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Freshwater Matters 
Upcoming FBA Training Courses 
River InVertebrate Prediction And Classification System (RIVPACS)/River...
Fish health, parasites and disease 
Date: Wednesday 15 October; Tutor: Roger Sweeting; Cost: £125; FBA member £100; Locati...
Amazon’s biggest fish faces threat of extinction 
One of the largest freshwater fish in the world, the Arapaima, is rapidl...
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Freshwater Matters from the FBA September2014

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Monthly round up of freshwater oriented articles and news

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Freshwater Matters from the FBA September2014

  1. 1. Freshwater Matters Upcoming FBA Training Courses River InVertebrate Prediction And Classification System (RIVPACS)/River Invertebrate Classification Tool (RICT) bioassessment training Date: Wednesday 1 - Thursday 2 October; Tutor: John Davy-Bowker; Cost: £350; FBA member £325; Location: FBA River Laboratory, Dorset During this two-day course delegates can expect to gain a thorough theoretical and practical knowledge of the latest version of the RIVPACS/RICT bioassessment tool. Delegates will be able to produce biological assessments to similar standards as used by the regulatory authorities for WFD compliance monitoring. The course will provide an background to bioassessment, biotic indices, RIVPACS models and RICT, standardised RIVPACS kick/sweep sampling, collection of time variant environmental predictor variables, principles of standardised laboratory sample processing and enumeration to required taxonomic level(s)*, collection of time invariant environmental predictor variables, manual calculation of observed biotic index values (examples of major indices currently in use in the UK), introduction to the latest web based RICT software and RIVPACS IV models, preparation of data input files, running RICT in classify, predict and compare modes, interpretation of RICT outputs, quality classes and diagnosis of stress. The course will include a demonstration of use of the RICT software. If you would like to the chance to practice using the software yourself, please bring a laptop. John Davy-Bowker is the Acting Director of the FBA and a knowledgeable freshwater biologist with considerable research and teaching experience, and part of the team continuing to develop the RIVPACS/RICT bioassessment tool. * Please note: this course does not cover invertebrate identification. Some prior knowledge of river invertebrate sampling and the principles of invertebrate identification would be beneficial. Freshwater fish: assessment of condition and ageing Date: Tuesday 14 October; Tutor: Roger Sweeting; Cost: £125; FBA member £100; Location: FBA Windermere, Cumbria This course is aimed at fisheries managers, fishermen and naturalists who want to know more about the fish that they see, catch or handle. Without recourse to dissection or detailed microscopy it is quite staggering how much we can piece together about a fish’s well-being and condition, its age and growth, life history and sexual development. This course aims to provide an insight into the ways of observing fish for these purposes. Roger Sweeting has spent many years studying fish health and helping to develop an understanding of how to improve fisheries for Thames Water, the National Rivers Authority (NRA), the Environment Agency and the FBA. September 2014 Freshwater Matters is a monthly electronic bulletin of the most recent freshwater news from around the world, compiled by the Freshwater Biological Association (FBA). It includes updates of what is happening at the FBA and ways to get involved. Contents What’s happening at the FBA? This month’s articles Stanford research shows value of clams, mussels in cleaning dirty water Fresh water and fracking Speed limits could save rarest dragonfly Growth drives UK flooding problems Amazon’s biggest fish faces threat of extinction Warts and all: Bid to save rare natterjack toads in Scotland Record-setting insect is bigger than your hand Australians called on to rescue dwindling river life Experts work to save rare fresh water pearl mussels in North Yorkshire Much mirth as Sweden ‘mourns’ its oldest eel
  2. 2. Fish health, parasites and disease Date: Wednesday 15 October; Tutor: Roger Sweeting; Cost: £125; FBA member £100; Location: FBA Windermere, Cumbria This is an introductory course for people wanting to understand more about the parasites and diseases of freshwater fish. It will include general principles of parasitology, fish physiology and some practical dissection and microscope work. Roger Sweeting has spent many years studying fish health and has a particular interest in fish parasitology. Invertebrate identification for biotic assessment (including examination) Date: Tuesday 21 - Thursday 23 October; Tutors: Mike Dobson & Simon Pawley; Cost: £600; FBA member £575; Location: FBA Windermere, Cumbria This three day course covers the identification of the freshwater macroinvertebrate families used for biotic assessment (BMWP, RICT, WHPT etc.). It is aimed at professionals with experience of identification, who wish to consolidate their knowledge. At the end of the course, participants will be examined on their identification skills and, if the required standard is attained, a certificate of achievement in family-level invertebrate identification will be awarded. This course is part of a series of FBA accredited invertebrate identification courses; future courses will allow participants to demonstrate their skills in taking individual groups of invertebrates to species level. Mike Dobson is the former Director of the FBA and now a Principal Consultant for APEM Limited, with extensive experience of teaching invertebrate identification at all levels. Simon Pawley is on the FBA staff and has taught on a range of FBA invertebrate identification courses. Mike and Simon are authors of the FBA publication SP67 Guide to British Freshwater Macroinvertebrates for Biotic Assessment, a copy of which is included in the course fee for each participant. For further details or to book a place on a course, please visit www.fba.org.uk/ fba-training-courses or contact us at events@fba.org.uk or on 015394 42468. This month’s articles Stanford research shows value of clams, mussels in cleaning dirty water Clams and mussels may represent a natural, low cost solution for dealing with pollutants in waterways according to research published in Environmental Science and Technology. The researchers subjected species of bivalves to wastewater with various concentrations of chemicals and found that within 72 hours up to 80% of pollutants had been removed. http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/august/clams-clean-water-081214.html Fresh water and fracking Rapidly becoming one of the most contentious issues in the UK, research published this month in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment examines the impact of fracking on the environment. The researchers identify the huge amounts of water needed during the lifetime of a well as a principal concern for wildlife. http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2503450/ fracking_us_companies_and_regulators_must_disclose_environmental_data.html Speed limits could save rarest dragonfly Each year thousands of Hine’s emerald dragonflies are killed by vehicles in one of the last strongholds of its population. Now researchers have found that imposing a 35 mph speed limit could help to save what is one of the USA’s rarest dragonflies. http://news.yahoo.com/speed-limits-could-save-rarest-dragonfly-113135029.html Growth drives UK flooding problems A study published this month in Hydrological Sciences suggests that the UK’s recent problems with flooding may be (in part) self-imposed. Using datasets going back to 1884, a team of researchers from the University of Southampton have found that the number of reported major flooding events has increased in parallel with population growth and building in vulnerable areas. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28871577
  3. 3. Amazon’s biggest fish faces threat of extinction One of the largest freshwater fish in the world, the Arapaima, is rapidly disappearing from its Brazilian home according to a new study. However, in areas where there are fishing regulations researchers report that there has been a marked increase in numbers suggesting that the take up of best management practice could safeguard the survival of the species whilst benefiting fishermen. http://news.yahoo.com/amazons-biggest-fish-faces-threat-extinction-041220074. html Warts and all: Bid to save rare natterjack toads in Scotland Researchers in Scotland are photographing the unique pattern of warts on natterjack toads in an effort to build up a photographic database that will help them monitor the rise and fall of the population over the years. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-28703591 Record-setting insect is bigger than your hand The largest aquatic insect ever recorded has been discovered in the Sichuan province of China. With a wingspan of 8 inches the new species of Ddbsonfly unseats the previous record holder, the South American helicopter damselfly. http://news.discovery.com/animals/insects/record-setting-bug-is-bigger-than-your- hand-140723.htm Australians called on to rescue dwindling river life Research published this month in the Journal of Applied Ecology calls on Australians to restore riparian vegetation in order to protect the rich wildlife of the country’s rivers. The research examined the dual impact of climate and land use change on aquatic systems, concluding that the two pressures are combining to form a “double whammy” of threats to freshwater species. http://phys.org/news/2014-07-australians-dwindling-river-life.html Experts work to save rare fresh water pearl mussels in North Yorkshire Experts from the University of York, the Environment Agency and the North York Moors National Park are working on the Yorkshire Esk to help the critically endangered freshwater pearl mussel. The group is giving mussel larvae, known as glochidia, a helping hand by bringing them into close contact with their salmonid fish hosts. It is hoped that this practice will lead to higher numbers of glochidia maturing into juvenile mussels and establishing in the river bed. http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/11416548.Experts_work_to_save_North_ Yorks_mussels/?ref=rss Much mirth as Sweden ‘mourns’ its oldest eel With the summer silly season well upon us the death of the world’s oldest European eel, who passed away after 155 years, spawned many jokes in its Swedish homeland. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-28721701 Please forward this bulletin to any of your colleagues who may be interested!

Monthly round up of freshwater oriented articles and news

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