The Grayling Research Trust is a sister organisation of the Grayling Society and funds or part funds important research projects solely in regard to Grayling.  Steve Rhodes Go Fly Fishing UK co-proprietor has been a Trustee of the Grayling Research trust from its very early days nearly 20 years ago.

In recent years the two most notable projects have been a Grayling Genetic Survey and a Grayling Swimming Speed survey, the Genetic Survey in particular has greatly influenced Environment Agency thinking about Grayling and played an important part in policy and guidelines in the latest Environment Agency Trout and Grayling Strategy.

The Genetic Survey involved something the Grayling Research Trust refer to as “Citizen Science”, members of the Grayling Society, just “ordinary” anglers, were asked to take a small sample of the adipose fin of each grayling they caught and these were DNA tested and provided invaluable information in regard to the individual strain and likely origin in each river sampled. In total over 10,000 individual samples were taken from grayling from 29 different rivers throughout the UK.

The two latest “Citizen Science” initiatives are a Grayling Spawning Survey and a Grayling Weight Survey and Grayling anglers can participate by collecting data and record this via the Grayling Research Trust website.  You do not need to be a member of the Grayling Society to participate.

The Grayling Spawning Survey will provide valuable information throughout the UK and Europe as to the timing of Grayling spawning, (by sightings), and how this varies between the north and the south and from country to country, there is relatively little known about this at the moment.  In the UK Grayling would normally spawn anytime between the end of March and early May.  Generally grayling would be expected to spawn earlier in the south because of the temperature differences although there maybe exceptions such as chalk streams which have a constant (cooler) temperature and shorter rivers which tend to warm up more quickly.  It is also believed that day length/sunlight levels may have some influence.

Below are 2 pictures of Grayling spawning in Sweden, these were kindly supplied to the Trust by Lennart Grann and photographed by Jan-Ake Fritzon on the River Gagnan near Habo. 

Grayling Spawning 2

 

Grayling Spawning 3

The Grayling Weight Survey should provide useful information as to how the length/weight or “condition factor” varies from river to river and from country to country, there will be seasonal variations such as food availability and the onset of spawning.  At the moment there is little information on the condition factor of grayling and the study will be used to gain a better understanding of Grayling populations.

For more information visit the Grayling Research Trust website, http://www.graylingresearch.org/, your help with this valuable research would be much appreciated.