I'm very pleased to tell you that our application for a lottery grant to fund an Anglers Monitoring Initiative on the River Irwell has been successful.
We will be holding our first training day on Saturday the 23rd July - which is being organised by the Riverfly Partnership and Salford Friendly Anglers Society.
For those of you who've never heard of an Anglers Monitoring Initiative before:-
They are a a method by which anglers can monitor the biological health of the river. By setting up a programme of monthly testing of the buglife of the river at pre-designated sites we can establish what species of river bugs (pollution tolerant or intolerant) are found a each site, and the average numbers of key indicator species. We will use kick sampling the river bed to collect these bugs.
A high number of pollution intolerant bugs indicate a healthy river, a low number of intolerants and a high number of pollution tolerant bugs indicate that the river isn't as clean as it could be.
By building up monthly data about the insects which inhabit the River Irwell, we will build an independent picture of the health of our river, also be able to identify any pollution hotspots - and also to monitor the river on a long term basis to identify periodic pollution episodes and assist the Environment Agency in their long term restoration plans for the Irwell.
The initial group is going to be tutored by Louis Kitchen of the Riverfly Partnership, and Dr Adam Moolna of Manchester University has kindly volunteered his time to be group co-ordinator.
We will be running the first tutor group on the 23rd July 2011 at Burrs Country Park in Bury, and are looking to hold a second course (as numbers are limited to 12) in September - also at Burrs.
If you would like to join us and take part in the River Irwell Anglers Monitoring Initiative, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or come to our meeting next Tuesday the 21st June 2011 at the Kings Arms Salford.
The cost of the course is over £300 per delegate including sampling equipment - but thanks to our national lottery grant - we can reduce this cost to only £25 per delegate. If you would like to take part - but cant afford £25 please let me know, and we will accommodate you.
We have intially identified 14 spots along the river where we would like to take regular samples (from Waterfoot - down the the City Centre).
Some of the chaps from Bolton Fly Tyers have very kindly offered to join us to sample the Bolton Rivers (Croal, Eagley and Bradshaw Brook), I think we have a couple of members interested in the Roch, Irk and Medlock - so between us all, we can get a very good set of data covering all of the North Manchester area.
Please join us - it will be a very worthwhile and rewarding project.