Riverfly Monitoring – A Multimedia CD-ROM Tutorial – Review
Please note: this article is now a few years old and I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the contact information below. I only continue to host the review for archival purposes.
A Guide to Riverfly Monitoring, by Dr Nick Everall and Doctor Cyril Bennett is a well thought-out, step-by-step guide to sampling invertebrate life in rivers.
This may sound an extremely specialist subject, but with a few basic pieces of equipment and an understanding gained from using this tutorial, I think many groups of people would see a benefit from being able to examine and monitor the natural food sources present in their waters.
The most obvious groups of people who would benefit are serious fly anglers, fishery managers/owners and anyone involved with aquatic ecology or conservation.
For the fly angler, knowing what insects feature in a particular river and knowing what they look like up-close can be invaluable when choosing or tying flies.
Whereas fishery managers and aquatic ecologists will learn which species will only inhabit the cleanest water, allowing water quality and pollution to be monitored in a simple, sustainable and cost-effective way. I also feel that really serious specimen anglers, with enough time to devote, would find it hugely beneficial to investigate what natural foodstuffs are available to the fish they intend to catch. This could lead to the development of new baits and techniques, giving the thoughtful angler an edge over others.
The main format of this guide is an interactive Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file. This is a printable, easy to read document with links to no less than 21 video clips, which each relate to a different aspect of the text. The layout is similar to a scientific paper – containing background information, methods, field reference guides and even a pre-formatted data results sheet.
This a well laid-out guide, with extremely informative text coupled with great photography. Topics covered start with the basics such as what to look for when choosing a monitoring site, which is coupled with six colour photographs which help considerably. Next are descriptions and diagrams of the methods you should apply, to achieve the most complete results. There are several video clips accompanying this part of the guide and they are most useful.
Once you have collected your samples, you must know how to effectively sort and identify them, a topic which is covered in depth with several more video clips and some superbly detailed macro-photography of the tiny creatures you can expect to catch.
Overall, this is a well-featured, professional and informative CD-ROM. It won’t appeal to everyone, but for those seeking a little more scientific insight into a fishery, be it for angling or conservation reasons, this is a great place to start. It is obvious from the quality of information that the authors are well practised in this subject and the photography, both still and video, is of very high quality.
Such a specialist subject as this requires all of these aspects in order to appeal to the widest audience. I’m now interested in adapting some of the methods I’ve learned from this CD-ROM and sampling the species present in my own pond.
The CD Rom now retails at £25 which includes VAT and P&P.
For further details contact Dr. Nick Everall at: email@example.com
or you can send a cheque made payable to Aquascience for £25 to:
Aquascience, Mapletrees House, Yapton Road, Barnham, Bognor Regis, West Sussex PO22 0BQ
Don’t forget to include your name and address for return delivery of the CD Rom (please state if an invoice is required)