Lower Thames Abstraction Investigation Stage 2. Second Stakeholder Workshop. 28 June 2012

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1 Lower Thames Abstraction Investigation Stage 2 Second Stakeholder Workshop 28 June 2012

2 1. Aims of the Meeting

3 Aim of Meeting Provide update on progress Discuss approach to analysis Provide preliminary interim analysis of monitoring data Discuss report template Discuss assessment matrix

4 2. Progress Since April s Stakeholder Forum Meeting

5 Progress Since Last Meeting Completion of the May and June Monitoring Development of bespoke walkover habitat survey methodology Sourced outstanding data Progression of modelling Progression of analysis of 2011 monitoring and historic datasets Developed draft report template Further development of assessment matrix

6 3. Approach to Analysis

7 Key issues to be addressed

8 Approach to Analysis Assessing potential impacts on WFD status objectives WFD classification status of waterbodies in the LTOA study area Issues with assessing impact of LTOA on WFD classification status

9 Approach to Analysis Changes to fish community structures Modelling of fisheries data to assess any deterioration in fishery status based on population characteristics Modelling to examine the occupancy of different depth, flow and substrate habitat types under different flow scenarios. Investigation of relationship between juvenile and adult freshwater fish community dynamics Assessment of influence of extreme hydrological events on community dynamics. Assessment of habitat suitability/availability under the range of flow regimes Scenario assessment using developed Tideway Fish Risk Model linked to simulated changes to environmental variables. Establish whether the simulated influence of LTOA operation has a predicted impact on the fish assemblage, and if this could lead to a difference in WFD classification.

10 Approach to Analysis Changes to macroinvertebrates community structures Assess the nature of the community response to changes in flow Investigation of freshwater macroinvertebrate faunal community dynamics downstream of Teddington Weir Assess for potential differences in indices (diversity, LIFE scores) dependant on flow and/or water quality variability Identify any relationship between environmental variables and changes in the macroinvertebrate communities. Interpret salinity tolerances of the organisms giving an indication of their migration under natural and anthropogenic salinity changes. Establish whether the simulated influence of LTOA operation has a predicted impact on the macroinvertebrate assemblage, and if this could lead to a difference in WFD classification.

11 Approach to Analysis Changes to macrophytes community structures Variability in macrophyte distribution and consequent habitat availability Development of a predictive model of the implications of flow changes on the macrophyte assemblage Assess the potential changes to the macrophyte assemblages as a consequence of LTOA operation, and whether this could effect WFD classification.

12 Approach to Analysis Fish migration Tideway has been an important migration corridor for diadromous fish species Freshwater flows can and do affect diadromous fish migration Unclear as to the role of freshets in stimulating migratory fish movement Unclear as to extent low flow affect on migration is associated with the LTOA Stage 2 analysis to focus on flows over Teddington and their association with migratory fish movement into and out of the Tideway Other factors influencing migrations, such as climate change, stocking of smolts etc will also need to be considered

13 Approach to Analysis Protected and keystone species Ecosystem services approach Identification and analysis of broad scale depressed river mussel distributions along the river Identification of patterns in abundance and distributional limits Analysis of any correlative links between abundance and distribution and any water quality and hydrological patterns Identification of naturalised habitats where natural settlement of sediments and flood debris is possible key driver for marginal snails Analysis of distribution data, any correlative patterns, and literature (published and grey) to generate an expert opinion

14 Approach to Analysis Invasive species Ecosystem services approach Development of indices of association between invasive species and also impacts on native species Confirm each species habitat requirements Identify distributional patterns of key invaders under different flow scenario Model at rates of spread of invasives Analysis of distribution data, any correlative patterns, and literature (published and grey) to generate an expert opinion

15 4. Preliminary Analysis of Monitoring Data

16 Freshwater Fish Preliminary Analysis Species most adaptable to a range of conditions were most prevalent Apparent positive correlation between growth and the warmest and driest years A strong year of juvenile growth does not necessarily correlate with that generation having a high abundance as adults Analysis to continue, with the inclusion of water quality data and modelling

17 Discharge Days / Degree Days Preliminary Analysis Year

18 Estuarine Fish Preliminary Analysis Initial analysis of the dataset from 1990 s to present Greater diversity in wet years than dry years Much poorer community structure upstream of Battersea during dry years No obvious relationship between low flows and reduced abundance Analysis to continue, with the inclusion of water quality data and modelling

19 Preliminary Analysis Numbers of fish caught in EA Thames Upper Tideway surveys (Dry years: 91, 96, 97, 05 & 06) DRY Numbers of fish caught in EA Thames Upper Tideway surveys (Wet years: 00, 01, 02, 07 & 08) WET Species Guild Diadromous Estuarine Freshwater Marine Thin-lipped grey mullet Thick-lipped grey mullet Sand goby European sprat Bass Zander Tench Roach x common bream Roach Perch Minnow Gudgeon Dace Common carp Common bream Common bream Chub Bullhead Bleak Sand smelt Flounder Common goby 10-spined stickleback European eel Common smelt Brown trout Atlantic salmon 3-spined stickleback Species Guild Diadromous Estuarine Freshwater Marine Thin-lipped grey mullet Thick-lipped grey mullet Sand goby European sprat Bass Zander Tench Roach x common bream Roach Perch Minnow Gudgeon Dace Common carp Common bream Chub Bullhead Bleak Sand smelt Flounder Common goby 10-spined stickleback European eel Common smelt Brown trout Atlantic salmon 3-spined stickleback Frequency caught per sampling occasion (47 days) Frequency caught per sampling occasion (11 days)

20 Preliminary Analysis Estuarine Macroinvertebrates Data is dominated by freshwater species Invasive species present include Asian clam, zebra mussel and red-gilled mud worm The fauna is over-represented by leeches, freshwater and freshwater gastropods With a reduction in freshwater flows the marine and brackish components will increase There may be an decrease in diversity from a higher diverse freshwater community to a low diverse upper estuarine community Analysis to continue with multivariate and community descriptor methods and inclusion of flow, water quality and modelling

21 Preliminary Analysis Further ongoing analysis Freshwater Macroinvertebrates Macrophytes Species of Conservation Concern Invasive Species

22 5. Discussion on Proposed Report Template

23 Proposed Report Template Report Structure Executive Summary Introduction Aims and Objectives Consultation Data and Evidence Methods and Analyses Impact Assessment Conclusions Recommendations References Appendices including statistical analyses.

24 6. Significance of Impacts Matrix and Assessment Outcomes

25 Assessment Matrix Lower Thames Indicator Lower River Thames Metric Certainty meeting metric standard Certainty of assessment Sensitivity of receptor to LTOA abstraction impact Other pressures on ecological receptor Potential measures Diatoms (moderate) GEP Macrophytes (-/good) GEP LEAFPACS For macros in infancy as tool and never used to detect such subtle changes WFD status Macroinvertebrates (high/good) GEP RIVPACS / RICT Medium / High - If as suspected this Sites US of most severe changes in is based on BMWP / ASPT alone the Medium / low - Thames - very big not flow / water level. Abstraction score will probably come out as high typical of Rivers where kick-sampling effects may be subtle and coincide / good for most sites undertaken with other pressures (drought) Abstraction impacts may be greatest at times of natural drought and distinguishing between them may not be possible. There are likely to be some correlation with water quality to complicate this as well (although the data was very patchy and poor in the last analysis). Definition of E-flow targets, varying rules for abstraction, habitat enhancement Fish (unclassified) GEP FCS2 or EFI+ Metric may identify shift in rheophilic fish status through change Both assessment methods are weak in relative abundance for lower reaches of large rivers Fish populations in LTOA unlikely to be sensitive to abstraction because system series of impounded stretches. Possible loss of marginal area will affect recruitment Water quality and dissolved oxygen Consider environmental flows to support diversity of fish species not just migratory species, set back flood plain levees, provision of offchannel habitat refuges, avoid drawn downs at time of spawning and early development Diatoms (moderate) Macrophytes (-/good) Mean Trophic Rank (MTR) & Macrophyte Flow Index (MFI) Need to compare sections of similar chemistry, gradient, substrate and degree of shade Changes will differ according to gradient and depth; modified rivers may change least; change may be very transient and little different from what would occur from year to year anyway Macroinvertebrates (high/good) LIFE / PFI LIFE Medium - Metric will inform about flow variability and fine sediment pressures (assume you mean PSI). LIFE & PSI may not be considered for WFD status but will definitely help understand the interaction between flow, sediment and instead communities Thames is not typical of rivers where these metrics were developed or intended to be used. New analysis at the reach / pound scale will be critical here. Effects may be subtle and separating the effect for other pressures (water quality / drought) may be difficult. Drought, water quality, habitat availability Definition of E-flow target, varying abstraction rules and habitat enhancement. Community analysis Others Fish (unclassified) Protected and keystone species Invasive species Navigation Community composition and trophic level Naturalised vs. Impacted habitats Inter/Intra species relationships Analysis of community structure, presence/absence of Help understand interaction key sentinel species, between community structure and and expert recruitment dynamics and impacts of Predictive modelling that provides judgement flow variability as driver. likelihood of failure in recruitment Expert judgement based on quantitative surveys and reference to the literature No relevant standard Expert judgement based on quantitative surveys and reference to the literature No relevant standard Detailed surveys will provide quantitative data on distributions and abundances. There is high confidence that key 'hotspots' will be located. The paucity of 'naturalised' margins means that replicates are limited. Fish communities in LTOA unlikely to be sensitive to abstraction because system series of impounded stretches. Possible loss of marginal area will affect recruitment Water quality and dissolved oxygen Species-dependent. Responses will be driven by both direct and indirect pathways. Sedimentation, dredging, scour, benthos type (and especially loss of compacted sediments low in organic content), distribution of host fishes (for mussels), loss of natural margins. Detailed surveys will provide quantitative data on distributions and abundances. There is high Species-dependent. Responses will confidence that key 'hotspots' will be be driven by both direct and indirect Benthos type, presence/absence of located. pathways. man-made structures Consider environmental flows to support diversity of fish species not just migratory species, set back flood plain levees, provision of offchannel habitat refuges, avoid drawn downs at time of spawning and early development Presence/absence, population density, evidence of recruitment, growth rates, correlations with benthos measures Presence/absence, population density

26 Assessment Matrix Teddington Interface Indicator Interface at Teddington Weir Metric Certainty meeting metric standard Certainty of assessment Sensitivity of receptor to LTOA abstraction impact Other pressures on ecological receptor Potential measures Fish migration Salmonids High Hypoxia in middle estuary Freshets Probability of Multivariate analysis, Other species (eel) river entry GLM No relevant standard Medium/high Low/medium Entrainment

27 Assessment Matrix Upper Tideway Indicator Upper Thames Tideway Metric Certainty meeting metric standard Certainty of assessment Sensitivity of receptor to LTOA abstraction impact Other pressures on ecological receptor Potential measures Macrophytes GEP WFD status Macroinvertebrates GEP INFAUNAL QUALITY INDEX (IQI), AZTI (potential use Freshwater approach) Low / Medium Low / Medium Fish GEP TFCI (EFCI) No relevant standard Medium Medium CSO discharges; development encroachment onto foreshore habitat; rising background temperatures Macrophytes Macroinvertebrates Evenness, diversity, abundance, trophic guilds, ecological guilds H', J, S, A, B, guild proportions, multivariate analysis; RIVPACS analysis, modified IQI Low (subjective rather than Uncertainty in low salinity conditions objective) Medium to high depending on sediment and salinity knowledge Sea level rise, CSO discharges, scouring of sediments, changes to organic enrichment Community analysis Fish Protected and keystone species Invasive species Diversity, abundance, function, trophic integrity Naturalised vs. Impacted habitats Inter/Intra species relationships TFRM, PCA, GLM, similarity analysis Expert judgement based on quantitative surveys and reference to the literature No relevant standard Expert judgement based on quantitative surveys and reference to the literature No relevant standard Medium Detailed surveys will provide quantitative data on distributions and abundances. There is high confidence that key 'hotspots' will be located. The paucity of 'naturalised' margins means that replicates are limited. The boundary between freshwater and estuarine/marine species will shift, so that the upper estuary will shrink or expand according to fluvial and STW inputs. This happens naturally anyway. It becomes most important if it means that salinities required for spawning of a protected species such as smelt are shifted away from the suitable gravel substrate areas. However, sedimentation may become the limiting factor before this. Species-dependent. Responses will be driven by both direct and indirect pathways. Natural shift in boundary between freshwater and estuarine/marine species. STW inputs. Sedimentation, dredging, scour, benthos type (and especially loss of compacted sediments low in organic content), distribution of host fishes (for mussels), loss of natural margins. Detailed surveys will provide quantitative data on distributions and abundances. There is high Species-dependent. Responses will confidence that key 'hotspots' will be be driven by both direct and indirect Benthos type, presence/absence of located. pathways. man-made structures Presence/absence, population density, evidence of recruitment, growth rates, correlations with benthos measures Presence/absence, population density

28 Freshwater Fish Absence /low abundance in rheophilic and/or conservation species for >3 years Series of successive recruitment failures of key species Freshwater Macroinvertebrates Change in >1 unit of LIFE score or BMWP water quality class Major changes in community structure Estuarine Fish Significant Impacts Reduced flow gateway into the river for migratory species Shift in salinities required for spawning of a protected species away from the suitable gravel substrate areas Estuarine Macroinvertebrates Sustained change in invertebrate community structure and function Regular short term changes which caused change for a substantial part of the year

29 Macrophytes Changes that persist beyond a single year Major changes in community structure with consistently reduced Mean Flow Rank (MFR) values Species of Conservation Concern Reduction in density, recruitment success and /or growth rate of keystone species (mussels) and threatened species (Depressed river mussel, rare snails) Loss of a 'hotspot' populations of depressed river mussel and rare snails Invasive Species Significant Impacts Increase in abundance and/or distribution relative to expected under a typical invasion scenario Increased impact on native biota

30 7. Next Steps

31 Next Steps Next Steps Continued monitoring Validate flow and water quality models Run water resource and flow scenarios Continue ecological analysis Continued engagement with Technical Steering Group

32 8. AOB

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