We are taking part in a long term temperature study of the River Ayr catchment. To assist a PhD student in their research, we agreed to install temperature data loggers in carefully chosen locations across the catchment. These data loggers will be active for 20 years recording water temperatures remotely. We will need to visit them every 6 months to download the data but that seems like a small sacrifice to gain such a valuable data.

Gordon and Gillian managed to install most of the loggers over the last few weeks but I think we were all a bit reluctant to make the trek out almost to Glenmuirshaw on the Glenmuir.  This is a 10+ km hike and the thought of doing this twice annually isn’t that appealing but it wasn’t as bad as feared. There is a rough track out to Glenmuirshaw that a 4×4 could manage easily but we don’t have one of them. As it had been dry for weeks, I decided today was the best opportunity we may have to get there in a vehicle and along with Douglas, our work experience school pupil, I headed into the great unknown. In all the time I’ve been with the Trust, I’ve never ventured this far up the Glenmuir before. We had an old electrofishing site that was last fished in 2006 so I intended to find and fish that at the same time making the task even more valuable.

We didn’t manage all the way to Glenmuirshaw before the track deteriorated to the point that I decided to stop. We were far enough out to place the logger at the predetermined location, but not close to the electrofishing site. Undeterred, we decided to fish a new site very close to the data loggers location so that it can be repeated easily when downloading the temperatures. Armed with sledge hammer, electrofishing equipment and the other necessary materials we quickly found the spot and installed the logger. It will start recording temperatures every 15 minutes at midnight tonight.

Installing the temperature data logger on the Glenmuir

Installing the temperature data logger on the Glenmuir

We then electrofished a site about 100m downstream. This was Douglas’ first introduction to electrofishing and he later told me he was surprised how many fish were in the site. I was too but for different reasons, I was disappointed by the results. I would have expected much better. I still need to enter the results into the database but I don’t think they will compare very well considering this is an important spawning area in the catchment. It will be interesting to return next year to compare results. Habitat was good. I expect things could be improved by trees to offer shade and this may be one of the main outcomes after the data logger has been operational for a few years, especially if we see a trend of increasing water temperatures as a result of climate change as we expect to happen.

Looking down to the Glenmuire where erosion and water temperatures may be reduced by a few trees.

Looking down to the Glenmuire where erosion and water temperatures may be reduced by a few trees.

Looking back to High Dalblair and beyond to civilisation. I enjoy getting away from the normality of polluted and litter strewn rivers.

Looking back to High Dalblair and beyond to civilisation. I enjoy getting away from the normality of polluted and litter strewn rivers. This landscape could benefit from a few broadleaved trees.

 

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2 Responses to Glemuir Water Temperature Data Logger

  1. craig says:

    The fry and parr numbers may be down on the top of the lugar catchment due to the scumbags that year in year out go up the spawning beds and lift out gravid hen salmon cut their bellies open and take the eggs to make “putty” which they then sell on for £15 a jar, said scumbags also kill cock fish and just leave them lying along with the hen fish, this really makes my blood boil as the people who do this are well known but continue to get away with it I would love to take matters into my own hands but I would end up worse off in the long run if caught (rant over)