WTT Blog

Urban River Restoration: Gathering of Heroes 19/20

Posted on February 26, 2020

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Urban River Restoration attracts only the extreme end of ultra-dedicated conservationists. Here's a video record of insights shared at the 2019 WTT Urban Conclave. The video and blog include so many demonstrations of how to creatively achieve river habitat protection, restoration and public engagement that it should probably be a sold as it's own training course!

Upper River Test project

Posted on January 10, 2020

It is our experience that most river habitat projects take years to develop and come to fruition, but just days to deliver. But it isn't always so. This fairly large scale project on the upper River Test near Andover in Hampshire was completed in less than a year, assisted enormously by the support of the Envionment Agency (EA) and the landowner. 

It was delivered in November 2019 by the Wessex Chalk Stream and Rivers Trust (WCSRT), the Wild Trout Trust (WTT) and the (EA). 

Lost Youth

Posted on October 13, 2019


As the tail end of Hurricane Lorenzo was flinging rain against my window, I finally had chance to reflect on the electrofishing data I had collected during 2019. Many of the projects I have instigated since joining WTT in Yorkshire have included an element of rudimentary monitoring, mostly the assessment of the fish stock within a particular reach, and in particular with a focus on young-of-year (YOY).

How did the fish cross the road?

Posted on October 08, 2019

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It’s pretty clear that roads can be hard for wildlife to cross: lights, noise, and fast-moving vehicles pose challenges to deer, foxes, badgers, and other animals that might want to stroll to the other side.

But what about fish? Roads which cross small rivers and streams often create barriers that are almost impossible for fish to swim through.

Can stable isotopes reveal an impact of small scale river restorations?

Posted on August 05, 2019

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Remember Charlotte Pike, previously blogging for us re her MSc project with Ribble RT and part supervised by Jonny? We're delighted she has taken a bit of time out from her job now as Marine & Freshwater Project Administrator at the prestigious Zoological Society of London to summarise her findings.

It’s almost a year now since I completed and handed in my MSc dissertation, looking at the effect of river restoration on food web architecture using stable isotope analysis (SIA). Rewinding back to our previous post, Abbie and I were just about to embark on a trip to North Yorkshire, to conduct my field sampling and join the Wild Trout Trust at their annual get-together. We had an amazing time and were extremely grateful to the WTT for allowing us to be honorary members for the weekend. Following this...

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Trout Migration

Posted on June 23, 2019

Andy Ferguson has just published a fascinating paper that helps explain why trout migrate  -  to sea, within the river and from lake to river. He has kindly written this blog post to summarise his findings.You can download a copy of the paper from the Journal of Fish Biology here and a PDF version of this blog post here. Andrew Ferguson is Professor Emeritus at Queen’s University Belfast.

Click here for more information about sea trout and their lifecycle.

...The future's orange

Posted on June 01, 2019

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The Institute of Fisheries Management is in its 50th year, and has just hosted its 9th Specialist Conference in York on Fish, Flows and Climate Resilience. Jonny Grey went along on behalf of WTT to keep tabs on the latest research and perspectives.

One year on now the weir has gone

Posted on May 31, 2019

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A year has already flown by since we (me at WTT, Pete Turner at EA & Kevin Sunderland at Aire RT) worked in partnership to remove the weir at Coniston Cold on the Aire, North Yorks. I’m currently champing at the bit awaiting a bespoke permit from the EA to tackle another. The funding is in place. The owner has granted permission for full removal having seen the transformation at Coniston Cold. The next weir will present its own challenges… but more on that in another blog.

I wanted to focus on developments at the site formerly known as Coniston Cold Weir....

Wester Ross trout diversity and sea trout lice issues

Posted on May 27, 2019

Wester Ross trout diversity and sea trout lice issues

Gareth Pedley, our Northern Conservation Officer, recently headed even further north to attend a trout workshop in Kinlochewe, hosted by the Skye and Wester Ross Fisheries Trust (SWRFT).

The purpose of the workshop (supported by WTT) was to disseminate the findings from a range of studies undertaken over recent years in the Wester Ross area by Middlesex University staff and students and SWRFT, in addition to other work undertaken by the University of Highlands and Islands in Inverness.

Mayfly time!

Posted on May 08, 2019

Mayfly time!

The mayfly is the iconic river fly, loved by trout and anglers, for whom ‘fishing the mayfly’ is shorthand for having a lovely day by the river with fish rising everywhere and catching lots of trout on dry flies.

NoWPaS 2019 - a note from the committee

Posted on March 20, 2019

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NoWPaS, the International (formerly Nordic) Workshop for PhD and post-doctoral fellows working on anadromous Salmonids, is an annual workshop which consists almost entirely of early career researchers (ECRs) with a focus on PhD students. The workshop, which is organised by a committee of PhD students, allows a small group ECRs to present their research programme and ideas, along with any results that they might have already collected. WTT Research & Conservation Officer, Jonny Grey, was our man in the thick of it at the NoWPaS 2019 meeting, held at the Scottish Centre for Ecology and the Natural Environment (SCENE), the University of Glasgow’s field research station.