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.

New Conservation Officer for the Wild Trout Trust

Posted on April 12, 2017

New Conservation Officer for the Wild Trout Trust

The Wild Trout Trust has just appointed its seventh Conservation Officer, Rob Mungovan. Rob, currently an ecologist at South Cambs District Council, is a passionate river man, local campaigner for river conservation and trout fisherman. With 20 years of experience and many river improvement projects delivered, his professional and voluntary contribution to river conservation won him WTT’s Wild Trout Hero award in 2016.

Now, Rob has secured his dream job; to go out and work with angling clubs, landowners and the Environment Agency in Central and Eastern England, offering advice and practical help to improve rivers for wild trout and the habitats that they need.

Rob said, “I’m thrilled to be taken on by the Trust. For many years I have been impressed by the way they have been able to make a real difference at the ground level. They have improved great lengths of rivers, made weirs passable for many different fish and have been able to champion the cause to conserve the diverse wonderful wild trout populations of the UK.”

New guest blog on little weirs and little fishes

Posted on April 11, 2017

Jeroen Tummers takes the baton from Jess Picken over on the WTT Blog with another update on current research from the young scientists themselves.

Jeroen was awarded his BSc and MSc at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands,and then decided to undertake a PhD at Durham University on river restoration ecology. In particular, his research focus is the effectiveness of a broad range of solutions aimed at restoring longitudinal connectivity in fragmented river systems for fishes. He is currently working on an EU-funded Horizon 2020 project, AMBER (Adaptive Management of Barriers in European Rivers).

If you missed the earlier news item, WTT is keen to act as a portal for young researchers working on trout-related science to communicate their work with non-specialists. Keep tabs on the blog for further items such as the impacts of invasive plant species on salmonids, and find out what's wrong with watercress....

Slurry pollution incident in Wales - River Honddu

Posted on April 07, 2017

Another significant pollution incident in Wales, this time on the River Honddu – a tributary of the River Monnow. The pollution was caused by a failed slurry lagoon. This is the latest in a series of slurry related pollution incidents in Wales, including one on the Teifi in December that impacted 6 miles of river.

This is from the BBC News website:

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said the incident, near Abergavenny, is likely to have a "serious effect" on some rivers in south east Wales.

UK River Prize winner

Posted on April 05, 2017

UK River Prize winner

The River Avon in Hampshire, Wiltshire & Dorset has won the Nigel Holmes Trophy for the 2017 UK River Prize

Wild Trout Trust Conservation Officer Mike Blackmore was one of the team accepting the prize at the River Restoration Centre conference dinner yesterday evening. 

Well done to Mike and the Avon team. 

River Champions prize winners

Posted on March 31, 2017

River Champions prize winners

The River Restoration Centre has announced the ‘River Champions’ for 2017.  The awards recognises those who volunteer their time to improve rivers, and we are delighted to see so many friends and partners of the WTT in the list, including Vaughan Lewis who has worked with the WTT for many years in both a professional and voluntary capacity.



New S&TC Scotland film on the collapse of sea trout in Loch Maree

Posted on March 23, 2017

This important new film explains the catastrophic collapse of sea trout stocks in Loch Maree, once one of the world’s truly great wild fisheries, following the arrival of salmon farming in the adjacent sea loch. It’s a disastrous tale of a vibrant fishery, supporting a hotel and twenty seasonal ghillies, that, within a very few years, virtually disappeared. The 7-minute film, and the story of S&TC Scotland’s campaign in Holyrood, can be viewed here: