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 Exciting new Smelt Project - call for volunteers!

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Ed Randall

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PostSubject: Exciting new Smelt Project - call for volunteers!   Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:55 am

From Joe Pecorelli,
this is an exciting new project calling for volunteers to participate.


Happy New Year to you and everyone at TAC.

I’ve mentioned a couple of times the survey we are doing of the Thames this coming spring/early summer. The aim is to find out where smelt spawn in the tidal river so that we can raise awareness and try and get spawning sites protected from development and mismanagement. It will also give us an opportunity to record when and where other fry start to appear in the river during the period.

The project kicks off in March with two training sessions. The fish fry identification component of the training will be given by Steve Colclough who you probably know? He is ex EA and worked on the Thames for many years. He really knows his onions when it comes to fry identification.

I’ve attached more information on what we are doing and a flyer for the training sessions. I’d be grateful if you can send it round your members please? As ever, I’d be really grateful for TAC involvement on this one. Happy to provide more information/meet up and talk it through if it would help.

Links:
Smelt Citizen Science flyer
Further information
Smelt FAQs

All best, Joe
Joe Pecorelli

UK & Europe Conservation Programme
Zoological Society of London

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Charles Mills

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PostSubject: Re: Exciting new Smelt Project - call for volunteers!   Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:02 pm

Ed would love to be involved in this how can u apply ?
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Ed Randall

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PostSubject: Re: Exciting new Smelt Project - call for volunteers!   Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:25 pm

Basically, email Joe Pecorelli - email address in the "Smelt FAQs" document linked above.
Do let me know if you have trouble opening any of those links.
There's a weekly commitment to sample, and it has to be done at low tide, hopefully they will settle on weekend dates. Not sure I can commit to this one myself but if you can it's good fun doing these science projects (and provides a good reputational boost for TAC).

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Charles Mills

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PostSubject: Re: Exciting new Smelt Project - call for volunteers!   Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:12 pm

Just emailed him now so just awaiting a response
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Ed Randall

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PostSubject: Re: Exciting new Smelt Project - call for volunteers!   Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:34 pm

Nice one, thanks Smile I've just been reading one of Richard Crimp's articles, I reckon you should try to get the bit around Chelsea creek / Lots Road.
http://forum.rivertac.org/t126-through-grey-tinted-specticles-by-richard-crimp

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Charles Mills

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PostSubject: Re: Exciting new Smelt Project - call for volunteers!   Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:05 am

Been emailed back my training date is the 14th of March at chiswick Peir or the other option was depford creek
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Steve Holmes



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PostSubject: Re: Exciting new Smelt Project - call for volunteers!   Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:05 am

Saw the EA catch loads of smelt in the nets at Battersea, they were right at the head of the incoming tide. Literally within 1 minute of the turn of the tide.

What I also remember about them is they live only a couple of minutes in a bucket, even with an aerator. They seem to need a lot of oxygen and are very sensitive to water quality.

Also remember Jeff Kennett saying he knows someone who caught smelt float fishing in Sunbury! Shocked
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Keith Collett

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PostSubject: Re: Exciting new Smelt Project - call for volunteers!   Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:43 am

eye could properly go, but need someone to give me a bunk up there and back or pick me up along the rout some were then drop me of some where, far, far away cheers
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Ed Randall

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PostSubject: Re: Exciting new Smelt Project - call for volunteers!   Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:22 pm

Dear TAC,

This week we held our Smelt Celebration Event at ZSL London Zoo to launch the major outputs of our 2-year Smelt Conservation Project in the Tidal Thames. Although you were unable to attend the event, I wanted to share the key outputs of the project with you.

Smelt survey results:

During the project we caught a total of 455 smelt fry and 28 smelt eggs, using two survey methods: ichthyoplankton netting (towing a micromesh plankton net just below the water surface to catch very small smelt fry) and seine netting (encircling an area of water by the foreshore with a sheet of net to catch all the fish in the enclosed area). These data have been used to narrow down the most likely smelt spawning location to a 600m stretch of the Thames by Wandsworth Bridge. We have also shown that smelt are likely to spawn over an elongated period of 5 weeks from the beginning of March and provided information on smelt growth rates in the region. In addition, over 70 citizen scientists helped throughout the project to understand the ecology of a number of fish species in the region. Find out more here.

Tidal Thames Guidance Document:

Over the course of the project, we realised that fish were often under-represented in local strategy documents and in some Biodiversity Action Plans. To fill this gap, we produced a Guidance Document to Conserve Tidal Thames Fish through the Planning Process to provide a single point of reference for information relating to fish conservation in the Tidal Thames. This document was developed through feedback from multidisciplinary stakeholders and will be used during the planning process to better conserve fish in the region. We would really appreciate your help sharing this document with colleagues/partners who you think would be interested. Download a copy here.

Smelt Historical Research

A group of research volunteers looked into the importance of the historical smelt fishery to London, particularly during the early nineteenth century. This information has been condensed into the Thames Times, but more detailed accounts can be found on the Riverpedia pages.

ZSL’s Tidal Thames Film

Find out more about ZSL’s conservation work in the Thames by watching our new film, which follows a range of projects in the Thames region. Further information on ZSL’s Thames Fish conservation work can be found at www.zsl.org/thamesfish

We will be publishing these outputs on our website and through social media (@ZSLMarine) over the next few days – so please do share/post if you are able to. If you have any questions, please do let me know.

Best wishes and have a lovely weekend,

Jo

Joanna Barker | Project Manager, Europe Conservation Programme
ZSL London Zoo, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4RY
Registered Charity no 208728

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