On Monday, as part of our survey of the river Worth and it’s tributaries, we were out kick sampling. This is a way of finding out what invertebrates (bugs) are living in a river.
Most river flies live as flies for only a short period, sometimes for only a day. However they may live as bugs in the river for over a year before hatching into flies. We want to know more about bugs in the river for two reasons. Firstly a healthy bug population should lead to a healthy population of their predators like Dippers, Wagtails and Trout. Secondly the bugs are a very good indicator of the quality of the river water, they are very sensitive to pollution so lots of bugs means clean water.
The invertebrate pictured at the top of the blog is a Stonefly nymph from North Beck. We had trouble identifying it because it is a much larger species then we usually get, we have not seen one this size before (about 25mm).
Sampling in this way is a great way to learn more about rivers and their ecology. It's also a return to childhood and messing about in the water! If you or your kids would like to get involved in this project please contact us.
All photographs copyright of River Worth Friends member John Tickner, except the Baetis nymph.