FL09June - Page 11

The fisheries team at GWCT is set to receive a boost
from funds raised through a newly-designed badge
T h e s u p p o r t e r s ’ s a l m o n b a d g e,
unveiled last week, is on sale for
£9.99, with £5 from each sale going
towards the vital work carried out by
our scientists.
Based at the Salmon and Trout
Research Centre at East Stoke, the
team is trying to understand what’s
driving the decline in Atlantic salmon
numbers. The numbers and movements of salmon entering the Frome
each year have been recorded since
1973 and is one of the most comprehensive records of salmon movement
in England and Wales. Our scientists
work in collaboration with teams
throughout Europe to study the
global decline in salmon numbers and
what can be done to better protect
and improve stocks.
Head of fisheries Dylan Roberts
said: “We are delighted to announce
this new salmon badge, which is a
symbol of the work we do to better
protect this enigmatic fish. The funds
raised will go directly on our salmon
research at the centre.”
Currently fisheries scientists are
estimating the population of salmon
smolts that leave the river each
spring, in conjunction with the tag
readers installed, through the Rotary
Screw Trap (RST).
The trap is positioned in the river
near our research centre each spring
from late March to mid-May where it
operates 24/7 – but counting has
proved tricky due to the high flows
caused by the wettest winter in years.
The RST works by using the river
Trust puts pressure on
EA to tackle floating
The Angling Trust is putting pressure on the
Environment Agency to take a more coordinated approach to tackling floating pennywort, a highly destructive invasive aquatic
plant. Pennywort roots in the shallow margins of lakes and lowland rivers and can grow
up to 20cms per day, rapidly choking the
water and threatening other plants and
wildlife, including fish. n
The new supporters’ salmon badge. Credit GWCT.
current to turn a large drum, which
guides the fish into the central tube
that funnels them into a holding box
at the end. The holding box is
checked every 30 minutes, day or
night, to avoid undue stress on the
fish. They are weighed, measured and
sometimes small fin and/or scale
samples are taken for genetic analysis, sexing and aging, and then they
are released unharmed.
Most smolts migrate at night or
during floods when the river is
coloured. It is hypothesised that this
behaviour is an active decision and/or
an adaptive strategy to take advantage of increased food, to reduce predation risk or both.
To support their work, you can buy
a badge here www.gwct.org.uk/
salmonbadge n
Trust helps anglers
gain parking charge
Anglers at Lee Valley Park in Essex
have secured a better car parking
deal, thanks to the Angling Trust and
local MP Charles Walker. An annual
permit will now cost £20 instead of
the new charge of £50. n
Minister sees damaging effect of pennywort
Biosecurity Minister Lord Gardiner met the Angling Trust and Environment
Agency to see at first hand the damaging effect floating pennywort is having on
our waterways. His visit to Little Britain Lake in Hillingdon came during the
recent Invasive Species Week, aimed at encouraging anglers and boaters to
avoid spreading non-native species. n


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