Sticklebacks returned to Buittle Reservoir


24th Jul 2019
by Kacie Jess

3-spined sticklebacks have been introduced to Buittle Reservoir following the eradication of signal crayfish using poison

Releasing sticklebacks into Buittle Reservoir
Releasing sticklebacks into Buittle Reservoir

When the Buittle Reservoir (near Dalbeattie and part of the River Urr catchment) was poisoned to eradicate signal crayfish, the 3-spined stickleback population in the Reservoir was also lost.  Now that the Reservoir is being refilled gradually and a healthy aquatic invertebrate population has become established in the water, GFT is working to re-establish the fish population.  Eels are naturally able to repopulate the water through elvers climbing the outflow structure but other species (3-spined sticklebacks and trout were previously present) will need a helping hand. 

This week we introduced nearly 400 3-spined sticklebacks of various ages back into the Reservoir. These fish were gathered locally and  their collection / introduction was licensed by Marine Scotland and funded by Scottish Water. Further sticklebacks will be introduced as they were previously the most abundant fish species in the Reservoir and will be an important part of the overall ecology and food chain of the water.  Suitable conditions are present for these sticklebacks to breed and become self sustaining now.

Once the Reservoir is deep enough and Scottish Water have checked that the dam / siphon is all working adequately then trout will start to be stocked back. The Reservoir was previously a popular trout fishery run by Dalbeattie Angling Association and the plan is for this to be re-established over the next few months. 

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