Electrofishing in the Ribble
This week, our Catchment Development Manager, Andy, and Catchment Assistant, Abbie made a trip over to the Ribble to see Adam Wheeler and learn all about electrofishing.
This is a method of surveying fish species abundance, diversity, and age structure in our rivers and streams in order to determine the best management practices for the area. Using an electrofisher, an electric current is passed through the water, encouraging fish into a net with ease to be identified, measured, and swiftly released. This technique causes no harm to the fish, and is a quick and effective way to build up a detailed picture of what is happening to the fish populations in our catchment, and any pressures that may be impacting their life cycles – particularly in migration seasons for Salmonids like Brown Trout and Salmon. While we are coming towards the end of the monitoring season for 2022, we are incredibly keen to see how this technique can benefit our River Restoration projects in the Calder in 2023 and beyond.
Whether it be weir removal or re-meandering, electrofishing sites before and after restorations will provide us with invaluable data on the health of fish in our watercourses and their ability to move freely throughout the catchment. With recent and pressing concerns about low water levels and rising in-stream temperatures, monitoring methods like this can ensure we are providing the best habitats for the species living in our catchment.
While we are still developing our approach to electrofishing, our River Health Project has a couple of months remaining in the Riverfly monitoring season for this year. If you’d like to find out more or sign up to be a volunteer – click the button below.