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
Every year biologists from across the Scottish Fishery Trusts network meet for 2 days at the Freshwater Laboratory in Pitlochry. The event allows us all to catch up with the work programmes, experiences and results of other fishery trusts work and to hear about the research programmes of Marine Scotland. This type of networking and information sharing is invaluable and very important in our industry. The 2013 SFCC / RAFTS Annual Biologists Meeting was held this week on the Wednesday and Thursday and about 50 biologists attended from across the whole of Scotland. Information was presented on a wide range of projects over the two days and some interesting discussions were held. Talks were given by Marine Scotland, RAFTS and the SFCC on what they have been doing over the last year and plans for next year. Updates were given on the Barrier Prioritisation strategy which aims (in partnership between SEPA/RAFTS and Fishery Trusts) to remove significant in-river barriers to fish movement, Norwegian procedures for eradicating Gyrdrodactylus salaris and a study on UDN in Scottish rivers. A range of talks were given on the Wednesday afternoon regarding the monitoring and tracking of trout populations. On the second day an extremely interesting set of talks were presented covering the issue of setting conservation limits for salmon using various sets of data. Basically this is looking at how many salmon a river needs to fully use all available habitat and then to assess how many salmon are actually in the river. Thus this then tells you if there are not enough fish (in which case no salmon should be killed) or whether there is a surplus available to be harvested by anglers or netsmen. A talk was given on the eradication of signal crayfish in a Lochaber slate quarry. The quarry was poisoned to kill off the crayfish present. Various talks were given on habitat restoration in watercourses which had been straightened and dredged on the Deveron and North Esk. The Argyll Fishery Trust talked about flow regime changes they have initiated from the Loch Awe Dam which could be very relevant to changes that GFT are considering with Scottish Power on the lower Dee at Tongland. The final talks considered the impacts of sawbill ducks on fish populations. The discussions and talks over the two days gave us plenty to think about regarding possible new projects for the Galloway rivers.