The Clyde River Foundation have been working for 20+ years doing scientific research on the Clyde and its tributaries as well as taking that knowledge into schools educating and involving kids directly. They make the river and its ecosystem come to life by bringing the river to them (Clyde in The Classroom) and taking them on to the river (Flying Fish). This week I got the chance to speak with Dr Willie Yeomans, lead of the Clyde River Foundation team, about a very exciting opportunity that’s seen children in the Clyde catchment area collecting Citizen Science data for a pilot project in collaboration with scientists from the Smithsonian Museum and others. They are helping to tell the story of the Clyde as part of “Salmon School” at the COP26 this month.
Salmon School, is a community engagement project by the internationally renowned artist Joseph Rossano. Salmon School takes to the global stage at COP26 to communicate the message that, iconic wild salmon are on a path to extinction. The Missing Salmon Alliance reached out to the Clyde River Foundation to take part in a pilot project using their experience in local education to involve 26 schools from the very top of the Clyde at Leadhills all the way to the estuary at Inverkip. By sampling the river with the usual techniques and the revolutionary eDNA to process a picture of where the salmon are present can be generated and hopefully any absences explained. All fish shed living cells as they move through the water, the eDNA process can tell you what species are present in the water where samples are taken. The information gathered on the kids trips between August and October has been sent to the US for processing with labs there.