Apart from the problems with access to the fish pass at Catrine, there still remained the problem of controlling the flow to ensure the pass operated within its design capacity. For around 30 years the pass didn’t perform that well as apart from the other design flaws, it carried well above the designed flow of 0.5 cubic metres per second. This led to turbulence and entrained air within the pass, all of which reduced its efficiency.
CCT were aware of our concerns over the flow rates and always intended to correct this. After some experimentation with temporary baffles, they have now installed more permanent fixtures to control the flow. Whilst there may still be scope for further modifications and improvement, it certainly looks better now that the flow is at the designed capacity.
Water levels were rising when I arrived this morning after overnight rain. The pass was still accessible but not for long. I’d guess the cut off level for access falls between 0.4 and 0.45m on the SEPA gauge. Easy access is around 0.3m – 0.4m or less. There were plenty of fish showing but they were all pretty coloured. I saw salmon 3 enter the fish pass and move up through some of the chambers.
Lots of trout were jumping at the white water on the right bank with no hope of going anywhere. I put my hand into a small pool behind a boulder and moved a fish of about 2lbs. I expect some of the larger trout may be sea trout.