As part of the Something Fishy Project, 5th & 6th class went to Dromore Woods on the 18th of June for our field trip.
Upon arrival, Dave and Ray gave us a safety talk and explained to us that we would have to decontaminate our footwear. This was to ensure that no invasive species would enter the ecosystem.
For our first activity we examined kick samples of the river bed. This allowed us to determine whether or not the river was healthy. We examined various bugs such as Caddis Fly, shrimp, Mayfly, Stone fly, Louse, water beetles, blood worms and Stone Roach, a species of cat fish.
The health of a river is rated from Q1-Q5, with 1 being the unhealthiest and 5 being the healthiest. Our findings determined that it was a healthy river, somewhere between Q4 and Q5.
Ray and Dave explained what electrofishing is and when it is used. Electrofishing is when a small electric current is used to stun the fish and paralyze them for a short period of time; this allows them to catch them with a net. They entered the river and we saw them catching some fish. At one point, their equipment fell into the river and our teacher rescued it. When they returned to the river bank we examined the fish that they caught. They were; salmon fry, eel, perch, roach and a frog. We got to feel and hold the fish before we released them.
Before we went home we had to decontaminate our footwear again.
Over all it was a good day out and we really enjoyed ourselves. We would encourage other teachers and students to take part in the course, as we learned so much about our rivers and lakes, the fish that inhabit them and the difficulties facing them.