Anyone who goes fishing, carries out river fly monitoring, does river habitat works, or indeed is involved in any other water-based activities, should be aware of the risks of transferring diseases and invasive non-native species (INNS) on clothing and equipment.
As a practical, hands-on organisation involved in habitat restoration (or angling!), WTT staff are at the waterside, every week, all around the country and so we adhere strictly to biosecurity protocols drawn up using the latest guidance from the GB Non Native Species Secretariat, and informed by peer reviewed research.
The basic advice is to ‘check, clean and dry’ all equipment and clothing. For a very effective, simple solution, the check, clean, dry protocol can be augmented with immersion of equipment in hot water (45C) for a period of 15 minutes (Anderson et al. 2015). This approach will even cope with kit like felt-soled wading boots which are notoriously difficult to clean and dry effectively.
Advice on the check, clean, dry biosecurity approach for anglers is available here
For more information from an anglers point of view, see this article by Stuart Crofts.
For more detailed information on the INNS that are currently affecting or are on the horizon to affect our waterways, including signal crayfish, Himalayan balsam, Japanese knotweed and killer shrimp, go the GB non-native species secretariat website.
There are some very good short presentations in the form of ‘e‑learning’ on the GB-NNSS website. You need to register, which is straightforward, before accessing a series of very interesting short courses on INNS.
Know your shrimp
The most comprehensive and useful guide to identifying invasive shrimp is probably that produced by the Freshwater Biological Association and is free to download along with many other useful leaflets.