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Galloway Fisheries Trust

Fisheries House, Station Industrial Estate, Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland. DG8 6ND
Telephone: 01671 403011 · Fax: 01671 402248 · Scottish Registered Charity No. SC020751

Looking downstream on the River Cree

Brown Trout

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

Murray's Monument

A small upland burn

A stoneloach

The High Cree, looking towards Cairnsmore of Fleet

A small waterfall on the Buchan Burn

A salmon from the Kirkcudbrightshire Dee

update on Conservation Limits

17 September 2016

Releasing a grilse

Releasing a grilse

Update on Conservation Limits (CL) work

GFT is now a member of the newly formed Marine Scotland and Local Fisheries Biologists Liaison Group (MSLFBLG). This Group is working to develop the Conservation Regulations process following its launch in 2015 to improve the accuracy of river gradings.  It is recognised that ‘best available data’ should be used unless appropriate local information is available. This year, there has been a concerted effort to garner and incorporate appropriate locally-held data. Marine Scotland Science has also created a system to allocate catches to rivers rather than fisheries districts.

GFT has:
•    Used electrofishing data and habitat survey data to improve the accuracy of the salmon distribution within the Luce, Bladnoch, Cree, Water of Fleet, Kirkcudbrightshire Dee and Urr catchments, used by Marine Scotland Science (MSS) when calculating overall egg requirements.

•    GFT is a member of three MSLFBLG Technical Working Groups; ‘Grilse Error’, ‘Counters’ and ‘Marine Scotland & Local Biologist Liaison Group’.

•    Provided 442 historical scale sample data sets and fed in results from the on-going local ‘grilse error’ scale collection project – used to model age and size of fish. 

The ‘grilse error scale collection project’ has had nearly 100 scale samples handed in by anglers from the Cree/Minnoch, Bladnoch, Urr and Luce so far this season which is really impressive and will give a lot of really useful data.  Scale readings to date have shown anglers have been 89% accurate when determining grilse or salmon.  Please keep providing scale samples from rod caught fish until the end of the season.
Using outcomes of the MSLFBLG processes, MSS has recently modified the CL model which has changed the category of some rivers significantly e.g. Cree now is a category 1 and the Luce, Bladnoch and Urr are all category 2.  Previously all of these rivers were category 3.  The Water of Fleet and Kirkcudbrightshire Dee continue as category 3 rivers.  In the opinion of GFT, the suggested 2017 river categories are more inline with our understanding of local fish stocks.

The new suggested categories are not yet set in stone for the 2017 season but are part of a consultation exercise.  

Some of the changes that have been included are:

•    A correction factor is now being used which considers river flows and month of the year (this has been calculated from counter data).

•    Out of season salmon runs are now factored in.

•    Studies completed looking at the relationship between fish length and egg count, egg counts of individual fish, sex ratio and age composition – this has changed some figures in the model.

•    Designation is by ‘river’ not ‘district’.

GFT is attending a meeting of the ‘Marine Scotland and Local Fisheries Biologist Liaison Group’ in early October to understand and discuss the amended model further.

GFT would encourage everyone to provide a consultation response before 29th September, for more information see the link below:

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