Safeguarding our rivers for future generations

News

Vacancy – Seasonal Biology Assistant

Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries is advertising for a seasonal assistant biologist. This is an entry level position which would suit a graduate looking to gain experience of freshwater fishery management. We are looking for a well-motivated, fit, hard working individual to assist with a number of activities Kyle Fisheries undertakes. This includes electrofishing, data analysis, monitoring our temperature network, delivering an education programme, habitat mapping, scale reading, as well as other ad hoc matters when they arise. This is an opportunity for someone early on in their career to gain valuable experience and to be introduced to the Scottish freshwater fisheries sector.

This is a full time (40 hours per week), fixed term post would suit a recent graduate or student who is expected to graduate this summer, with a conservation, fisheries or ecology degree. This post is based at our office in Ardgay but will cover the entire Kyle of Sutherland District. A driving license is beneficial but not a prerequisite. Previous work experience is not required, but a passion for fishing or conservation is essential!

To apply please send a copy of your CV and a covering letter to admin@kylefisheries.org. Any queries can be directed to this email address, or you can call us on 01863 766702.

Deadline for applications is 10th of May with interviews to be held the week beginning the 20th of May. Start date is 20th of June finishing on 27th September. Rate of pay is £18,000 per annum pro rata.

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/

Resources for best practice Catch and Release

Keepemwet fishing is a great website we came across with some fantastic tips for best practice catch and release. This is so important because the better condition a fish is in when it returns to the water, the more likely is is to survive and spawn.  Have a browse through their website here; https://www.keepemwet.org/tips#keepemwet-tips

Evelix eels – 17th August 2018

A quick site on the Evelix today yielded plenty of salmon parr and even a couple of these characters! Good escape artists, it takes a while for them to calm down in the anaesthetic. They may make some people squirm, but the lifecycle of these creatures is incredible. Nobody has seen eels spawning in the wild, but it is suspected that they do so somewhere in the Sargasso sea on the other side of the Atlantic. The young, “glass eels” then get caught in the gulf stream which brings them to UK waters where they become adults, before finally swimming back across the Atlantic to spawn.

Sean Robertson – Science & Mitigation Officer

Invasive Species – 14th August 2018

I thought I would post in regards to invasive species within Scotland. Kyle Fisheries was involved with the Scottish Mink Initiative which aimed to control this invasive mammal population. Quite successful, however we continue to put out mink rafts in response to any sightings. Invasive species pose a threat to our native wildlife which is why control is so important.

Himalayan Balsam

Scottish Invasive Species Initiative​ is the new iteration of the Scottish Mink initiative, seeking to control Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed, and Himalayan Balsam, American skunk cabbage, in addition to mink across Scotland. Although not formally a part of SISI, we will endeavor to control or assist with control of invasives within our catchment where we can. If you think you have seen any of these within the Kyle of Sutherland District, please message our Facebook page or drop an email to admin@kylefisheries.org with the species, location and date when you saw it. If you are able to send any photos as well that would greatly assist with identification and location.

More information can be found at www.invasivespecies.scot

Sean Robertson – Science & Mitigation Officer

National Electofishing Sites – Alladale 3rd August 2018

This week we’ve been up at Alladale Wilderness Reserve doing some work for the Government’s “National Electrofishing Programme for Scotland” (NEPS). This programme has designated 30 randomly selected sites to each fishery board across their catchments, with the overall aim of assessing the status of juvenile salmon at a catchment level. As these sites are randomly selected they are not in areas we would usually fish, so getting to them and fishing them has been a bit of a challenge!

Glen More had salmon present, and today’s site on the Alladale river had a few trout, despite not being great habitat. Marine Scotland are going to produce a review of the project in March, if it appears to work well then there’s a possibility that this may feed into the designation of the conservation limits alongside the rod catches. However, this wouldn’t happen until a few years down the line to work out any kinks.

More information on this sampling programme can be found here; Gov.scot sampling programme

Sean Robertson – Science & Mitigation Officer