Habitat surveys normally begin at the start of May, work is not undertaken prior to this date to allow spring vegetation growth on the river banks (the riparian zone). Bank side vegetation is included in the survey work as are other factors such as substrate (the make up of the river bed), flow rates, pollution, vegetation types, fish cover and several other points.
Once the data has been collected it is transferred into a database, which can then be used in a variety of ways.
Habitat data is very important from a Fishery Management point of view, allowing us to assess the “carrying capacity” of an area i.e. provides us with an idea of how many parr a stream/burn can carry or support. Ideal when assessing barriers to fish migration or opening up access to spawning fish.