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River workers ball – Thank You

The Kyle River workers end of season ball was held on Saturday 26th October 2019 in Ardgay Hall.  A record number attended with 78 enjoying the evenings festivities.

Our grateful thanks goes to those in the community who donated raffle prizes and a very special thank you goes to the Event and Raffle organisers, whose hard work made it all possible.

An update on the funds raised will be published in due course.

 

70 year old weir removed by SSE Renewables and SEPA

A project to improve water flow and fish migration on the River Carron has resulted in the removal of a concrete weir.

SSE Renewables, the UK’s leading renewable energy developer and operator, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), and the Kyle District Salmon Fishery Board, who represent the angling interests on the River Carron, have worked together to agree the removal of the weir.

SSE Renewables has installed new flow gauging system in its place that does not require anything to be built in the river channel. This will ease the passing of fish upstream and minimise any visual impact whilst still collecting this much needed river flow data.

Built in the 1950’s as part of the Conon Hydro scheme by SSE Renewables predecessor, The North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board (NoSHEB), Deanich weir was constructed as a gauging station to measure the river flows on the River Carron. The weir was needed to allow the hydro-electric board to meet its commitment to environmental management by demonstrating the agreed flows were being maintained in the river.

Due to its design, the weir posed a partial barrier to migrating fish who travel upstream to their traditional spawning grounds. The new flow monitoring equipment, now situated above the water level, will allow fish to move upstream without restriction.

For fish such as Atlantic salmon, sea trout and lampreys, free passage between the ocean and freshwater environments is an essential part of their lifecycle for breeding and spawning. Removing obstacles which may have partially blocked these migration routes helps the recovery of damaged fish stocks, while also preserving the natural ecology of Scotland’s watercourses.

Following the weirs removal, the concrete from the weir was repurposed to fix some of the roads on the Alladale estate, helping to reduce waste and any environmental impact of the removal.

Iain McMyn, SSE Renewables Environment Advisor, said: “For over three-quarters of a century our hydro assets and schemes have provided renewable power and water management to the north of Scotland.

“When these schemes were first built, we agreed a duty of care to ensure we minimised the impact on the natural environment and that is still our ethos today. We’re very pleased to have worked with SEPA, the Kyle DSFB and Alladale Estate to remove the weir and replace it with a less impactful flow gauging system and look forward to working together in future on more innovative projects to benefit the environment we work in.”

Richard Fyfe, Water Specialist from SEPA said: “The removal of these historic partial barriers to fish migration brings huge benefits to our natural water environment and help to unlock traditional spawning grounds on the River Carron for Salmon and Trout. It’s encouraging to see SSE Renewables tackle the legacy issues which these barriers can pose for the health of Scotland’s rivers and look forward to seeing the ecological benefits this will bring over the coming years.”

Keith Williams, Director of Kyle Fisheries, said: “Research increasingly shows that manmade structures can prevent or significantly delay fish migration and obstacles and barriers thus represent a key pressure at a time when salmon stocks in particular are very fragile.

“As such, Kyle Fisheries is delighted to have been able to work with SSE Renewables and SEPA in the removal of this redundant structure.”

Innes MacNeill, Reserve Manager at Alladale Estate, said: “We at Alladale Wilderness Reserve were pleased to see the removal of the weir below Deanich Bridge in August this year. It’s great to see another man-made obstacle being removed from the river. Our thanks go to SSE Renewables for making this happen and to the contractors that carried out a high standard of work. We’re also pleased that the material did not go to waste and helped fill some potholes on the access track.”

The work at Deanich is linked to another project which involves the alteration of a weir further upstream at the Glenbeg intake. This work is due to be completed in summer 2020. SSE Renewables and SEPA are working in partnership to alter mitigation flows at the Glenbeg weir to ensure the same amount of water will be flowing throughout the year which will bring enhanced ecological benefits to the river.

DISEASED SALMON

On 13th June 2019 a Salmon showing hemorrhaging on its underside, and with a secondary infection of saprolegnia was caught within the district. An inspector from Marine Scotland was in the area and accompanied by our Science and Mitigation Officer took samples from the fish. It will be at least two weeks before we have bacteriology results back from this. We will provide an update when results come through, however in the meantime we would urge everyone to follow the recent advice from Fisheries Management Scotland in regards to these diseased fish – see here http://fms.scot/reports-of-disease-in-wild-atlantic-salmon/

Update from Atlantic Salmon Trust – July 2019

Reporting Skin Damage in Wild Atlantic Salmon

17 June 2019

Scottish Government’s Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) has been responding to reports of wild adult salmon displaying skin damage such as reddening (petechial haemorrhaging) around the fins and belly (ventral surface), inflamed (swollen/red) vent and associated fungal infection

Further information will be provided when the laboratory results are available from fish sampled across a number of Scottish rivers.

In the meantime, observations of adult salmon demonstrating clinical signs of infection or damage should be notified to the local District Salmon Fishery Board (DSFB) and the FHI.

Considerations are:

  • Moribund or lethargic fish should be targeted where sampling is considered appropriate;
  • There is no requirement at this stage to remove fish with damage for disease control purposes;
  • Wild adult Atlantic salmon returning to rivers to spawn can naturally present with some physical damage due to a number of environmental factors;
  • FHI sampling will be prioritised on moribund fish that can be maintained alive (in keep nets or suitably bio-secure tank facilities);
  • Moribund fish that cannot be maintained alive should have details recorded and photographs taken, where possible, before being returned to rivers. Details should be sent to local DSFBs and FHI;
  • If local wild fishery interests determine that moribund fish are not to be returned to the river, they should be percussion stunned or suitably dispatched and maintained in a refrigerator at 4°C, until a determination on sampling is undertaken;
  • Good biosecurity practice should be followed when handling affected fish with hands, clothing and equipment being suitably cleaned and disinfected, where appropriate.

PINK SALMON 2019

Pink salmon have been found in the Kyle rivers during July 2019, Fishery Management Scotland have produced a new advice note. This has been produced in collaboration with Marine Scotland, SNH and SEPA and provides advice on what to do if these fish are captured or observed, what information should be recorded and how samples should be stored. The advice note may be downloaded from the Fishery Management Scotland web page on Pink salmon at:-

http://fms.scot/pink-salmon-in-scotland/

A copy is also attached – please report any incidences of these fish to Fisheries Management Scotland who will collate this information.

190503 INNS – Statement Pink salmon 5

 

Missing Salmon Project – Receiver deployment on the Oykel

On the 15th March 2019, Dr Matt Newton from the Atlantic Salmon Trust and Mikolaj from SCENE in Glasgow visited us on the Oykel with some acoustic receivers to be deployed for “The Missing Salmon” project. Unfortunately the river was too high to put the receivers in, but we got the locations sorted. The receivers have been left up here and will be deployed when river height allows. Next week receivers are due to be deployed on the Shin, and some will also go in the Kyle. Again we would like to thank all who have fundraised and donated to this project to make it possible, fingers crossed some interesting results should come out of this project!

 

Sediment Fingerprinting Sampling

On the 27th of February 2019, we were out on the River Oykel with Steven MacKenzie, and Dr Tim Meadows from APEM, to do the first round of sampling for the sediment fingerprinting study. Using some basic equipment (a metal dustbin with the bottom cut off and a drill with a paint mixer) allowed us to isolate a portion of the riverbed, and agitate the substrate to suspend sediment in the water for us to sample. The result can be seen in the color of the sample bottles, note the variation in how dark some of them are. These samples will be sent away for analysis in a laboratory. In the summer time we’ll take more in-river samples, as well as some outwith the river bed to try and identify potential sources.

Collecting Salmon & Sea Trout data 2019

Many of you will be aware that in 2019 Marine Scotland will be collecting rod effort data for the first time alongside the annual rod catches for salmon and sea trout. We have been made aware that Marine Scotland have now included a frequently asked questions section to their website regarding this issue.  To access the FAQ’s click on the link below:-
Collecting DATA FAQ’s

Or Below

At this point, to make collecting these data easier, we are asking that you record rod effort as the number of rods fished each day, summed across the month – regardless of the amount of time actually spent fishing on the day.
 The number of ‘rod days’ each month is therefore the number of rods fished each day, across the whole month. As an example, if 2 rods fish on each of 10 days in a month, then there have been 20 rod days.
 We recognise this is a simple measure of effort and we may seek to refine these estimates in the future. The usefulness of extremely accurate rod effort data (e.g. down to the hour or half hour) needs to be balanced with the practicality and feasibility of its collection.

What if I only fish for an hour or so in a day?
 As above, we are asking that you record rod effort as the number of rods fished each day, summed across the month – regardless of the amount of time actually spent fishing on the day. We recognise this is a simple measure of effort and we may seek to refine these estimates in the future.
What if I don’t catch any fish?
 See guidance below regarding fishing for sea trout but, in general, effort is a measure of the time spent fishing, even if no salmon are caught, and each day’s fishing should be recorded as a rod day.
What if there is no fishing for salmon in a month/year?
 If a catch form is being returned but no fishing for salmon took place in a particular month, zero rod effort should be reported for that month (see example below).
 If a catch form is not being returned because the fishery is considered ‘dormant’ (i.e. no fishing takes place for salmon or sea trout in any month) there is no need to report zero rod effort.
Anglers use various methods other than fly rods which may catch salmon (e.g. trolling, dapping, baiting), should ‘rod effort’ be recorded in these instances?
 Yes. ‘Rod days’ refers to fishing by any method.
If an angler goes out fishing specifically for sea trout but catches salmon instead, should rod effort be recorded?
 Yes. While we recognise that in this case the intention was to catch sea trout and not salmon, if any salmon were caught then a rod day should be recorded
for salmon.
 Any non-specific angling (i.e. aiming to catch salmon and sea trout) undertaken should be treated as angling for salmon.
Fishing for Caught Record rod effort?

Fishery Management Plan out for consultation.

A draft of Kyle Fisheries’ new Fishery Management Plan is out for consultation. We invite you to take a look, and if you have any comments please send them to admin@kylefisheries.org. A PDF can be downloaded here and a microsoft word version here.

Proposed River Categories for 2019

The proposed conservation categories for our rivers has been released for next year by the Scottish Government. These gradings are out for consultation and not the final gradings, but we will not be putting in an objection to these assessments so they are likely to remain at these gradings.
 
River Carron: Category 1
River Evelix: Category 3
River Oykel SAC (includes River Cassley): Category 1
River Shin: Category 1
 
More information on the proposed river gradings can be found on the Scottish Government’s website https://scotland.shinyapps.io/sg-salmon-conservation/