The Grayling Research Trust

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.