Lincolnshire Chalk Streams River Monitoring

Posted on June 19, 2013

The Lincolnshire Chalk Streams Project (LCSP) is looking for volunteers to monitor riverflies on Lincolnshire's chalk streams. Funding is in place to provide a specialist trainer to train volunteers on the necessary survey techniques and identification of riverflies. Volunteers will be supplied with; life jacket, waders, first aid kit and the monitoring equipment needed. A handbook will be provided to each volunteer on the training day.

Training days:  Friday 30th August 2013 or Saturday 31st August 2013

Location:  Aby village hall, with practical work in the Great Eau between Belleau and Aby

Cyril Bennett, MBE

Posted on June 18, 2013

Dr. Cyril Bennett, a pioneer of riverfly monitoring in the voluntary sector, has been awarded an MBE for his services to conservation. Cyril first became involved with riverfly monitoring in the 1980s on the Hampshire Wey; his expertise in aquatic entomology is now globally recognised. Aquatic invertebrate monitoring is carried out by volunteers across the UK, making a real contribution to river conservation. Many congratulations to Cyril from all at WTT for this genuine recognition of his life's work.

WTT trains 140 people in practical river habitat management

Posted on June 10, 2013

WTT trains 140 people in practical river habitat management

Spreading the knowledge about how to manage river habitat is a really great way to ensure that more rivers are improved for the benefit of wild trout and all wildlife in the river and on the banks.Mike Blackmore, WTT Conservation Officer, has just completed a series of seven  workshops in the Middlesex and Hertfordshire area, funded and supported by the Environment Agency (Nancy Young and Rob Pearson).

Each day, a group of 20 participants were given hands on experience of a whole range of river management and habitat improvement tasks, including installing large and coarse woody debris, creating flow deflectors, cover logs and making brash bundles to  narrow the channel.  In between the hard work in the river, Mike explained the principles behind the activities.

Discussions over lunch included the process for getting permission for a project, and water saving ideas - a key message in this area of over abstracted chalk streams - and Allan Beechey of the Chilterns Chalkstreams Project took a kick sample of invertebrates and explained the Riverfly Monitoring programme. 

GM salmon and wild brown trout can interbreed

Posted on May 30, 2013

Brown trout and Atlantic salmon are known to interbreed in the wild and produce hybrid offspring (a 2005 study found that 18.48% of juvenile Atlantic salmon in a Lake District stream were trout/salmon hybrids.)  

A study has just been published demonstrating that genetically modified salmon can breed with wild brown trout, passing on their GM genes. They also produced faster growing hybrids that out-competed wild salmon, albeit in a laboratory environment. To read the study, click the link below:

Oke et al, 2013


Charter for Chalk Streams launched

Posted on May 28, 2013

The Charter for Chalk Streams was launched at an event held on the over abstracted River Beane in Hertfordshire on May 23rd.  The Charter follows on from a special summit last December. Chalk streams are recognised as a unique global asset providing a pristine environment for wildlife with rich clean water and high quality habitat. Some 85% of the worlds chalk streams are located in England and many in and around London have almost disappeared in normal weather conditions. Only a handful receives the high levels of protection that their conservation status requires.

The Charter is calling for a range of measures, including the introduction of compulsory water metering to reduce waste and cut unsustainable abstractions. The demands include:

  • A national designation of all chalk streams as Special Areas of Conservation
  • Reform of National Planning Rules to allow for meaningful objection to developments on grounds of lack of water resources
  • A primary duty on the water regulator Ofwat to promote environmental sustainability
  • Compulsory water metering and a national education campaign to reduce water demand
  • Less reliance on groundwater sources and clear targets for replacing aquifer abstraction with surface supply and storage.

The Angling Trust, Salmon and Trout Association and WWF are leading the lobbying effort to address the fundamental issue of water resource for chalk streams, supported by many organisations  including the WTT, Rivers Trusts and Wildlife Trusts.

Volunteers needed to remove Balsam on River Axe, Devon

Posted on May 10, 2013

Natural England have released funding for invasive speciescontrol onthe River Axe. Funding will support local coordinators in East Devon/West Dorset to organise catchment based removal of Himalayan balsam. However, volunteers are needed, interested individuals should contact John Bell at (rewards may be available).



New WTT videos on trout stocking aimed at fishing clubs

Posted on May 08, 2013

Two new videos with WTT Conservation Officer Paul Gaskell, aimed at fishing clubs and syndicates, are below (click refresh if the video frame does not appear).For more advice on stocking farmed fish, please contact your local WTT Conservation Officer. Phone numbers and email addresses are here.More information and advice on stocking is available on the website - click here.

The first film discusses how to manage your trout population in the river, to get the best value for money from the fish that you stock as well as helping your wild trout population.


Gloucestershire Coln restoration

Posted on April 26, 2013

Gloucestershire Coln restoration

Coln open day participants and wild trout

A stretch of the River Coln in Gloucestershire has been transformed from a previously straight, uniform section of water into a meandering river with ideal habitat for fish. Work included adding gravel to the river bed where trout can spawn, creating a series of pools and turning an old mill race into a fish pass, allowing trout to swim upstream past a weir.

The restoration was showcased at a recent open day hosted by educational charity The Ernest Cook Trust with Vaughan Lewis of the Cotswold Rivers Trust, the Environment Agency, the Wild Trout Trust and Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. The day was supported by the Wild Trout Trust, with WTT Conservation officer and habitat restoration expert Andy Thomas on hand to explain the habitat restoration techniques used by the WTT (click here for more information on habitat restoration for wild trout). 

Environment Agency Job vacancy

Posted on April 22, 2013


Job vacancy in EA Anglian Region. 

An interesting job opportunity has arisen in EA's Anglian Region: click here for further information. WTT is working closely with the team in this patch (for example on the Welland and Witham) and we look forward to keeping that relationship going with the new employee, when in post.

Mayfly in the classroom spreads its wings in 2013

Posted on April 15, 2013

2013 has seen a significant increase in the uptake of Mayfly in the Classroom (MiC) by schools and organisations (click here for MiC information). So far, the following orgnisations and individuals have been trained, supplied and helped by the WTT to kick start their own classroom projects with local schools:

Scotland: RAFTS, West Sutherland Fisheries Trust, Cromarty Firth Fisheries Trust, Ness and Beauly Fisheries Trust, Moray Firth Fisheries Trust, Wester Ross Fisheries Trust, Dee Fisheries Trust

Wales:  Llangattock Primary School, Our Lady St Michaels Primary School, the Wye and Usk Foundation & local volunteers.

River Annan Angler monitoring days

Posted on April 11, 2013

The River Annan FT has been using anglers to monitor fish stocks on the River for a number of years. This has helped the Fisheries Trust to better understand the river's stock structure. This Spring and early Summer, the focus of the excercise is on the brown trout fishery, in particular what size ranges of fish are in different parts of the river. For more information and how to get involved, you can view the flyer by clicking here.

The event will be held over a number of days: 13th April, 11th May, 9th Jun, 14th July and 11th August

Habitat restoration and obstruction removal on River Gwash completed

Posted on April 11, 2013

Habitat restoration and obstruction removal on River Gwash completed

A project to remove an obstacle to fish migration and improve in-stream habitat has just been completed on the River Gwash (or Guash), Rutland.  The Welland Rivers Trust, Wild Trout Trust and Environment Agency worked together to remove a redundant sluice and reconnect meanders which were cut-off when the river was historically straightened.  The opportunity for the improvement was spotted by Tim Jacklin of the Wild Trout Trust during an advisory visit for Guash Fishing Club in February 2011 and suggested to the Environment Agency which provided funding to Welland Rivers Trust to develop and deliver the project.  Tim assisted with obtaining the necessary consents and Tony Rawlings of Welland Rivers Trust secured landowner permissions and managed the delivery of the project.

Caroline Tero, Fisheries & Biodiversity Team Leader at the Environment Agency in Lincoln, said, “This is a great example of partnership working at a local level delivering tangible benefits for the river environment.  The project complements the extensive improvement works taking place across the wider Welland catchment under the Water Framework Directive pilot project.”


Before:  Borderville Weir on the River Gwash near Stamford – a redundant structure blocking fish migration and impounding the river

Before:  The sluice structure at the head of an old channel alongside the weir

After:  The old sluice removed, diverting the river around the redundant weir

Before: Upstream of the weir, the straightened River Gwash, with cut off meanders on the far bank (amongst the bushes)

After: Reconnected meanders restore sinuosity to the channel.

SITA Trust funding for WTT project in Kent

Posted on April 03, 2013

SITA Trust funding for WTT project in Kent

The Wild Trout Trust and SITA Trust issued this joint press release today: 

Funding boost to improve wildlife habitat on the River Great Stour at Godinton, Kent.

A group of conservationists from the Stour Valley in Kent are today celebrating the news that it has received a £24,806 funding boost from SITA Trust to carry out improvements to the wildlife habitat of the River Great Stour at Godinton Park.

Diseased fish samples sought

Posted on April 02, 2013

UDN is a disease mainly affecting wild salmon, sea trout and brown trout. It usually occurs in adult fish returning from the sea and starts as small lesions on the scale-less regions of the fish, mainly the snout, above the eye and on/ above the gill cover. On entry to fresh water lesions ulcerate and may become infected. For further information please click the following link: 

UDN – Ulcerative Dermal Necrosis

UDN occurs in cold water temperatures only and disappears over the summer. The last major outbreak was in the late 1960’s/early 1970’s and caused huge losses in the wild salmon population.

Videos from the Loddon Rivers Week 2013

Posted on March 26, 2013

The South East region Environment Agency's Fisheries team organise an annual Rivers Week where volunteers learn practical skills in river rehabilitation from the experts. These videos show the Wild Trout Trust demonstrating techniques on the Rivers Whitewaterand Blackwater in Hampshire, during the 2013 Rivers Week. The volunteers come from the Angling Trust, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Sparsholt College Hampshire, University of Southampton, ADAS and local anglers.

You may need to click 'refresh' to see the video. 

For more WTT videos, click to go to our video hub