Student showcase – Oskar Busse, Bournemouth University

“I took part in the parr tagging with the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust from the 24th of August to the 4th of September 2022. It was a great experience being able to work in the SAMARCH project and seeing first-hand how they captured, tagged, and released the fish. It was interesting learning about salmon and sea trout and how SAMARCH tracks their use of transitional and coastal waters. I was able to talk with researchers working in the field and learn more about their field of work. I would gladly come back and participate again.”

Student showcase – David Kamerman, Bournemouth University

“This summer I completed my 3rd SAMARCH placement. It was a different experience to the parr tagging I participated in last year, because this year we had a very dry summer and river levels were much lower. This meant many sections that were productive last year had little spawning, and there were even a few areas of the river that were too deep to be ideal habitat last year that produced unexpected parr because of the change in river levels. It was hard work and the weather was particularly hot on some days, however, I still had great fun and am glad to have been able to participate in the project again.”

Student showcase – Justin Schoon, Bournemouth University

“This summer working with GWCT for SAMARCH was even better than last. Although it’s my third time working with the organisation I always, without fail, learn new and interesting things and every time I work with them it makes me want to go into the fish and river conservation even more than before. I cannot thank both my team I worked with, including the other students, as well as the GWCT team as a whole enough and I hope to participate in the parr tagging next year again.”

Student showcase – Louis Fraser, Bournemouth University

Image: Louis with another student (Yums Cleary) during the summer placement.

“During the summer of 2022 I was lucky enough to spend 15 days taking part in PARR tagging as part of the SAMARCH project for Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust. I thoroughly enjoyed this placement, and it was a great learning experience for me.  We worked closely with some fascinating and knowledgeable experts in the field who were always happy help. During my time I learned first-hand about fieldwork activities such as habitat mapping, aspects of electrofishing and the handling and tagging of fish, and how to safely take scale samples. I learnt a great deal about the life cycles of salmon and trout and also obtained lots of knowledge regarding the many other plants and animals that live on the River Frome.  I would recommend this to anyone and hopefully will be back next summer!”

Student showcase – Justin Schoon

Smolt Run 2022 season

“I was privileged enough to be able to assist GWCT again this year, this time for the annual smolt run. It was thoroughly enjoyable working with the staff I worked with in the summer of 2021 again as well as a couple of staff I didn’t get the chance to work with. I started off working on days with Luke Scott and then shortly moved over to night shifts with Will Beaumont, both of which know so much about what they do and are never short of a story to tell. The rest of my time was spent doing night shifts with Rasmus Lauridsen who I learnt so much from and got advice from for the future. This was really important to me as I hope to go into fish conservation in the future.

Overall, a hugely enjoyable experience once again, and I would like to thank GWCT and SAMARCH for handing me the opportunity. I hope to be back again for the parr tagging in the summer.”

Student showcase – Aurora Duncan, Bournemouth University

“I thoroughly enjoyed taking part with the SAMARCH project in the summer of 2022. GWTC team were very knowledgeable and inspiring at how persevered throughout the challenges they faced. I’ve learnt a lot of skills such as netting, checking the health of juveniles, identifying a kingfisher mark, data entry on computer and scale packets.

I was educated specifically on salmon and trout life cycles, how to identify both fish and their ideal habitat to live. Unfortunately, due to the record warm summer this year and multiple other factors a lot of sites where an abundance of juveniles would be seen in the past, there were not to be seen this year. This is useful information to understand how to improve the habitats for salmon and trout.”

Staff showcase – Genoveva F. Esteban

My role as one of SAMARCH partners involves securing students from Bournemouth University for training in salmon and sea-trout research and conservation techniques.  Thus, I was thrilled when the tagging team asked me to participate in the work and witness first-hand what students and researchers do in the field. It was my first tagging outing ever.  Once at the river, I was handed (what probably was) the most hideous pair of polaroid glasses ever, and I reluctantly agreed to wear them.  Upon positioning them over my eyes … … voilà! ÇA MARCHE! The water glare magically disappeared, and the riverbed turned into a sharp and clear image.  I did not net any fish though, but absolutely loved the experience despite the long hours and hard work. Teamwork was impressive and students and volunteers were spot on.

SAMARCH student showcase – Antoine Escargueil

Next up for our #SAMARCH student blog is Antoine Escargueil, intern from Agrocampus Ouest (Rennes, France), Bournemouth University

” I participated in the parr tagging from 5 September to 15 September where we fished on different sectors of the River Frome. It was a wonderful opportunity to discover the world of fishing from a scientific point of view, as it was the first time I had done this type of work. I would like to thank my team and the members of GWCT who helped me learn so much about the subject. It would be a pleasure to do it again next year!”

World Wildlife Conservation Day

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December 4th was World Wildlife Conservation Day, which was a day dedicated to spreading awareness on the preservation of wildlife and their natural habitats.

Salmon are such an important species for marine and freshwater ecosystems, and they support many other species that live within these habitats. We can spread awareness by getting involved with research, participating in engagement activities and talking to people about the threats to our wildlife and how we can help protect them.