Aquatonics Ltd can advise clients on the most appropriate sampling and survey techniques for a range of freshwater flora and fauna, eg:Aquatic mammals (especially otters and water voles)
Click on this link for photos of Freshwater Sampling and Freshwater Life
River surveys may involve a wide range of survey methods. One of the most commonly used techniques for sampling invertebrates in watercourses is kick-sampling. Aquatonics Ltd follows the protocol recommended by the Environment Agency for kick-sampling. Details of the Environment Agency method are available on the EA web site.
For surveys that require an estimate of densities of invertebrates we use Surber samplers, with replicate samples taken if the population density needs to be known accurately.
Fish surveys are undertaken by specialist sub-contractors who hold the necessary licences from the Environment Agency or other relevant authority.
Aquatonics Ltd can advise clients on whether surveys for protected species such as water voles, otters, great crested newts, Allis shad, Twaite shad, lampreys (brook, river and sea lampreys) southern damselfly,
white-clawed crayfish, Desmoulin's Whorl Snail, and freshwater pearl mussel. In some cases we would undertake the work ourselves. On other occasions we would bring in a specialist for a particular species.
REASONS FOR SURVEYS OF AQUATIC FLORA AND FAUNA
Surveys of aquatic plants and animals can be required for several reasons:
Conservation assessment, often as part of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
To monitor a new discharge or impact of engineering works.
To assess the damage caused by a water pollution incident.
To determine the location of a polluting discharge.
To assess the time taken for a stream or lake to recover from a pollution incident.
Assessment of the flow requirements of a river, for example downstream of a proposed dam.
To assess fish stocks.
Aquatonics Ltd staff are highly experienced in determining the type of survey that is required. For some pollution and management surveys it is sufficient to identify invertebrates to family level and use the BMWP score system to assess the impacts of organic enrichment. Usually it is better to identify to species level wherever practicable. In most cases it is advisable to consult regulatory bodies such as the Environment Agency, Scottish Natural Heritage, Countryside Council for Wales and English Nature. If necessary licences are obtained for work with protected species.
Dr Debbie Snook has recently joined Aquatonics Ltd as an Associate. Debbie has undertaken research on streams and rivers ranging from lowland England to alpine French streams fed by glacial melt waters. Debbie's CV is available here.
IDENTIFICATION OF INVERTEBRATES
For some pollution and management surveys it is sufficient to identify invertebrates to family level and use the BMWP score system to assess the impacts of organic enrichment. Usually it is better to identify to species level wherever practicable.
Many laboratories don't identify difficult groups like oligochaete worms, chironomids and water beetles to species level. Aquatonics Ltd has expertise in these difficult groups (either internally or through Associates) and is able to offer identification of the following aquatic invertebrates:
Dragonflies & damselflies
Diptera (especially chironomids)
Amphipod and isopod crustaceans
Crayfish and Chinese mitten crabs
LOCATION OF FRESHWATER SURVEY SITES
Aquatonics Ltd staff and Associates have worked on freshwaters throughout the UK, with some work also in France, Ireland and India. Many of the freshwaters that we survey are too small to be well known. Some of the better known locations are listed below:
Somerset Levels and Moors
River Nadder, a tributary of the River Avon at Salisbury
If you need an environmental or ecological consultant for freshwater surveys in the UK or abroad why not contact Aquatonics Ltd to see if we can help you? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that we moved our office in January 2001. Our full address is:
Aquatonics Ltd, Glenthorne, Searle Street, Crediton, Devon, EX17 2DB, UK.
Tel (+44) (0)1363 776456 Mobile 07971 258594