Protecting fish stocks in the Kyle district since the 1860s


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 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:-

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 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

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;

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 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

Sean Robertson – Science & Mitigation Officer