Riverfly Partnership

The AMI Scheme

Nationally launched in 2007 as a Riverfly Partnership leading project, the Anglers Monitoring Initiative involves training volunteer groups to use a simple sampling and recording method to assess thebiological quality of rivers. The observations, usually made on a monthlybasis, record the presence/absence of eight aquatic invertebrate groups with the results being forwarded to a regional coordinator and delegated Environment Agency officer. In essence, ‘the Riverfly Partnership, in collaboration with local organisations, continues to lead the initiative to meet its core aims of working tohelp protect the water quality ofwater courses and conserve their riverfly populations, The Riverfly Partnership is a network of organisations committed to furthering the understanding and conservation of riverfly populations’.

The AMI through the East Yorkshire Rivers Trust

The EYRT became involved with the AMI at the launch of the scheme and sites in the general area of Driffield were included in the early days. During October 2011 are fresher AMI course was held at Foston Beck chalk stream, near Driffield, where ‘experienced’ monitors were updated on procedures and identification of specimens to a higher level of recognition.The course tutor was Stuart Crofts, are cognised authority on caddis flies, supported by Joanna Hood, the regional Environment Agency biologist. Additionally to the Anglers Monitoring Initiative, to gain a greater understanding of ‘river life’, a remote infra red movement triggered camera was mounted on an old brick footbridge over the Gypsey Race at Boynton for a week at the beginning of August 2011. From some 3500 pictures, many triggered by passing birds, rain, wind, etc., several sequences werenotable. The first was the appearance onseveral occasions of the ‘local’ kingfisher, not seen by local people since the very cold conditions of the 2010/2011 winter freeze. Being able to report the photographic sighting of a kingfisher was a pleasant task and shortly afterwards sighting reports from locals started tocome through. The second sequence of note was the ‘fishing’ pattern used by a heron. Apart from a regular pattern of movement around the edge of the stream’s deep pool, one picture shows the bird wading into the water and raising its wings. Suggested reasons for this behaviour include the prevention ofwetting the wings or to trick minnows intothe security of ‘overhead vegetation’. The River Seven at Sinnington is also surveyed by members of the local angling club, through the EYRT, under the AMI scheme. Here the methodology used by members was updated through an AMI course held in October 2011. The AMI courses, although instructive are also good fun and the sight of keen ‘samplers’finding different river organisms in theirnet, and asking about their finds, makes itall worthwhile. Again, the Sinnington survey goes a step further in that other ‘finds’ in the catch, such as deer fly larva, bullheads and stone loaches are takeninto account and add to gaining more information about the ‘living river’.

You can check if there is a AMI scheme near you by looking at the Riverfly Partnership map.

The Scarce Dusky Yellowstreak Riverfly - Yorkshire's Own

- Distribution map