We constantly hear calls for more stocking to solve the problems we face on our rivers. Understanding the implications of stocking and the effects this has on wild populations may help to convince some of those who don’t accept that stocking can actually harm wild fish populations or bring about other problems that may have not been considered. Here are links to 2 excellent short videos produced by the Wild Trout Trust. Paul Gaskell explains in simple terms some of the main considerations that should be understood before any stocking takes place. Watch and enjoy. These concerns apply equally to salmon too.

I hope these are interesting and informative. Reports from angling clubs up and down the River Ayr where brown trout stocking is reducing, indicates that the quality and quantity of wild brown trout on the river is improving. If anyone needs any advice with their stocking policy, then please don’t hesitate to contact the Trust where we would be pleased to offer our assistance.


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5 Responses to Stocking? Some of the issues simply explained.

  1. ian radburn says:

    what wild brown trout we have been stocking our section of the river from 1883 and all paperwork in place for stocking the river for 2015 you know my clubs policy on stocking.
    stocked fish are usually taken out very quickly and the so called wild brown trout returned to the river which was the case this year our membership rely on trout fishing as we do not get any early salmon fishing and by the time the salmon do run they are by there best and are returned to the river. we need to keep a healthy membership or there is a great danger of clubs folding as expressed by many
    at the last fishery board A.G.M

    • Stuart Brabbs says:

      I know your policy on stocking Ian but as the videos explained despite the fact that the river has been stocked for years, the natural wild stock will continue to survive as they are more reproductively successful. Bear in mind clubs that have stopped stocking in the last few years are reporting a big increase in quality and quantity of trout in the river. The latest reports of this came from Ladykirk and Sorn so it would appear that things do improve once stocking ceases. This post wasn’t aimed at any club in particular but we are often asked about this subject so I posted these videos as it is exactly what I believe to be the case and exactly what the body of scientific evidence supports. There was no shortage of trout in the Ayr and Lugar last year but perhaps that was in areas other than in Auchinleck’s Water.
      I accept clubs have to keep memberships up and stocking is the method used to support that but I do feel it’s flawed. Regardless of what we think, the Wild Fisheries Review included a recommendation that all stocking be brought under control and justified. Should the Government take this forwards as I expect they will, then it is likely that things are going to change considerably. They are already taking steps to prohibit the killing of salmon without a pre paid tag. That will affect clubs too as members may not care for these measures but that’s why everyone should respond to the consultation with their views once it comes out in 2015.

  2. ian radburn says:

    cheers stuart thank you for your reply it is not my policy it is my club and members policy on stocking interesting videos though

    • Stuart Brabbs says:

      I appreciate its not your policy Ian. As you say, they are interesting videos though and you may wish to circulate the link to them to members of your club. I do believe they clearly explain the issues and will help anglers understand the problems associated with stocking rivers. The very fact that fewer and fewer clubs are stocking on the Ayr catchment and numbers of wild trout and the quality of those trout appears to be improving may just be the stimulus needed to change attitudes.
      In contrast to a river situation, many still water fisheries rely on continual stocking to keep numbers up and anglers expect to catch more and bigger fish. Without stocking these waters would fail quickly. The two are not comparable yet I believe expectations raised at fisheries also extend to rivers and this is where the real problem lies. On a river, trout are smaller and probably harder to catch. Artificial stocking enhances the angling experience (for some) but at a cost that some may say is unacceptable. There is no way to contain stockies to the area where they were stocked and so they affect more people’s fishing than just those that stocked them. It’s similar to living next to a noisy neighbour; unacceptable but what can you really do about it other than reason with them?

  3. ian radburn says:

    already circulated to members stuart