I received a call from an angler today informing me that there were 4 dead salmon in the Voes at Catrine. I was sceptical as adult salmon can’t access the goes but I went to check anyway. There were no dead salmon in the Voes or the river.

I arrived as the concrete weir at Anderson’s had just been poured. This completes the remodelling of the pool features. On Monday, the concrete plug will be poured in the pipe to seal it and the full river will be allowed to flow over Anderson’s weir again. The site agent informed me that they have completed this work ahead of schedule. He plans to complete all the works by the end of August, weather permitting, well ahead of schedule.

The site agent adding the final touches to the new weir crest at Anderson's. Flow will be restored fully over this on Monday. I'm looking forwards to seeing how things look then.

The site agent adding the final touches to the new weir crest at Anderson’s. Flow will be restored fully over this on Monday. I’m looking forwards to seeing how things look then.

The new concrete that was poured on Wednesday after the fish recue can be seen below the surface. This is a big improvement.

The new concrete that was poured on Wednesday after the fish recue can be seen below the surface. This is a big improvement. Immediately below the falls the depth should be around 2.3m.

As this is a fixed price contract, extras not in the schedule of works will not be paid for by CCT. There was no provisional items allowed and consequently we have to thank Covanburn for the add on works as they have been undertaken at their cost; such as the removal of a 4Tonne lump of concrete that was undermined and threatened to break of in the near future. I asked of they could do anything with this and today they did. I am grateful to them for their assistance.

The left hand bank where an undermined concrete section was removed today to prevent future problems arising.

The left hand bank where an undermined concrete section was removed today to prevent future problems arising.

Work is now progressing on the dam itself and shuttering was being erected at the lower edge. The increase in height of this part of the weir will be 250mm. The whole structure will be tied together with stainless steel anchors and cables before it is all encased in lime mortar.

The foundation and shuttering at the lower edge of the weir. This will be reinforced before it is poured next week.

The foundation and shuttering at the lower edge of the weir. This will be reinforced before it is poured next week. The original weir timbers can be seen below the concrete cap.

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2 Responses to Catrine update

  1. […] Ayrshire Rivers Trust | Catrine update […]

    • Stuart Brabbs says:

      George, thanks for taking the time to post your concerns. SEPA when asked about the Coal sites agree that the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. When I spoke to them about my concerns after the egg survival trials we did a couple of years ago, they could only say that much more work was required to pinpoint the cause of the low fish numbers we find and that they didn’t have a budget for it.
      Of course SEPA are working towards improvements through their ‘Diffuse Pollution’initiative but the driver behind this is to improve bathing waters. The main reason bathing waters fail is due to bacteria arising from cattle excrement getting into the rivers. The long and the short of it is that the type of pollution I’ve highlighted here doesn’t appear to lead to bathing waters failing and so it is unlikely that anything will be done to improve the situation unless the regulator’s priorities change. I’m not trying to be troublesome to them but merely reporting on my understanding of the situation (which may of course be wrong or inaccurate and if so, I’m sure they will let me know soon enough). I was disappointed that they didn’t have enough concern to look at why the salmon stocks were so low. I’m pretty sure I’m focussing on the right thing here but without funding or support, we can’t spend any more money or time on this in our current finical position. The Board doesn’t have any spare cash either as the levy doesn’t bring in any extra to allow for this type of management/research.