Tuesday, August 14, 2012

First Electrofishing Seminar in Greece

Seminar team of HCMR: Our first Intermediate Electric Fishing Certification Meet in June 2012 at the Mont Helmos Hotel, Kleitoria Peloponnese. Note the Back-pack electrofisher unit in the center is a new Smith-Root. 

 June 6th to 9th 2012, Mont Helmos Hotel, Kleitoria, Peloponnese.

Certifying field workers and volunteers in Electrofishing. With the help and step-by-step guidance of our friend and great teacher Bill Beaumont from the UK's Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust we created our first ever seminar for Electrofishing Certification in Greece. Our first graduates were 15 persons primarily from HCMR (Hellenic Center for Marine Research). I had no time to post details earlier and I mean to upload more pics as soon as possible since this was a real eye-opener for our team. 

The seminar was a three-day exercise at a wonderful hotel near the Aroanios tributary of the Ladonas at Kleitoria in the Peloponnese. On Day One we arrived at noon and later begun a Health & Safety session with field practice in the early evening. On Day Two we had a full day of lectures and certification exams. Finally on Day Three we toured nearby rivers and focused on field protocol issues. We tested various electrofishing equipment, including land based generators and different back-pack  machines (generator ground-based, Smith-Root Backpack, European Backpack units). We also had in-field discussions on recording protocol and field form details. On the final day before leaving the hotel we had an extended question-answer period on all themes. It was a great chance to organize a pilot seminar session and I hope we can do this again someday.

Its important to mention here that this project was supported by the Hellenic Ministry of Enviroment and Climate Change and EU funding of Greece's WFD Monitoring Programme. Field coordination for the seminar was undertaken by Ms. Sofia Giakoumi. And many HCMR members helped in various ways. We thank Mont Helmos Hotel in Kleitoria for all assistance and fantastic seminar conditions, high-tech class-rooms, pool-side campus atmosphere etc. etc.

We especially thank Bill Beaumont of GWCT, and Smith-Root for all support so far!

Best electro-fishing instructor: Bill Beaumont

Notes taken by V. Hatzirvassanis during the seminar. 
Sketches made by V. Hatzirvassanis during the field sessions.

Sketches made by V. Hatzirvassanis during class presentation - our instructor Bill Beaumont was kept us totally engrossed in the subject matter. 
Electrofishing with our back-pack devise in the beautiful Erymanthos stream of the Alfeios - West Balkan Trout, Alfios Soufie, Peloponnesian Barbel easily sampled right next the ruins of the Classical City of Psophis (Photo: V. Hatzirvassanis).
Most people do not know that three hours west of Athens there are wonderful riparian forests in beautiful mountain rivers very suitable for summer seminars....
Discussing the field protocols can often create lots of varying views especially since much of this work is focusing on standardizing technique.
Nick Skoulikidis, river coordinator of the challanging WFD montirong project with key-stone HCMR staff members in discussion next to the classroom.
Field sessions involved a lot of real-life work - here the team is testing the older italian equiptment in the Seirios Tributary of the Erymanthos (carried by Roberta Barbieri at Left).
Electrofishing in a very cold trout stream near Kleitoria in the Northern Peloponnese; some of us just took pics  (photo by V.Hatzirvassanis)

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