European grayling. Photo courtesy of Bob Wellard.
Recent WGTS annual surveys indicate that the grayling population continues to decline: 2019 yielded the lowest number of grayling since surveys began in 1996.
The Grayling Research Trust, The Piscatorial Society and Wessex Water have funded a six-month project to identify drivers of this decline including changes in habitat type and quality, water quality and quantity, and prey sources. We will also investigate the influence of brown trout on grayling populations, as trout have increased in numbers during the last few years perhaps due to their greater resilience/plasticity, or because river management strategies might be creating habitat favoured by trout. Jessica Marsh will lead this project.