Riverfly Surveys

Riverfly Surveying. Photo: Essex Wildlife Trust

Riverflies, along with other freshwater invertebrates, are at the heart of the freshwater ecosystem and are a vital link in the aquatic food chain. Riverfly populations are affected by many factors, predominately water quality, habitat diversity, water level and flow rate.  Their common characteristics of limited mobility, relatively long life cycle, presence throughout the year and specific tolerances to changes in environmental conditions make them powerful biological indicators to monitor water quality, and are commonly referred to as 'the canary of our rivers'.

The monitoring scheme, used alongside routine monitoring, ensures that water quality is checked more widely and action taken at the earliest opportunity should any severe problems be detected. Further the monitoring initiative acts as a deterrant to incidental polluters. Successful schemes are underway within catchments in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

The Riverfly Partnership is a network of nearly 100 partner organisations, representing anglers, conservationists, entomologists, scientists, water course managers and relevant authorities, working together to: - protect the water quality of our rivers; - further the understanding of riverfly populations; - and actively conserve riverfly habitats. More information can be found at www.riverflies.org.

Training Required?                  Yes - Provided by Essex Wildlife Trust

Skills needed?                         Driving license may be useful

Equipment needed?                Wellies required - all other equipment provided