Volunteer: Salmonid parr tagging

Measuring troutDuring late summer each year, 10,000 wild juvenile salmon and 2,000 wild brown trout are tagged with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags. This is a huge undertaking for our small fisheries team, which means that we need a great deal of help from volunteers and students looking for experience in the field.

The GWCT along with CEFAS, which is a partner in this project, put together two teams of at least seven people to head out on a daily basis to the River Frome to capture, tag and release juvenile salmon and trout. Each fish is caught from a known 100m section using electro-fishing then passed to the tagging team where they are sedated, tagged, have length and weight noted and finally a small scale sample taken before being returned to the same 100m section.

Anyone who is interested in getting involved with this fieldwork should be physically able to cope with wading in rivers for the capture part of the work but also show attention to detail at the tagging table. All training will be given and each electro-fishing team is led by a member of staff with at least 14 years of electric fishing experience. All you will need is a pair of chest waders and some polarised sunglasses (so you can see into the water). Please bring your own waders if you have some. If not then we have a small number of waders available on request. Should you wish to borrow a pair then it is essential that you request this before arrival at East Stoke so that we can check for availability. Please bring a selection of clothes as late summer can vary from warm summer to chilly, blustery days. Although we don’t insist that people wear life jackets whilst out with us, one is always available to anyone who would prefer to wear one.

Commitment to this project can be for up to a week at a time, which is ideal for students looking for fieldwork experience. A week-long commitment would come with self-catering accommodation on site here at East Stoke available and a tax-free living allowance of £89 per week. This is in the student cottage belonging to the Freshwater Biological Association, which owns the site, but the cost of room rental will be met by the GWCT.

If you would like to volunteer or have any questions, please contact Luke Scott at ljscott@gwct.org.uk.