Yesterday morning Struan and Muir were on the Rye Water (tributary of the Garnock) to conduct a fish rescue. This rescue was ahead of bank stability repairs involving tonnes of rock armour being careful positioned to bolster an eroding bank.
These repairs weren’t able to be postponed until after the emergence of fry from the gravels as we would have preferred. The bank had slipped, destabilising the access road to a property being developed. SEPA gave the go-ahead for these repairs as they were deemed urgent so we were on hand first thing to remove any fish proximal to the work site.
To the surprise of our onlookers we removed around 50 salmon, a few trout and many eels from the area and moved them to safety downstream of the works. We are always encouraged by the number of salmon the Rye Water produces, however you just have to look at the quality of the habitat to know this burn will produce fish if given the chance.
Moving so many fish from such a small area just highlights how important it is to remove fish from areas of construction work at any time of year but we would prefer to see these works delayed until fry have emerged the gravel on every occasion.
As I have commented before I have seen Salmon in the upper reaches of the Rye, a good few years ago, would be interesting if ART could survey to see if they are still there, would be happy to go along and help.