can see our pictures from the day on our UAAA CRIMP Photos page.

 

 

 

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CRIMP kick-off for Countryside Rangers

CRF : October 18, 2013 11:41 am : crimp_news, News

2013_Autumn_NewsletterCountryside Rangers from Dams to Darnley Country Park are taking part in the Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Parntership (CRIMP). They started sampling in July and have featured the project in their Autumn newsletter which is well worth a look! Again, thanks to everyone who’s been out sampling and sending in the data!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trout at Transition at Biggar Little Festival

CRF : October 17, 2013 4:20 pm : Education, News

We’re delighted to announce that a selection of art work created during the P7 phase of Trout at Transition is now on display in Biggar Library as part of Biggar Little Festival. The pupils worked with artist Holly Keasey to creatively explore the river environment as ‘Water Tourists’. The festival runs from Thursday 17th to Sunday 27th October (see: http://www.biggar-little-festival.com/product.php/285/trout-at-transition-art-exhibition). We’ll be visiting the High School in the new year to continue working with the pupils following their transition to S1.

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Major pollution incident detected by Riverfly Monitoring Group

CRF : September 19, 2013 2:22 pm : crimp_news, News

A riverfly monitoring group on the River Kennet (a chalk stream tributary of the River Thames) was first to detect the effects of a pesticide making its way into the river.  Action for the River Kennet (ARK) volunteers noticed a change in the appearance of the water at their monitoring site, and a huge decrease in the number of invertebrates in their kick samples.  They were able to alert the Environment Agency, which investigated further and found that the loss of invertebrates was a result of the highly toxic pesticide ‘chlorpyrifos’ passing through a sewage treatment works. The pesticide wiped out the bottom of the food chain and left fish and birds with little to eat, which is a serious worry for many river users. ARK will now be working with the Savernake Flyfishers and other river interest groups to help to restore the riverfly population.

This is a great encouragement to all of us involved in the CRIMP initiative, carrying out the riverfly monitoring across the Clyde system – our citizen science can make a difference!

These articles by Action for the River Kennet (ARK) and the BBC provide more detail:

http://www.riverkennet.org/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-23177777

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Clyde fish kill: SEPA update

CRF : August 28, 2013 9:54 am : News

SEPA have provided the following update on the fish kill that occurred on the River Clyde in July:

 

“SEPA received complaints of dead fish in the River Clyde upstream of the Tidal Weir around Glasgow Green on Sunday 28 July; however the incident causing their death appears to have occurred some days earlier. The delay in SEPA being informed has made the investigation more challenging, however we have still been able to gather a large amount of data and we are presently processing and interpreting this. Once we have a finished report we will be happy to share this with interested parties.
 
We know that water quality in the Clyde is improving, and the presence of so many fish also tells us that the Clyde can now provide a suitable habitat most of the time. Our investigation is ongoing, but the fish kill seems likely to have been caused by an unfortunate coincidence of factors producing low dissolved oxygen levels in the river – this includes: low river flows, high temperatures and urban run off/sewer overflows triggered by the intense storm events at the end of the extended hot, dry period in July. The morphology of this area of the Clyde also seems likely to be a factor.
 
The loss of so many fish is obviously very disappointing, but we are hopeful that our investigation will provide a valuable insight into the cause of this incident and also help inform future decisions in relation to improving the environment and ecology of this stretch of the River Clyde.
 
As ever, we are very keen that pollution incidents are reported to SEPA as soon as possible – our pollution hotline number is 0800 80 70 60.”
 
 

We would encourage you to report any pollution incidents to SEPA as soon as possible on their Pollution Hotline – 0800 80 70 60. When reporting an incident, please provide as much detail as you can about the location, type and duration of the incident, and take photographs if possible.

 

 

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CRIMP: the results are in…

CRF : August 19, 2013 5:16 pm : crimp_news, News

The CRIMP data is rolling in from those who have been out sampling their local burn. Well done and thank you to everyone who has been out kicking, counting and collating! We are really pleased with the feedback of data and soon this will help build up a picture of individual watercourses and their typical fauna, including any seasonal change due to the varying life cycles of the larvae. Most importantly, CRIMP intends to detect any serious decline in water quality that could otherwise go undetected.

Below is an example of data collected by members of the Walton Angling Club  for one of their sampling sites on the White Cart River. They started sampling in July, having completed the training in June. The results are shown both on the field sheet and the excel recording sheet which was submitted electronically to the Clyde River Foundation. A histogram is automatically produced whenever the results are entered into the excel recording sheet and this will build up with each survey. July’s data produced a score of 12 – a great start!

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Walton angling club results screenshot

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Welcome to our new interns!

CRF : August 2, 2013 3:34 pm : Education, Foundation work, News, Uncategorized

Richard Newsome and Harriet Alvis in the Clyde River Foundation lab

Richard Newsome and Harriet Alvis in the Clyde River Foundation lab

We are currently hosting two interns – Harriet Alvis and Richard Newsome. Harriet, a recent graduate from Swansea University, has been working on a Clyde River Foundation placement looking at invertebrate samples from sites across the catchment and is about to begin a Fisheries Society of the British Isles Internship studying the habitat preferences of the invasive bullhead with Prof. Neil Metcalfe and Dr. William Yeomans. Richard, a student from James Watt College, is undertaking a Nuffield Foundation Research Placement. He is using invertebrate samples to monitor the recovery of a small stream in Renfrewshire from agricultural pollution. We are looking forward to seeing their projects develop!

 

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Fish kill on the Clyde

CRF : August 2, 2013 2:41 pm : Clyde Catchment, News, Uncategorized

We are awaiting further information on a fish kill that occurred in the River Clyde during the past week. Large numbers of dead salmon have been reported between Blantyre and the Tidal Weir near Glasgow Green. It is understood that some of the fish were removed from the river by the ‘Water Witch’ clean-up vessel and dumped in a skip at the King George V Dock. SEPA are currently investigating the cause of the incident and will be looking at monitoring data for information on water quality, as well as liaising with Scottish Water and looking into a possible pollution event. We will issue an update once more information becomes available.

 

 

 

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River Clyde Fishery Management Plan – Update

CRF : July 30, 2013 4:00 pm : Clyde Catchment, Education, Foundation work, Invasive Non-Native Species, News, Uncategorized

RCFMP review thumbnailThe River Clyde Fishery Management Plan (RCFMP) identified local management priorities for the Clyde catchment as part of a national programme supported by the Scottish Government and coordinated by the Rivers and Fisheries Trusts Scotland (RAFTS). As an update to this document we have produced the RCFMP Review 2013, a summary report which highlights the initiatives derived from the plan to date. A copy of the report can be downloaded here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CRIMP workshops complete!

CRF : July 29, 2013 4:09 pm : crimp_news, News

Since the launch of the Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership (CRIMP) in March,  67 volunteers from 15 groups across the Clyde catchment have attended our CRIMP training workshops. Follow-up days are ongoing and involve the selection of sampling sites and a “run through” of sampling. We’d like to thank everyone who has taken part in the training and are looking forward to seeing the monitoring results come in!

Members of the following groups have now trained as CRIMP volunteers: UCAPA Ltd, Lamington and District Angling Improvement Association, Caurnie Angling Club, Busby Angling Club, Dalmuir Park, River Kelvin Angling Association, Upper Avon Angling Association, Abercorn Angling Club, Bridge of Weir Angling Club, Dams to Darnley Country Park, Strathgryffe Angling Club, Douglas Water Angling Club, Walton Angling Club, Avon Angling Club and the Campsie Angling Association.

 

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CRIMP training: in pictures

CRF : June 14, 2013 3:53 pm : crimp_news, News

We’ve been uploading pictures from the CRIMP training days to the new ‘CRIMP Photos’ page. The albums are organised either by group or area – follow this link and see if you can spot yourself! Photos are still being added to the page so remember to check for updates.

 

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Caurnie Angling Club set the record!

CRF : May 1, 2013 2:11 pm : crimp_news, News

CRIMP coordinator Lesley Gregg recently visited one of last month’s trainees, Mr. Ernie Atlee from Caurnie Angling Club. The club received their sampling kit to help them get started and they have chosen their first sampling site to monitored on a monthly basis. Mr. Atlee ‘kicked’ off the sampling with the first monitoring record, with many more to come! A job well done!

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SNH agree to bring forward training

CRF : April 8, 2013 3:18 pm : crimp_news, News

The good news is here! The amount of interest in joining the CRIMP project and the enthusiasm generated at the CRIMP launch last month has been very encouraging. We at the Clyde River Foundation thought it would be ideal to offer training at an earlier stage than scheduled. Our funders Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) have said that we can bring workshops forward into 2013.

 

 

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First CRIMP workshop a success

CRF : March 29, 2013 3:11 pm : crimp_news, News

The very first CRIMP workshop was held on Sunday 24th March at Strathclyde Country Park. All twelve workshop spaces were filled; three angling clubs were represented, with members of Lamington and District Angling Improvement Association (2 attendees), UCAPA Ltd (9 attendees) and Caurnie Angling Club (1 attendee) in attendance. The workshop, delivered by Lesley Gregg (Clyde River Foundation), Caroline McGillivray (Clyde River Foundation) and Louis Kitchen (Riverfly Partnership), covered volunteer health and safety, training in riverfly monitoring technique and riverfly identification. The sampling site selected for training was just downstream of the Avon’s confluence with the Clyde. Each club will have a follow-up session to the workshop shortly in which volunteers will be shown their sampling sites, receive their sampling kits (one per pair) and practice their sampling technique under the supervision of CRF staff.

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Sampling riverflies at the CRIMP workshop

 

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CRIMP Launch 17th March 2013

CRF : March 28, 2013 2:07 pm : crimp_news, News

The CRIMP launch day was a great success – 73 delegates representing 28 organisations attended the meeting, which was held at the University of Glasgow. We were delighted to see Professor James Curran, Chief Executive of SEPA and champion of citizen science, in attendance. Willie Yeomans introduced the aims of the project and provided an insight into ‘Citizen Science’. Based on the geographical distribution of the organisations represented at the meeting, we were surprised and delighted to note that over 95% of the catchment could be surveyed during this 3-year initial phase of the project (see figure below, although we are almost certain to have the remainder covered too).

Guest speaker Stuart Crofts delivered a fantastic talk about his experience of riverfly monitoring in Yorkshire. He demonstrated the effectiveness of this technique in detecting changes in river quality (riverflies acting as the ‘canaries’ of the river) and highlighted the value of a strong volunteer network, showing how volunteers really can make a difference.

In addition to the talks, Louis Kitchen and Craig Macadam of the Riverfly Partnership led a hands-on demonstration in which delegates had the opportunity to examine kick-samples taken from a range of different-quality habitats and meet the riverflies themselves!

CRIMP project coordinator Lesley Gregg rounded up the day with details of the training programme and how to get involved. A high proportion of delegates expressed an interest in signing up and, whilst the training schedule was limited to 3 workshops per year, we are currently looking into ways to accommodate all interested parties. Thanks again to everyone who attended the launch – we very much look forward to working with you over the course of the project!

 

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Otter killed by illegal crayfish trapping

CRF : March 25, 2013 4:23 pm : Clyde Catchment, Foundation work, Invasive Non-Native Species, News

The Clyde River Foundation has obtained direct evidence that an otter has been killed in an illegal crayfish trap set recently in a tributary of the Clyde.  The shocking images of a drowned otter were taken by an angler who retrieved the trap (see below).

Otters are legally protected as European Protected Species and, under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2007, it is an offence to deliberately or recklessly capture, injure or kill an otter. Furthermore, trapping crayfish is illegal without a licence in Scotland, although the practice is apparently being encouraged by the sale of traps within the catchment and from the internet, and by tales from elsewhere of the practice occurring without sanction. Responsibility for licensing has recently moved from the Scottish Government to Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency now has overall responsibility for tackling aquatic invasive species, such as American signal crayfish.

Promotion of the notion of a sustainable fishery or “eat on sight”-type advice in other locations by politicians (national and local), celebrity chefs and anglers over the last few years has not helped matters.  To be clear, trapping will not solve any of the problems caused by this invasive, non-native species in the Clyde system.  Anyone setting unlicensed crayfish traps is breaking the law for no environmental benefit; it is a purely selfish act.  Bluntly, anyone selling, buying and/or using unlicensed “crayfish” traps in the Clyde catchment or elsewhere in Scotland is already or is likely to be complicit in a criminal activity.  An otter was killed in a trap in Galloway in 2011, so we can only assume that whoever set the Clyde trap was either ignorant of that fact, or just did not care.  The presence of otters in some areas is an indication of how far the Clyde has recovered from centuries of pollution and disturbance, and it is deeply regrettable that whoever was responsible for setting this trap wasn’t wise enough to appreciate the bigger picture.

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Foundation welcomes new Chairman

CRF : February 8, 2013 3:19 pm : Foundation work, News

The Board and staff of the Clyde River Foundation are delighted to announce the appointment of Robert Kerr as Chairman.

Robert worked in environmental regulation for over 38 years, latterly as a Divisional Manager for both the Clyde River Purification Board and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency from its formation in 1996 (in the former West Region based in East Kilbride). During his career he was a member of a number of working groups including those developing the Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Plan, river basin planning via the Clyde Area Advisory Group, Bathing Waters Improvement Group and dealing with pollution associated with abandoned coal mines in Scotland (jointly with the Coal Authority).  In 2000 he became the Depute Environmental Improvement Manager in South West Area, which covered the Strathclyde and Dumfries and Galloway Regions.  Robert was appointed SEPA Head of Operations in South West Scotland in 2005, a post from which he retired recently.  Robert chaired the Clyde Fisheries Group, which provided a forum and link between angling interests, SEPA, Scottish Water and the Clyde River Foundation for many years. Robert brings with him a wealth of experience and we very much look forward to working with him.

New Chairman, Robert Kerr (left) with Caroline McGillivray and Willie Yeomans at Glasgow Science Centre for the launch of Clyde in the Classroom.

New Chairman, Robert Kerr (left) with Caroline McGillivray and Willie Yeomans at Glasgow Science Centre for the launch of Clyde in the Classroom.

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Reservoir rescue helps Howietoun

CRF : June 21, 2012 11:44 am : Clyde Catchment, Foundation work, News

Clyde River Foundation undertake fish rescue in Helensburgh Reservoir Number 2 on behalf of Scottish Water

Fish rescue at Reservoir Number Two near Helensburgh recovers valuable broodstock

A fish rescue undertaken by the Clyde River Foundation has saved 40 fish from a reservoir near Helensburgh and salvaged some valuable broodstock for Howietoun fish farm.

The rescue was carried out as part of a major programme of works by the owners of the reservoir, Scottish Water. A footbridge across the reservoir collapsed earlier this year and it was decided to remove the bridge and a valve tower for safety reasons. Scottish Water required ‘dry access’ to the reservoir and requested help to transfer the fish before the reservoir was fully drained.

On a fine Friday in May, a team from the Clyde River Foundation pulled a 150m trawl net across the reservoir. The net – its bottom weighed down with lead weights – was dragged across the the reservoir to corral the fish so they could be moved into holding tanks. The rescue effort took a total of six hours to complete, extremely hard work and was not without an element of drama.

Because the Foundation team were wading in the water in drysuits to move the net, the reservoir water was cloudy with disturbed sediment.

“Although we knew there were fish in the reservoir, there was no sign we were going to rescue any throughout most of the process,” said the Foundation’s Caroline McGillivray, who coordinated the fish transfer. “It was only until the final few minutes of the trawl that we began to see the fish splashing around in the net.”

The single trawl netted 40 fish, mostly trout of a decent size and weighing a total of approximately 60lbs.

The fish rescued from the Helensburgh reservoir were stocked with fish from Howietoun Fishery which experienced a major set back to their hatchery last year due to an algal bloom.

The original plan had been that we would transfer the fish to an adjacent reservoir, with the help of the Clyde River Foundation,” explained Mr Alan McWhirter, Scottish Water’s project manager. “But, after contact was made with Howietoun fish farm, it was agreed that the fish should be taken there and we are very pleased that everything went so well.”

Howietoun’s Brown Trout Manager Iain Semple was delighted to receive the fish.”I am greatly indebted to Helensburgh Angling Club who have kindly donated the fish back to us as brood-stock and also the entire team at the Clyde Foundation. The fish have settled in well and were feeding by the following day. We look forward to stripping them this autumn and will supply fish back to Helensburgh Angling Club in due course.”

There are few things that go even better than according to plan – and this was one,” said catchment manager Dr Willie Yeomans. “Not only did we rescue 60lbs of fish, but we have helped supply Howietown with some good quality broodstock for their hatchery.”

Locals have been encouraged to steer clear of the reservoir until the works are complete – many walkers, dog-owners use the area. Scottish Water plans to complete the works by early August 2012.

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UDN reported from River Spey

CRF : June 5, 2012 10:48 am : News, Uncategorized

Following the diagnosis of UDN on one salmon in the River Spey, this advice has been circulated by the Association of  Salmon Fishery Boards:

UDN has been diagnosed by Marine Scotland Science on one salmon in the River Spey. Further advice is now being sought from a range of expert opinion. Monitoring is now being extended to other rivers with the intention of sampling fish with symptoms that are consistent with UDN, prior to the onset of colonisation by the freshwater fungus Saprolegnia (whose spores are always present), for further investigations. To date there is no evidence that it is widespread and instances may well prove to be isolated. It is possible that UDN is endemic in wild salmon populations but generally at such low levels that it attracts little attention.

There was no evidence in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when it was common in most rivers, that it impacted on salmon populations, although salmon are now much less abundant than they were then. The evidence from that period is that affected fish can recover and spawn successfully. Eggs from affected fish hatched normally, and there is no evidence that salmon fry or parr can be impacted.
UDN is not an officially notifiable disease and there is inconsistency in scientific literature regarding its status; although often called a “disease” this is disputed by many as no bacteria or virus or other causative agent for it has ever been conclusively identified. The alternative theory is that it starts as a skin “condition” initiated by some unknown environmental factor or factors in the sea which subsequently allows infection by other freshwater organisms. In the late 1960s, attempts to transmit UDN from sick to healthy fish gave no clear or consistent results.

“UDN” is therefore the description of the symptoms, not the name of a causative agent, and stands for Ulcerative Dermal Necrosis (= death of skin, with ulcers). Fish come in from the sea with ulcers (what triggers the condition in fish out at sea is unknown), typically on the head but also on other areas of their bodies that lack scales, and the bare flesh can then be attacked by the freshwater fungus Saprolegnia. In the past it was most prevalent in cold water temperatures and the ulcers can heal as the water warms up in summer, allowing complete recovery. However, if the fungus infection takes hold and extends the area of skin damage, the fish’s ability to control the movement of water and salts in and out of its body is lost, leading to the fish’s death. UDN is not the cause of death; the effects of secondary infestation by fungus and other organisms is responsible.

Bio-security on some rivers – notably the Spey (on the advice of Marine Science Scotland) and the Aberdeenshire Dee – is being increased as a precautionary measure with the introduction of disinfection facilities for anglers’ equipment and fishing beat landing nets.

For further information please contact:
Dr Alan Wells, ASFB Policy and Planning Director

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Scottish ‘Angling Diary’ launched

CRF : January 31, 2012 11:32 am : Angling, Clyde Catchment, News

SFCC Anglers' Diary

No more soggy logbooks

A new online ‘angling diary’ for Scottish anglers has just been launched by the Scottish Fisheries Coordination Centre.  The website enables anglers to record information on their catches of freshwater game and coarse fish and share their angling experiences.

The Angling Diary has been on the wish-list of many anglers and fisheries managers throughout Scotland for years, and the new website has the potential to pull together angling records from across the country. more »

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Weir on it!

CRF : November 29, 2011 9:30 am : Black Cart Water, Clyde Catchment, Foundation work, News

Envirocentre surveyor at Bridgend Weir on the River Calder Nov 2011

The task in hand...specialist surveyor below Bridgend Weir, Lochwinnoch

The Clyde River Foundation is participating in a national barrier assessment project being co-ordinated by Rivers and Fisheries Trusts Scotland (RAFTS) and financed by SEPA’s Water Restoration Fund.

The Foundation’s scientific information is being combined with a site visit by surveyors and engineers from Envirocentre to assess the current state of fish passage and the prospects for its improvement at each of four weirs in the first phase of the project.  The weirs assessed in 2011 were on the Garrel Burn at Kilsyth, two on the River Gryffe downstream of Bridge of Weir, and at Bridgend on the River Calder, upstream of Lochwinnoch (pictured).

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Clyde in the Classroom floats online

CRF : November 24, 2011 3:13 pm : Clyde Catchment, Education, News

Clyde in the Classroom floats online (logo)

Clyde in the Classroom floats online (logo)

A new website dedicated to the Foundation’s Clyde in the Classroom primary school education project is now online at www.clydeintheclassroom.com

In the past 10 years, 12,450 children from 266 schools have taken part in the project which enables pupils to rear trout fry in a classroom hatchery before releasing them into their local river. Now the Foundation is keen to support the project with an online presence. The website contains resources for teachers including a downloadable project pack and project updates. more »

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Clyde crayfish barrier in place

CRF : October 11, 2011 5:18 pm : Clyde Catchment, News

Crayfish Barrier, Little Clyde

Jonathon Warren, Colin Bean, Nick Chisholm, Willie Yeomans, Matt Mitchell, Iain Miller gather at the completion of the crayfish barrier project

The first ever ‘crayfish barrier’ has been installed between the headwaters of the River Clyde and River Annan in a landmark attempt to control the spread of North American signal crayfish.

The barrier has been specially designed to stop the crayfish moving from one river catchment to another and represents a novel approach to the control of the species.

The signal crayfish is an invasive non-native species (INNS) that first arrived in Scotland in 1995 and has since spread to many river catchments around the country. more »

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Send us your news

CRF : September 29, 2011 4:42 pm : Black Cart Water, Camps Water, Carmichael Burn, Culter Burn, Daer Water, Douglas Water, Duneaton Water, Elvan Water, Garf Burn, Glade Burn, Glengonnar Water, Lamington Burn, Medwin Water, Midlock Water, Mouse Water, North Calder, Potrail Water, River Avon, River Gryfe, River Kelvin, River Nethan, Roberton Burn, Rotten Calder, South Calder, Wandel Burn, White Cart Water

Send us your news - Clyde River FoundationIf you are reading this, you likely have some interest in news from your local catchment.

You can help by supplying useful catchment-focussed information to this website. If you…

– are running a river-related event
– have concerns about the river environment in your area
– or simply want to share a cracking photo, video or wee story

….then please get in touch.

This website will always be a work in progress and we welcome relevant contributions from any angle around the Clyde catchment and beyond.[button style=”normal” color=”red” size=”small” icon=”info” stroke=”true” href=”http://www.clyderiverfoundation.org/news/send-us-your-news/”]Send us your news[/button]

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