Up at the apex with ferox

Posted on June 05, 2017

Not content with just completing his PhD in Evolutionary Ecology at the University of Glasgow as a part of the EU funded IBIS project, Martin Hughes has also recently founded Inspiring Ecology to meet the demands of local schools requesting opportiunities for ecological fieldwork and practical training. And next he's off to New South Wales to conduct outreach and community engagement.... streuth!

So, we are really glad that amongst all of this, he has managed to summarise the whole of his PhD on ferox, a fish he became instantly hooked upon, for us over on the WTT blog. Check out the further links to his other pages, papers and video....

Job Opportunity: Wild Trout Trust Assistant Conservation Officer

Posted on June 02, 2017

Salary £15,000 + pension contribution, mileage expenses and holiday entitlement of 5 weeks/year; initial fixed-term, 12-month contract.

The Wild Trout Trust (WTT) is a registered charity dedicated to the practical conservation of the iconic brown trout, a living indicator of the health of the landscape around us. Find out more of what we do on this website

WTT works with anyone interested in the conservation of wild trout, rivers and their wildlife, including other NGOs, fishing clubs, farmers, riparian owners, community groups, academia and government agencies.

Smolt Conference Videos Available

Posted on June 01, 2017

WTT supported an international Conference in Berwick in March 2017 that considered challenges to and management of salmon and sea trout smolts, organised by the Atlantic Salmon Trust and Tweed Foundation. Whilst much of the talk was on salmon, some papers considered sea trout and there was much to learn for us trout people from those papers whose focus was on salmon. Excellent videos of all the talks are now available through AST and the Tweed Foundation: Smolt Conference - All video presentations now available to view

Viewing is highly recommended. To highlight a few, Johan Hojesjo gave an interesting talk on sea trout in Scandinavia, one snippet from Swedish studies being that trout are genetically differentiated into fjord groupings, rather than by specific river, providing great adaptability for fish to be able to use any of the rivers flowing into a particular fjord. Catch the detail of sea trout smolts migrating downstream with roach, presumably to maximise chances of survival. Niall Gauld tracked sea trout smolts around Loch Linnhe and showed their propensity to stay within sea lochs, making them vulnerable to development in those lochs (e.g. salmon farms). Niels Jepsen spoke on the impact of cormorant predation on salmon smolts (and other fish) in Danish rivers, producing some incredible (and terrifying) figures on the scale of the impact. His studies have shown 70% losses of a smolt run at one (redundant) weir and the effect of cold winters, when freezing of shorelines and lakes pushes cormorants onto rivers – some of his video footage simply has to be seen to be believed.

Upper Itchen signal crayfish

Posted on May 30, 2017

Disastrous news from Dr Ben Rushbrooke at Hants &IOW Wildlife Trust that signal crayfish have been found at the very top of the River Itchen, at the upper limit of the known distribution of native white-clawed crayfish on the Alre, placing the entire subpopulation of the native species in very real and immediate risk.

Ben and colleagues are planning action but it is a timely reminder for anglers of the need for biosecurity: CHECK, CLEAN & DRY all your gear after every trip.

More info on biosecurity on the WTT website:

Friends of the River Worth group

Posted on May 30, 2017

Friends of the River Worth group

Philip Sheridan, committee member on the West Yorks Branch of Salmon & Trout Conservation UK (S&TCUK West Yorks) has gained agreement from Keighley BIG Local to draw down seed funding to set up a Friends of River Worth group.

The River Worth runs through the town of Keighley. Each red circle highlights a key crossing point. Big Local Area in blue.

The River Worth runs as a green ribbon through the centre of Keighley acting as a green corridor for wildlife. It might not look all that pretty in places but it has an abundance of wild trout, grayling, dippers, kingfishers and riverflies.

Looking upstream toward the A650 bypass bridge

Philip has monitored water quality on the River Worth since 2013 when he set up and coordinated a group of Riverfly Monitors on the River Aire and its tributaries as part of the work of the S&TCUK West Yorks ongoing commitment to help look after the region's rivers and streams.

Heptageniidae nymphs from a riverfly sample on the River Worth

James Carr

Posted on May 24, 2017

It is a great sadness to the fisheries world that the death of James Carr has been announced, aged 71.

James was a former chairman of Salmon & Trout Conservation UK and a founding trustee of the Eden Rivers Trust, among his many roles in UK fisheries management. Deep condolences to James’ wife and children from all at WTT.  


New guest blog on riparian invasions

Posted on May 23, 2017

As many of the invasive non-native plant species are raising their ugly heads along our rivers and streams, it is timely that we have a new blog from a young researcher wrestling with knotweed and balsam and their impacts upon salmonids.

Alex Seeney first qualified with a degree in Veterinary Science from the Royal Veterinary College but decided to change tack and get more ecological via a Freshwater & Marine Ecology MSc with our tame Prof, Jonny Grey, at Queen Mary University of London. There he honed his skills in freshwater invertebrate ID, contributing to the fascinating research in the thermal springs of Iceland that Dr Eoin O’Gorman reported for us in Salmo 2016. He is currently wading through the last of his samples at the University of Stirling, trying to identify: the influence of riparian invasive plants on the abundance, age structure and persistence of native juvenile salmonid populations; the impacts of riparian plant type and cover on fluvial hydromorphology and local habitat suitability; the mechanisms underpinning these changes, linked to the presence of riparian invasive plants where possible. He is also keen to assess the reversibility of these mechanisms.

Check out his work over on the blog.

WTT Conservation Awards 2017

Posted on May 18, 2017

WTT’s Conservation Awards, supported by Thames Water and the River Restoration Centre, seek to recognise and encourage excellence in wild trout habitat management and conservation and celebrate the efforts, ingenuity and imagination of all those involved. We want to hear about projects big and small and from every corner of Britain & Ireland.

There’s a trophy for every category winner, the recognition of your peers and a £1000 prize for each of the winners of the small and medium-scale projects.

Awards will be presented at a splendid ceremony in London on 17 October 2017. Further details here

New WTT Conservation Officer

Posted on May 07, 2017

WTT is delighted to welcome Rob Mungovan, on his first day (8 May) as a Conservation Officer. Rob will be working on the rivers across eastern England, with an early focus in Lincolnshire on the Welland and Witham.

You can reach Rob on and 07876 257058. 

New guest blog on whether watercress holds hidden costs

Posted on April 27, 2017

Asa White takes us back to the gentle chalk streams of southern England over on the WTT Blog in another update on current research from young scientists. And he's after some volunteers to help with electric fishing - fancy it?

Asa has been fascinated by aquatic organisms and habitats since early childhood. Through studying a BSc in Marine and Freshwater Biology at Aberystwyth University, and an MSc in Limnology at Uppsala University, his interests have become focused around understanding the impacts that perturbations – particularly anthropogenic  – have on the biodiversity, community structure, and ecosystem functioning of freshwater ecosystems. The goal of his current PhD research project at the University of Brighton is to assess the impact that watercress farming has on fish communities in chalk streams, with the ultimate goal of informing potential mitigation strategies.

In his words: I chose this topic not only for it being fascinating and perfectly-aligned with my research interests, but also for the great privilege of working on some of the most beautiful and interesting freshwater habitats on the planet. We couldn't agree more with the latter!

Chalkstream poetry competition

Posted on April 26, 2017

The Lincolnshire Chalkstreams Project is running a poetry competition, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and with support from Lincolnshire County Council.

The theme of the competition is 'Lincolnshire Chalk Streams'. Entries close midnight on Friday 14th July 2017.

There are prizes available for winners and runners up in 3 age categories.

Three month graduate placement, Lincolnshire

Posted on April 26, 2017

Fixed term 3 month graduate placement - Starting Monday 5th June through to September

The Lincolnshire Chalk Streams Project (LCSP) is looking for an enthusiastic and motivated individual to support the team. This is an exciting opportunity for a graduate to gain work experience within a challenging but supportive working environment.

The post holder will be expected to work alongside the Lincolnshire Chalk Streams Project staff to support them in the delivery of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant funded project ' Engaging the Lincolnshire Community with their chalk stream heritage'. This will involve helping to organise a number of events for a week long 'Chalk Stream Festival' between 21st and 25th August 2017 to include a number of family friendly events to promote Lincolnshire's rare chalk streams. This volunteer opportunity is a part of the HLF project with support from Lincolnshire County Council.

Beware fraudulent lots on eBay: update

Posted on April 14, 2017

A number of lots are appearing on eBay that appear to be WTT auction lots. Our auction has closed and we will not be posting any more auction lots on eBay until next year. 

These lots are fraudulent and have no connection to the WTT, so please don't bid on them ! 

We have reported the problem to eBay. If you have bought one of these lots, please contact eBay for a refund.

WTT advising local residents group at Holmfirth

Posted on April 13, 2017

WTT advising local residents group at Holmfirth

There are increasing numbers of local groups who are involved with caring for their local river. One such group is the River Holme Connections Group who aim to improve the River Holme for people and the environment. The WTT is increasingly supporting these groups with advice and practical training. The report below from WTT Trout in the Town Programme Manager Paul Gaskell highlights how an Advisory Visit can turn into a  wider involvement with local residents on how best to care for and improve their river.

Paul Gaskell said:  

‘Taking a novel approach to communicating the findings and advice from a typical Advisory Visit report seemed to be a hit in Holmfirth. Following an original report on what was good and what could be improved on the urban river corridor of the River Holme in Holmfirth, I suggested that the reach and impact of those findings could be extended.