Good water quality is essential for a healthy river – monitoring what runs into the river, and surveying what lives in it, provides invaluable data on its current status.
ARK’s trained volunteers are regularly monitoring 48 sites on the River Kennet and its tributaries to assess the population of eight key indicator species of freshwater invertebrates that are sensitive to pollution. Riverfly monitoring is a national initiative run by the Riverfly Partnership to assess the water quality of Britain’s rivers and to check for pollution.
ARK is the Riverfly Partnership hub for the Kennet Catchment.
These key indicator groups, which fall into the three main orders of riverflies as well as freshwater shrimp are:
- Ephemeroptera: Mayfly larvae, Blue-winged olive larvae, Flat-bodied larvae and Olive larvae
- Plecoptera: Stonefly larvae
- Trichoptera: Cased caddisfly larvae and Caseless caddisfly larvae
- Gammarus: Freshwater shrimp