Partnering Against Wildlife Crime

Meet the Team

 

Director - Dr Keith Williams

Keith joined Kyle Fisheries as Director in 2014, bringing valuable experience gained whilst working for the Cromarty Firth District Salmon Fishery Board and the Ness & Beauly Fisheries Trust. Keith has an MSc in Marine and Fisheries Science from Aberdeen University and a PhD from Cardiff University that involved a study on the relationship between nutrient levels and salmon production. He has had several academic papers and numerous scientific reports published. His particular skills include telemetry techniques for both juvenile and adult salmon in addition to electro-fishing and seine netting surveys.

Prior to becoming director Keith represented the Kyle of Sutherland Angling Association (KOSAA) as a member on both the Kyle Fishery Board and the Kyle Trust.

Keith is also a keen salmon and trout fisherman and he has fished extensively in the British Isles and beyond.  Perhaps ill-advisedly though, his other interests include a lifelong devotion to the fortunes of Manchester City Football Club.

Science & Mitigation Officer - Sean Robertson

Originally from Helmsdale, Sean joined the team at Kyle Fisheries in early 2018 as Science and mitigation officer. He previously assisted with the Spey Fishery Board’s summer electrofishing programme in 2017, after gaining a masters in Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology from the University of Aberdeen. A large component of the degree was population ecology and modelling, and research included gut immunology of rainbow trout and transfection of Neoparamoeba perurans.

Sean hopes to make use of his population modelling skills within the catchment, as well as his photography which he does in his spare time.  Indeed Sean has contributed many of the photographs on this website. Sean's says his favorite aspect of work at Kyle Fisheries are that no two days are the same!

Assistant Science Officer - Elspeth Smith

Elspeth is from the Midlothian area and has joined the team in early 2020 as Assistant Science Officer. Elspeth has a BSc (hons) Environmental Resource Management from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) which is affiliated with Edinburgh University.  Whilst studying at SRUC Elspeth really enjoyed integrated catchment management module and she know this is the area she wanted to be in.  After graduating in 2018 Elspeth volunteered for Forth Rivers Trust for their Riverlife project for over a year. Whilst volunteering with Elspeth gained further certifications and experience with introduction to electrofishing, application of pesticide using handheld equipment and outdoor first aid.   She also helped on projects such as Fish in the Classroom.

Elspeth has always enjoyed working outdoors as she has come from a farming background. This combined with her course and volunteering and she know this was the job for her!  Elspeth is a big music lover in the past has played a little bit of guitar and violin is looking forward to getting back into playing and finding a group to play with.

Administration Officer - Jacqui Hamblin

Jacqui, is an office manager with many years experience and is responsible for the general administration of the Kyle Trust and Board. Before moving into commercial management, Jacqui's earlier years were in hotel management working all over Scotland and in the Channel Islands and she now owns and runs a small B&B as well as working part time for Kyle Fisheries.

Jacqui says "I love coming into work every day, for one thing the drive from Golspie is glorious in any weather. Mainly though it’s because of the people I work with. They are a dedicated team who work tirelessly to protect our fish and overcome the many obstacles and natural threats they encounter"

"My job is not only office admin, it can be so varied and diverse that it keeps me interested and engaged. We all support each other but it's important to have a laugh in between all the serious business”

Fishery Enforcement Team

Angling in the Kyle of Sutherland District contributes 3 to 4 million pounds annually to the local economy and supports 80-90 full-time-equivalent jobs. Poaching can therefore not only cause irreparable environmental damage, but also have a significant impact upon the local economy and damage the rural community.

The Kyle Fishery Board employ Water Bailiffs to protect the Kyle catchment from the illegal poaching of salmon, sea trout and other fish species. The bailiffs are empowered under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003.  The bailiffs are warranted to enforce the legislation and have statutory powers of entry, search and seizure.  The production by a bailiff of their warrant is sufficient authority for the exercise of the powers. Along with enforcement the bailiffs are responsible for the day to day delivery of our river management strategies and as part of that the rivers are patrolled 7 days a week. Their powers extend to the whole of the Kyle district and to any adjoining salmon fishery districts.

Whilst poaching activity may appear to be declining and the numbers of arrests and convictions may be low, there is no doubt that having a dedicated and professional enforcement team is a vital deterrent in preventing illegal activity.