Looking downstream on the River Cree
Looking upstream on the River Bladnoch
Felling of commercial forestry in Galloway Forest Park
Looking upstream on the River Luce
North American Signal Crayfish
The sandy beach at Loch Grannoch
Belted Galloway Cattle, or 'Belties'
Fly fishing on the River Cree
A small upland burn
The High Cree, looking towards Cairnsmore of Fleet
A small waterfall on the Buchan Burn
A salmon from the Kirkcudbrightshire Dee
The weather has turned very cold and we have been very busy over the last few weeks. Please find below some of the work we have been involved in over this period.
Having got some sparling from the River Cree over the weekend, Monday was all-go starting with processing down at the hatchery. The health of the population is monitored through a process described in the SNH Site Condition Monitoring Methodology for smelt. This involves measuring, weighing, scaling and sexing a sample of sparling to obtain various life history data. This year, data was collected from a relatively small sub-population of around 140 sparling but even this takes some time and involved the whole GFT squad setting up at the hatchery and working in pairs to collect the data swiftly and gently (as the females drop their eggs so easily). The data collection process does not harm the fish.
Once we had enough data, we separated the remaining fish by sex into transportation tanks. From previous years, we have made a rough calculation on the amount of eggs that it might take to hatch a viable population back into the Fleet. About 50 females were kept for stripping into the Fleet, which is a tiny proportion of the many thousands of sparling spawning in the Cree. The remaining females, we dropped off at the Cree on our way past and by 1pm, we were on the banks of the Feet ready to begin spawning fish!
This was exceedingly cold work. From the Cree Rare Fish Project page you will see that spawning sparling involves stripping eggs and milt directly into the water, very different than the process used for salmon. The weather on Monday was also bitterly cold with little in the way of sunshine and within an hour of stripping fish, the GFT team quickly finished off and rushed to thaw out with hot drinks before returning all the sparling used back into the Cree. This was a testing day for all the team and we would like to thank the Galloway Fisheries Volunteer Scheme Fleet brigade for all their help replacing spent fish back into the holding tanks.
On Tuesday the 12th of March the Urr DSFB held their AGM. Good numbers of anglers and owners attended the meeting and to hear Jackie give a presentation about the work of GFT and in particular, the work we do on the Urr. Throughout and following the presentation, interesting discussions were had on range of topics and we hope it was useful for all who attended.