We have been looing at burns in the Girvan catchment this week. Of particular interest have been burns flowing into the Dyrock and upper Girvan. Results have been varied and highlighted areas for improvement. The single most obvious cause of poor results appears to be erosion driven by cattle accessing watercourses. We will be contacting landowners where fencing could make a significant difference. Encouragingly, the Dyrock once again has produced a few salmon fry as far up as Davennan Bridge. A few salmon fry and lamprey featured in the Rogerston Burn and the backGlen burn along with trout and eels. I spent a while talking with a semi retired farmer who could remember catching sea trout in these burns when he was a boy but he never saw any salmon. It has been years since he last saw fish in the burns so hopefully things are improving. (He was under the impression that forestry was the source of the problems).

Lamprey ammocetes from the back Glen Burn where they featured in good numbers.

Lamprey ammocetes from the back Glen Burn where they featured in good numbers. The hand is not mine, before anyone asks!

The Balbeg Burn near the hatchery was surveyed today and produced excellent results. We had over 300 trout and salmon in total with salmon outnumbering the trout by over 5:1. The salmon fry were very small on the whole and there did appear to be more than a few hybrids.The colours of many of the salmon fry were vivid and very similar to trout. I haven’t seen such wee fish during electrofishing surveys since we fished the upper Ayr at the start of the survey season in July.

Very small fry were a feature of the Balbeg survey

Very small fry were a feature of the Balbeg survey

We will look at these results in more detail once Gillian has entered them into the database. As we ran out of time this afternoon, we decided to head to the Palmullan Burn nearby to look for a site for tomorrow. I’ve never fished this burn before nor even clapped eyes on it so I am keen to fish it tomorrow. We stopped at a new culvert that is in the middle of construction. I’m surprised that no one had spoken to us before commencing the work, but I suppose I shouldn’t be. Anyway, this is quite a culvert.

A new culvert being installed on the Pinmullan Burn upstream of the waterfall

A new culvert being installed on the Palmullan Burn upstream of the waterfall

We decided to have a look at the falls just downstream and these too are impressive. Unfortunately there is no way that fish can pass but I suspect the falls pool could hold a few good trout.

Impassible and impressive but just imagine this in spate. I will return soon, to see it in spate

Impassible and impressive but just imagine this in spate. I will return soon, to see it in high flow

I’m looking forwards to tomorrow to see how this burn compares. I’ll post an update shortly.

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