Last week I looked at the Culroy Burn expecting to see trout pairing up and perhaps spawning but no, I only saw one trout. Light was fading fast but I don’t think this was the problem. I’ll check again as the temperature drops in the next few days.
I did notice that the lower reaches were quite heavily silted in some areas but others the gravel was clean. I looked upstream to see if I could pinpoint any problems. Walking downstream from Culroy the gravels were clean and I do expect to see salmon here shortly as we recorded both parr and fry during our surveys.
Further downstream there was a badly eroding bank near Grange House. The land was poached and the burn unfenced which doesn’t help but I’m sure this bank will continue to eroded whether there is fencing on it or not. Erosion is a natural phenomenon that is important for the supply of gravel.
Looking at the bank face, there is plenty of gravel within this soil. Perhaps the cattle do contribute to the rate of erosion and thus the burn is struggling to remove it downstream. I’ll need to walk further next week to see what else is at play. Something is wrong here as the burn isn’t producing nearly as many salmon as it is capable of.