River fly and water quality monitoring
Working with the West Country River Trust (WRT) and the River Fly Partnership, the Association now has a team of trained volunteers and has agreed a programme of sampling sites throughout the river to provide comprehensive monitoring of river fly life and water quality, to provide a long-term measure of the health of the river.
A training session was held with WRT in September 2018 on Water Quality Training, using equipment to measure a range of indicators, such as nitrate and phosphate levels, suspended solids, turbidity and dissolved oxygen.
In October 2018, a training day was organised with the Anglers' Riverfly Monitoring Initiative ('ARMI') to train a group of volunteers in freshwater invertebrate surveys to enable them to measure the riverfly populations up and down the river. These surveys focus on three key groups of riverflies: the up-wing flies or mayflies (Ephemeroptera), caddisflies or sedges (Trichoptera) and stoneflies (Plecoptera). These groups are affected by many factors, predominately water quality, habitat diversity, water level and flow rate, and are powerful biological indicators to the overall health of the river.
Members are also encouraged to report any water pollution or other environmental incident to the Environment Agency as soon as possible. Using the Environment Agency’s Incident Hotline 0800 807060.