We were on the Lugar and upper Ayr today selecting and surveying sites ahead of experimental gravel cleaning that we intend to undertake along with the RADSFB bailiffs shortly. SEPA asked that we establish a base line against which we could assess improvements which was on the agenda anyway so all going well we will undertake this work in the next few weeks. We’ve surveyed 6 sites in total across the catchment so far I’m looking forwards to next years results.

A gravel cleaning site near the ruins of Wellwood House on the upper Ayr

A gravel cleaning site near the ruins of Wellwood House on the upper Ayr

On the upper Ayr near the demolished Wellwood House, we caught three beautiful trout from the site along with a few salmon fry.

A leash of bonnie trout that were caught in the Wellwood site from below a tree root. After recording, they were returned safely to the river

A leash of bonnie trout that were caught in the Wellwood site from below a tree root. After recording, they were returned safely to the river

The colour of the water was’t appealing and this is a result of the many iron inputs from historic mining in the area. SEPA aren’t concerned about this yet I can’t say I share their confidence that it doesn’t impact fish. It may not kill them but it leads to mass algal growth on the bed which I believe reduces spawning success. The results of the gravel cleaning will be interesting.

Iron deposits on the river bed and plants. This iron arises from historic mines that are now filled with water that leaches through the soil to the river. The riverbed is coated with trailing and brown ale that I'm sure traps sediments and reduces spawning success. The results of the gravel cleaning will be interesting.

Iron deposits on the river bed and plants. This iron arises from historic mines that are now filled with water that leaches through the soil to the river. The riverbed is coated with trailing and brown algae that I’m sure traps sediments and reduces spawning success. The results of the gravel cleaning will be interesting. The opaque greenish water is as a result of the iron enrichment

Whilst in the area, the farmer asked our advice on how he can address erosion on his river banks as he’s losing land and fences. We will see what we come up with and hopefully be able to report back with more improvements to follow in future. What was instantly obvious was the lack of tree cover. The roots from trees helps to bind the riverbank together and cut erosion.

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