Fish Monitoring Training Seminar: Sperchios River

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Fish Monitoring Training Seminar: Sperchios River

27-28-29 April 2015 Loutra Ipatis, Spearchias River, Greece.

Standardization of river fish samples for monitoring is important for research, conservation and management of inland aquatic ecosystems. In Greece, intensive monitoring of fish species in rivers has only begun to be implemented in the last 15 years of the Water Framework Directive. We are grateful for many collaborations with European institutions and experienced professionals and we strive to improve our methods for better control practices.

Four research groups and their students gathered for a mini-workshop on electrofishing rapid assessment techniques on the Sparsias River in central Greece. This was a closed meeting (not open to the public) - only selected people who currently use the National Surveillance Network's surveillance protocols will attend. 17 people participated from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Institute of Fisheries Research (INALE), University of Ioannina and HCMR.
This training initiative was led by members of the Institute of Marine Biological Resources and the Inland Waters - Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR).

The workshop consisted of study sessions where the HCMR protocol was discussed in detail and various discussions were held. We focused on the field shape we completed for monitoring and collected good occupancy/pressure data during sampling. We discussed the use of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the use of data from the Habitats Directive. Field samples were taken at two locations on the river. Members of various academic groups used a rapid assessment protocol to demonstrate technology and best practices on a particularly challenging stretch of river. Sampling was carried out in the central part of the main branch of the river (at Loutra-Ipatis bridge and downstream of Kastri village). The river is wide now. Now cold melt water, cold, fast river.

Our rapid sampling method requires more effort to sample this water, although it should be done with more than one positive electrode to achieve the best efficiency. We stock five species of fish in these central sections: Vardar mullet, Greek barbel, spruce barbel, spurlin mullet and marathon fish. Geometry of rivers without consideration of flood patterns. The walls are still under construction. There is garbage everywhere. Anyway….

Thanks to the hotel for hosting us and accommodating all our needs, including converting the hall into a small hall/classroom. The Alexakis Hotel ( ) in Loutra Ipatis is the perfect base!

Anyone interested is welcome to download the Quick Assessment Guide and Field Protocols here.

I am posting some pictures we took; It was a great few days with like minded and enthusiastic people who love their rivers and know their fish!

Gasoline Electric Burner Bag. Vasilis Tachus explains the requirements for taking a sample from the site.

First Location: Below the Lotra Ipatis Bridge.

Below the Lutra-Ipatis Bridge.

Downstream of the Loura Ipatis Bridge (in the background).

 Electric hunting bag with batteries. The Ioannina, Thessaloniki and HCMR team are working together.
Group work on field protocol. Very hot day! 
Second location: below the village of Stri, near the confluence of the Vistritsa tributary.

Jimmy K and Alexandros look at the generator while the others scan the site.

Argyris Sabunidis, Jimmy (also known as Dimitris Kommats) and Nicolas Koutikas use the beach generator.

Nektarios Kalaitsakis takes care of the electrical wiring of the generator.

Protocol leaders: Emilia Panagiotis, Leonidas Vardakas and Nektarios.

Fardar Pat.
Barbell Specius.

Spirlin from Sperchios.
Fotis Arabaglou in conversation with workshop leader Vassilis Tahs.

Classroom environment: protocols on hand, hot coffee.
Alisibiades Economou, Director of Research, HCMR.
Preparation tools Anti, Photis, Yorgos, Argyris.
The confluence of the Visrica with the Spercius River in the village of Castres.
Alexakis is located in Lotra Ipatis, a village of Fyotiida near Lamia and very close to the beautiful Sperchios.

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