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The Riverfly Partnership

The Riverfly Partnership is a dynamic network of 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. The Riverfly Partnership is hosted by the Freshwater Biological Association.


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'Thames Revival' on BBC Radio

Having been declared biologically dead in 1957, the river Thames has been making a real comeback. As well as porpoises, seals and the odd whale, over 156 species of fish currently live there.

The latest episode of 'Costing the Earth' talks about the monitoring and restoration work that has taken place. We are proud that many of the organisations featured are partners. They discuss the current status of the Thames, and what the future holds.

Image from the BBC website. The episode is presented by Helen Czerski, a physicist from University College London who is co-ordinating a large-scale study of the River Thames. It was produced by Alasdair Cross.

You can listen online here.

A small, silver coloured fish is held up in a clear container with a ruler lining the bottom. Three onlookers stand in the background. One wears a bright blue shirt emblazoned with 'The Marine Biology Association' above the logo of  a seahorse in yellow

A complementary suite of freshwater invertebrate based monitoring tools for citizen scientists

A group of people stand in a river and crowd around their nets as they check their samples, a grassy bank can be ssen in the backgroundAs the population continues to expand, and our dependence on the environment increases, it is more important than ever that we keep a close eye on the health of our water ecosystems. Thankfully, there are a wide variety of citizen science schemes available that enable people of all ages and knowledge levels to engage with and monitor the condition of their rivers.

Riverfly monitoring is a brilliant way for volunteers to carry out river health checks. Freshwater invertebrates spend the majority of their lifecycles as larvae living underwater, sometimes for years! The abundance and diversity of the invertebrate community present in a river is highly linked with the quality and quantity of the water surrounding them. This relationship means that invertebrates are excellent indicators of water quality which, when monitored, provide data that can be used in diagnostic testing. Similar to a blood test, by looking at what’s there and what isn’t, we can derive a wealth of information about their condition.

There are many Riverfly monitoring schemes around, so it can be tricky to understand why so many different schemes are necessary. To address this, together with our colleagues at Salmon & Trout Conservation, we have built a helpful one page document that explains how ARMI, the Extended Riverfly scheme (due to be launched nationally along the Urban Riverfly scheme at the 5th Riverfly Partnership conference at the Natural History Museum, London on 20 March 2020), Riverfly Plus and SmartRivers all fit together. They do provide different types of information for slightly different purposes, but are all hugely important in our efforts to conserve and protect riuvers and streams.

So, whether you choose to volunteer for one scheme, more than one or all of them, please know that your contribution is incredibly valued and from all of us at the Riverfly Partnership and Salmon & Trout Conservation, thank you.

For more information on ARMI and Riverfly Plus, including Extended Riverfly:

For more information on S&TC’s SmartRivers:

The Riverfly Partnership wishes to thank S&TC Smart Rivers Project Manager, Lauren Mattingley for providing this article


ARMI and Riverfly Plus on the River Evenlode

river invertebrate identification guides rest against a sampling net alongside the banks of an autumnal riverRead Earthwatch Citizen Scientist John Pratt's blog about how he is using Freshwater Watch and ARMI to provide evidence of water quality issues on the River Evenlode:

Riverfly Partnership Newsletter Vol. 4 Issue 3

image of a myfly on a green background with the words Volume four, issue three across it

Please Click Here for our latest newsletter. This issue contains information on the current status of ARMI, funding advice for coordinators, changes that may occur due to Brexit, and some details on the recent name changes of British mayflies.

If you have signed up for our newsletter you will receive this via email. In case you have not signed up but would like to, please click here.

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