Our electrofishing kit broke down today so I knocked off work early and headed to the River Ayr for a cast or two.

I was fishing my way down the Nursery Pool when something caught my eye. I finished fishing the pool and went back for a look and sure enough, there was a solitary Himalayan Balsam plant flowering amongst the boulders on the right bank. Gordon and I must have walked past this plant in the last week or two as we have both fished the Nursery run on occasions, which just goes to show that even a trained eye can miss these plants when they are at a low density. Hopefully this is a one off and as it hadn’t developed ripe seed pods, I’m confident that I found and uprooted it in time but we will check next year to be sure.

A solitary Himalayan Balsam plant at Mauchline.

A solitary Himalayan Balsam plant at Mauchline.

Last year we found 3 or 4 plants at Craigie on the lower river and dealt with them before they seeded. We have checked the Craigie area already this year and there didn’t appear to be any regrowth but I’ve asked Gordon to check again to be sure. To date these are the only known outbreaks on the river but we must remain vigilant as cross contamination by visiting anglers and those from the Ayr fishing elsewhere is a real threat. Anyone finding this plant is asked to report it to us immediately so that we can deal with it properly.

I suppose I should add that I blanked yet again with my fishing!

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