The Association was successful during 2012 in obtaining a grant from Awards for All (Scotland) in order to start a riverfly project on the Glazert. Riverflies are an excellent indicator of the health of a river and can also provide an indication of pollution by their absence or reduction in numbers. As anglers we should also be interested to know what trout are feeding on with a view to ‘matching the hatch’.
This project commenced with a training course delivered by The Riverfly Partnership and members of the club were trained in riverfly identification, kick sampling techniques and recording procedures.
Kick sampling involves stepping into the river with nets and gently disturbing the river bed. This allows dislodged invertebrates to be washed into the nets and then placed in trays on the river bank when identification will take place.
The recording procedure involves categorising the contents of the trays into the following groups:
- Caddis flies
- Up-wing Flies (Mayfly, Blue Winged Olives, Olives)
- Freshwater Shrimps
Early sampling has shown that there is large numbers of all of the above flies except Mayflies (Ephemeridae). This is good news as it suggests that the river water quality is of a reasonable level and that there is plenty feeding for juvenile fish and other mammals.
For those who may be interested in matching the hatch the following flies will cover most situations:
- Hare’s Ear nymph
- Pheasant Tail nymph
- Various versions of Czech and Goldhead nymphs
- Waterhen Bloa, Snipe & Purple, Greenwell’s Glory or Black Spider
- CDC Emergers
Sizes of flies should be in 14’s or 16’s.
Glazert Riverfly Monitoring
The club was delighted to receive a grant from Awards for All in 2012 to commence a riverfly monitoring project on the Glazert. Riverflies are an excellent indicator of the health of a river and as they are susceptible to pollution, this can be a great way of identifying if a pollution incident has occurred.
A team of volunteers were trained in kick sampling and identification techniques by the Riverfly Partnership and this has allowed the club to start recording the fly and invertebrate population in the river for the first time.
The sampling sites used for the initial phase of the project are where the Pow and Finglen meet and also where the Kirk Burn and Glazert meet at the new bridge at Lennox Castle.
The team are looking for the following classes of insects:
- Up-wing flies
- Freshwater Shrimp
Initial monitoring suggests that the river has good amounts of all of the above. A notable absence seems to be Mayflies (Ephemeridae), although this is compensated by good numbers of Olives (Beatidae), Flat-Bodied Upwings (Heptageniidae) and Blue Winged Olives (Ephemerellidae). There are some large, fearsome looking Stonefly nymphs present which would make a fine lunch for a trout and fairly good numbers of Gammarus (Freshwater Shrimp). The monitoring team believe that this means that there is good feeding for fish and other animals in the river. The Association is therefore working to improve the habitat which should increase fish numbers and size in the river.
Monitoring will continue to be done on an on-going basis and we will continue to provide information as this is available.