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Citizen science

Citizen science is the “systematic collection and analysis of data” or it is sometimes referred to as “public participation in scientific research”. Monitoring grayling populations through conventional fisheries techniques (electric fishing or netting) is often inefficient. Grayling although often seen during electric fishing surveys, can be difficult to capture. Good quantitative data from angling can therefore be of great value in monitoring and assessing grayling populations. 


As soon as an angler captures a grayling, a wealth of information is held in their hand; size, body condition, presence of predator marks, and sometimes sex and spawning condition, for example. Sometimes this information is recorded and filtered back to the angling club by an angling return card or club book, other times the grayling is returned and with along with it vital information on the individual and population. 


Many angling clubs record angler catch data, at least for salmon and sea trout, and sometimes for brown trout and occasionally for grayling, but often no use is made of this information, despite being recorded for decades. River trusts and other organisations are now beginning to recognise the importance of this information collected by citizen scientists (anglers). The Grayling Research Trust can provide help in setting up and analysis of angler catch data so angling clubs and organisations can monitor their fish populations.



GS Symposium Speakers

GRT Funded MSc, PhD Studies

Two degree project interim reports were among presentations at the most recent Grayling Society symposium. Both studies are currently funded by the GRT and both operate on a premise that alongside the intrinsic value of grayling as a game fish, their survival challenges provide early indication of problems that are or will likely become problems for other salmonids.


Stephen Gregory (Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust) described an MSc study plan for statistical mining of the existing Wylye Study data, questioning the effect of extreme climate events on grayling population dynamics. He emphasized that the GWCT now leads all processing aspects of the 30-year Wylye Grayling Study (WGS) dataset - the longest and most complete in Europe...possibly in the world.


Vanessa Huml's (Manchester Metropolitan University) PhD study is titled Assessing adaptive genetic variation for effective management and conservation of European grayling. Read her description of planned work, noting reference to new sequencing technology and reference to the four U.K. genetically distinct groups identified in the earlier genetic census funded by the GRT.


The two studies both look at grayling population health/stability under extant environmental conditions but the doctoral work extends inquiry to genetic proclivity for survival ('evolvability').


Both investigators will submit detailed results for publication here after review in their respective peer literature.