Riverfly Surveying

Riverfly Surveying

Since 2013 the LCSP has provided the means to professionally train and equip volunteers to carry out regular aquatic invertebrate surveys on Lincolnshire’s chalk streams. The surveying is part of a national initiative by the Riverfly Partnership whom, have in the past, provided the professional trainer. We currently have over 40 volunteers regularly monitoring the health of their own bit of chalk stream.

New extended surveying technique launched nationally

In December 2020 an extended Riverfly surveying scheme was launched.

The scheme was developed in Lincolnshire by LCSP partners at the Environment Agency, who designed a system that adds to previous protocols, highlighting changes in water quality through recording invertebrates found living along rivers. Under the new scheme, their relative abundance helps those involved in river management to also assess sediment build up and changes in the rate of flow, and may pinpoint areas that require improvement.

Richard Chadd, Senior Environmental Monitoring Officer, at the Environment Agency said:

“Citizen science has always been invaluable in the process of managing the water environment, never more so than now. With this initiative, we will be able to use volunteer data even more effectively, to protect and enhance our rivers and streams”.

About the Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (RMI)

The Riverfly Partnership spearheads an initiative to allow interested groups to take action that will help conserve the river environment. This initiative provides a simple monitoring technique which groups can use to detect any severe perturbations in river water quality and puts them in direct communication with the local Ecological Contact of the Environment Agency (EA).

The Riverfly Partnership Riverfly Monitoring Initiative :
• enables an informed dialogue on the biological water quality of the rivers with the EA
• ensures that severe falls in water quality are highlighted ensuring early action by the EA
• acts as a deterrent to potential polluters
• builds a long term dataset for the rivers

The monitoring scheme, used alongside routine monitoring by the EA ensures that water quality is checked more widely and action taken at the earliest opportunity should any severe perturbations be detected. Further, the monitoring initiative acts as a deterrent to incidental polluters. Successful schemes are underway within catchments in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
For more information visit their website: