A massive thank you to our interns!
A massive thank you to our interns!
We were very fortunate this year as we were able to take on two new interns, Megan and Jamie, who were given a whistle-stop and socially distanced tour of how a fisheries trust works. To start, our interns attended and successfully passed their safe use of pesticides and hand held spraying courses so that they could help us deliver our invasive species treatment work across the catchment. Due to the global pandemic, Jamie and Megan were not able to join us out in the field until June but they were able to hit the ground running.
Both were a great support with our project work and contributed to the removal of invasive species from local nature reserves, fish surveys, aquatic invertebrate surveys, path maintenance, litter picks, engaging and sharing information with the general public, writing posts for our social media platforms and creating online content for the Leven Legacy Project.
We asked both Jamie and Megan to give us some (honest) feedback on their internship this year which we thought we would share….
“…My favourite days with the trust were when we electrofished to check fish and invertebrate life in the burns. I learned how to identify different species and how to catch, measure, and safely release the fish. I also learned about pollution issues and how this can have devastating effects on fish populations. Carolyn was always telling me extra information about the biology of many different species, I loved these chats as they were always so interesting and once I started back at university in September I felt like I had a head start on quite a few topics!…….The trust put in a lot of hard work to protect Loch Lomond and the surrounding areas and they should be proud of their hard work! I’m grateful to have been a part of it for almost 6 months and I hope to work with you all again in the future!……Thanks so much again for the opportunity, my time as an intern with LLFT has given me valuable experience which I am certain I will either use in the future or will at least help me to find a job in animal conservation.” – Megan
“…As we moved into late summer, we were able to start some of work that I had been looking forward to and had taken part in during my volunteering. The electrofishing surveys had been postponed due to Covid-19 delaying the relevant licenses we needed to get started so once we got these, we had a lot of surveys to do in a short period of time.This was my favourite part of the internship as I got to see sites all across the Lomond system which enhanced my knowledge of the biology of salmon and trout as well as the challenges facing those species including pollution incidents, blockages and man-made migration barriers. We also had to deal with the immediate implications of the massive escape of farmed salmon in late August. A large proportion of these fish made their way into the river Leven so we had to be present to make sure scale samples of the captured salmon were being taken and recorded……Outside of the practical work, I was able to work on a couple of resources for the trust to use on some of the educational programmes they lead. One of these was a script for an ‘introduction to fly fishing’ video while the other was an extensive presentation on the life cycle and some of the pressure facing the Atlantic salmon….Overall, I really enjoyed my internship which confirmed to me that I want to work in fisheries conservation in the future. I learned loads of practical and theoretical skills in the subject and the experience I gained during the internship opened a lot of new opportunities for me that I can’t wait to take part in.” – Jamie
We would like to thank Megan and Jamie for their hardwork, time and dedication during this year. We truly enjoyed working with you both and we are glad that you both enjoyed it and gained experience and skills. We wish you luck on all of your future endeavours and remember to keep in touch!
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