Reviewed by Andrew Kennedy
Guide to Riverfly Monitoring, by Dr Nick Everall and Doctor Cyril
Bennett is a well thought-out, step-by-step guide to sampling invertebrate
life in rivers.
This may sound an extremely specialist subject, but with a few basic
pieces of equipment and an understanding gained from using this tutorial,
I think many groups of people would see a benefit from being able
to examine and monitor the natural food sources present in their waters.
The most obvious groups of people who would benefit are serious fly
anglers, fishery managers/owners and anyone involved with aquatic
ecology or conservation.
For the fly angler, knowing what insects feature in a particular river
and knowing what they look like up-close can be invaluable when choosing
or tying flies.
Whereas fishery managers and aquatic ecologists will learn which species
will only inhabit the cleanest water, allowing water quality and pollution
to be monitored in a simple, sustainable and cost-effective way. I
also feel that really serious specimen anglers, with enough time to
devote, would find it hugely beneficial to investigate what natural
foodstuffs are available to the fish they intend to catch. This could
lead to the development of new baits and techniques, giving the thoughtful
angler an edge over others.
The main format of this guide is an interactive Adobe Acrobat (PDF)
file. This is a printable, easy to read document with links to no
less than 21 video clips, which each relate to a different aspect
of the text. The layout is similar to a scientific paper - containing
background information, methods, field reference guides and even a
pre-formatted data results sheet.
This a well laid-out guide, with extremely informative text coupled
with great photography. Topics covered start with the basics such
as what to look for when choosing a monitoring site, which is coupled
with six colour photographs which help considerably. Next are descriptions
and diagrams of the methods you should apply, to achieve the most
complete results. There are several video clips accompanying this
part of the guide and they are most useful.
Once you have collected your samples, you must know how to effectively
sort and identify them, a topic which is covered in depth with several
more video clips and some superbly detailed macro-photography of the
tiny creatures you can expect to catch.
Overall, this is a well-featured, professional and informative CD-ROM.
It won't appeal to everyone, but for those seeking a little more scientific
insight into a fishery, be it for angling or conservation reasons,
this is a great place to start. It is obvious from the quality of
information that the authors are well practised in this subject and
the photography, both still and video, is of very high quality.
Such a specialist subject as this requires all of these aspects in
order to appeal to the widest audience. I'm now interested in adapting
some of the methods I've learned from this CD-ROM and sampling the
species present in my own pond.
The CD Rom now retails at £25 which includes VAT and P&P.
For further details contact Dr. Nick Everall at: firstname.lastname@example.org
or you can send a cheque made payable to Aquascience for £25
Aquascience, Mapletrees House, Yapton Road, Barnham, Bognor Regis,
West Sussex PO22 0BQ
Don't forget to include your name and address for return delivery
of the CD Rom (please state if an invoice is required)