Volunteers needed to help with beck surveys

PUBLISHED: 31/07/2014
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Have you ever wondered what is living in your becks and rivers? The Tees Rivers Trust is calling for volunteers to help them to investigate a number of the smaller becks in Teesdale.

 With funding from the Heart of Teesdale and private donations, the Trust has recently bought an electrofishing backpack to carry out fish surveys in the becks. The Trust’ Fisheries and Farming Advisor, Richard Holmes said, ‘This is a very quick and effective way of assessing the health of a waterbody. It is fascinating to see what lies beneath at the press of a button and is safe for the fish, as well as the operators!’.

 

By running a small current through the water, fish become momentarily stunned and are netted and put in buckets to recover. They are then measured and returned. The fish population is assessed against the number and variety of invertebrates in the river as well as the quality of the habitat. This all helps to pinpoint areas where there are problems and where further work needs to be carried out.

 

The Trust will be surveying becks within the Heart of Teesdale Partnership area and are offering volunteers training and the chance to help them do the electrofishing surveys as well as Riverfly training to carry out invertebrate surveys. If you have a beck flowing through your village or garden and would like to find out more about it, the Trust will be able to help you establish a monitoring regime for it.

 

‘We will be electrofishing on Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout August and September’, said Richard. ‘The surveying will take place throughout the day and we will need people to be able to commit to do a full day to make the most of the summer weather’.

 

Training will take approximately 3hours and will be held on evenings and weekends throughout August. If you are interested in finding out more and getting involved with the surveys, please call Richard Holmes on 07879 648354 or email richard.holmes@teesriverstrust.org

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