Annual Christmas Raffle Draw
Dec 18, 2009

The Annual Christmas Raffle draw took place on Friday 11th December at the Chestnuts Hotel, and the draw was once again made by Mr John Scott MSP. We are indeed indebted to Mr Scott who gives up his valuable time to attend the Raffle Draw, and would like to take this opportunity to thank him very much !

 Christmas Raffle prizes 2009


Prize                                               Donor                                                        Winner

1.      Guideline Fly Fishing Rod                  (Guideline & Glasgow Angling Centre)  Lord Inchcape

2.      £100 note                                         (Adprint)                                              Mr Paul Devlin

3.      Christmas Hamper                             (ART)                                                 Ms Deborah Gardiner

4.      £20 Voucher for Gibbs of Galston     (Gibbs of Galston)                                Mr John Dalrymple Hamilton

5.      £10 Gift Voucher                              (Pets Aquarium, Prestwick)                  Mrs Elizabeth Goldie

6.      £10 Gift Voucher                              (Pets Aquarium, Prestwick)                  Mr Neil Howie

7.      Voucher days fishing for two  (Arran View Fishery)                                       Mr Geoff Lockett

8.      Voucher Day’s Fishing                      (Carrick Angling Club)                          Mr Robert Mair

9.      Hardy Fly Reel                                  (Carlos Van Heddegem)                       Mrs Sandra Jones

10.  Net                                                   (Glasgow Angling Centre)                     Mr A Fleming

11.  Fly Box                                             (Glasgow Angling Centre)                     Dr C.J.R Lewis

12.  Yellow Fly Box                                 (Kilmarnock Angling Club)                    Col. Polley

13.  Impulse WF8F Flyline                       (Kilmarnock Angling Club)                    Mr D Boatman

14.  Leeda Mayfly Fly reel                        (Kilmarnock Angling Club)                    Dr T.D. Haskins

15. River Stinchar Map                            (ART)                                                  Mrs Jean Thomson

16. Fleece jacket L                                 (ART)                                                   Mr Gordon Dawson

17.  Polo shirt L                                       (ART)                                                   Mr J Evans

18. Polo Shirt                                          (Monsanto)                                           Ms Moira Scott

19.  Bottle Red Wine                                (ART)                                                  Mr Peter Brwon

20.  Bottle Grants Whisky                        (Wm Grant & Sons)                              Mr Allan Knox

21.  Bottle Hendricks Gin             (Wm Grant & Sons)                                          Ms Susanne Trainor

22.  Bottle Dolphin Shiraz             (David Slider)                                                   Mrs Fiona Ross

23. Bottle Dolphin Chardonnay                (David Slider)                                       Mr Orr Ewing

24. Bottle Two Oceans Red Wine           (ART)                                                   Ms Dawn McClure

25. Memory stick                                    (Spirit Aerosystems)                              Mr A Easton

26.  Lap top case                                     (Stephen Kerr MMTIW)                       Ms Rachael Agnew

27. “Mrs Bridges” Conserve Gift Box  (Dobbies)                                                  Mr Orr Ewing

28. Bird Feeder Box                                (Dobbies)                                             Mr Stanley Brodie Q.C.

29.  Travel Flask & Cup Set                     (ART)                                                   Mrs Wm. Galbraith

30. Calculator & Pens                             (Monsanto)                                            Mr Dan Wright

31.  Umbrella, Baseball cap & misc          (Spirit Aerosystems)                               Mr Brian Thomson

32.  Umbrella, Baseball cap & misc          (Spirit Aerosystems)                               Mr Peter N.B. Kennedy

33. Pen & Pencil set                                (Spirit Aerosystems)                               Mr Alan Taylor

34. Gift pack of Soaps etc                       (ART)                                                    Mr Andy Weir

35. Bottle of Wine                                   (John Scott MSP)                                   Mr J Findlay

36. Masterline Spinning Rod                    (Kilmarnock Angling Club)                      Mr John Beaton

BOTTLE WHISKY (Members prize)     (ART)                                                     Miss Gillian Murray


South Ayrshire Water Vole Reintroduction Project
Dec 17, 2009

Good News was received in the office this week with confirmation that ART has secured considerable funding for a water vole reintroduction project in South Ayrshire.

South Ayrshire Waste and Environment Trust (SAWET) have agreed to provide £41,950  over two years which constitutes a high percentage of the total funding required to deliver this project.  ART  is in the final stages of appling for additional funds to allow this exciting project to commence in Spring 2010.

The project is a first of its kind in lowland Scotland and will allow Trust Biologists to research particular apsects of water vole ecology. In particular we will examine dispersal rates, breeding seasons, growth and survival rates. The results will be used to develop future conservation strategies in similar locations.

ART will be involving local community groups and volunteers throughout the duration of the project and encourage anyone with an interest to get in touch. There are many ways to help from assisting with monitoring to mink control, a introduced species that predates on water voles.

The water vole project pages on ART’s site will be updated shortly where details of the reintroduction will be available.

River Girvan AGM Speaker
Oct 27, 2009





Wednesday 18 November 2009 7.30pm

Crosshill Arms, Crosshill, By Maybole.


Our speaker this year is Dr Eric Verspoor, from Marine Scotland (formally the FRS) at Pitlochry, who is UK’s foremost expert (and perhaps the world expert) on Salmon and Trout genetics.


Dr Verspoor will speak of the fascinating range of his work on the genetics of salmon and trout, how this can be used to identify the populations of fish present within rivers, spawning locations, their migratory patterns etc. His work is groundbreaking and the unlocking of the genetic code is proving of enormous benefit to the management of fisheries, hatcheries, and the sport of angling. Dr Verspoor has already assisted us on the River Girvan by analysing “putty” used by poachers on the river – one of the less expected benefits of his research.


A short AGM followed by Ayrshire Rivers Trust Head Biologist Brian Shaw’s report on the River will be completed first, followed by the speaker.


Dr Verspoor is an excellent  and very eminent speaker, and we hope for a good turnout. Any angler, owner or interested party from the River Girvan is most welcome to this meeting, and we hope to be joined by others from neighbouring rivers.

Fisherman’s supper 2009
Oct 13, 2009

Our 2009 Fisherman’s supper is soon approaching, based at the Ivy Room, Miller Road, Ayr on Friday 6th November 7.30pm until midnight. A night not to be missed with fantastic prizes from the raffle and mini auction. A delicious 3 course meal is included, with a choice for each course. Two guest speakers including Crawford Little writer in Trout and Salmon. All of this for £20 each or if booking a table of 10 £190.

For more information click here or contact Janette directly on 01292 525142 or

Fisherman’s Supper Prizes 2009



1.  Sharpes 9.6 Ft Fly Fishing Rod        (Sharpes of Aberdeen)       – Winnner –Jim Taylor

2.  Net                                                 (Glasgow Angling Centre)   – Winner –Andy Ewing

3.  Fly Box                                           (Glasgow Angling Centre)   – Winner –Janette Galbraith

4.  Bottle Grants Whisky                       (Wm Grant & Sons)           – Winner – David Younger

5.  Bottle Islay Mist Whisky                  (Hillhouse Quarry)              – Winner – Jimmy Hyslop

6.  Okuma Airframe Reel                      (David Slider)                     – Winner – Marti Anderson

7.  Wading Stick                                   (Brian Shaw, ART)             – Winner – Ian Hughes

8.  Wading Stick                                   (Brian Shaw, ART              – Winner – Stuart Keen

9.  River Stinchar Map                          (ART)                                – Winner – Stuart Keen

10. Black Polo shirt & hat                     (Robin Wilson)                    – Winner – John Squire

11. Bottle Whisky                                 (Robin Wilson)                    – Winner – David Russell

12. Bottle Whisky                                 (Alex Anderson)                  – Winner – Peter Ross

13. Magnum of Perry                            (ASDA)                              – Winner – Graham McTurk

14. Polo Shirt                                       (ART)                                  – Winner – Gilbert Browne

15. Fleece                                            (ART)                                  – Winner – David Russell

16. Ipod                                               (David Cosh)                        – Winner – Tommy Thomson

17. Wooden Fly Box                            (Ian McGregor)                    – Winner – Douglas Dunsmuir

18. Hardy Line                                     (Ian McGregor)                    – Winner –  Carlos Van Heddegem

19. Tin of Quality Street                        (Aleta Shaw)                        – Winner – Tommy Thomson

20. Car Service                                    (Nick Candlish)                     – Winner – Hugh McLatchie

21. Fishing on River Girvan                   (Carrick A.C.)                      – Winner – Unknown

22. Bottle Shiraz                                   (Carlos Van Heddegem)        – Winner – Robbie Black

23. Bottle Hardy’s                                (Carlos Van Heddegem)        – Winner – Aleta Shaw

24. Fishing on River Stinchar                 (Gilbert Browne)                   – Winner – Douglas Stewart


                     Auction Lots 2009

Carlos Van Heddegem      Holms beat on River Doon  (2 days for 1 Rod 30th & 31st Aug 2010 or

                                         6th & 7th September 2010, reserve £50 ) Winner – Stuart Brabbs £60


Brian Davidson (ASFB)    Cardrona beat on River Tweed (1 day for 1 rod – date TBA)  Reserve

                                         £100 – Winner – Anonymous £80


Lord Richard Wellesley     Knockdolian beat on River Stinchar (1 day for 2 rods – date TBA)

                                         Reserve £100 – Winner – Aylner Carson £160


Robert Dalrymple              Ballantrae beat on River Stinchar (1 day for 2 rods – date TBA but

                                         before 01/09/10 ) Reserve £100 – Winner – Lawrence Dalgleish £160

2008 Scottish Salmon and Sea Trout catches
Oct 10, 2009

Marine Scotland published the 2008 Scottish Salmon and Sea trout catches last. The report can be viewed online at In Ayrshire the Doon had the highest official catch of salmon with a total of 1074 (47% released). For its size the Girvan performed exceptionally well in 2008 with a total of 767 (48% released), outfishing the much larger River Ayr.

Sea trout continued their slow recovery with 116 recorded on the Girvan and 86 on the Stichar, the best from that river for ten years. The sea trout catch on the River Ayr was also the best since the year 2000.

The reported catch and release rates for salmon are still well behind the Scottish average (62%) although it is known that the true local figure for catch and release is masked by reporting issues.

Eels revenge
Oct 7, 2009

Trust staff discovered a young otter lying dead on the river banks of River Doon near Dalrymple this morning. Otters are common in this area, so sightings of dead ones are not unusual.

Except this otter was found with an extremely large portion of eel wedged in its mouth, causing the otter to choke and die. The eel was removed from the mouth showing thick rubbery skin and bones making it appear to be the head.

At this age otters generally still feed with their mothers, this one may have been playing with the remains of the meal or maybe it was still hungry and wanted more, whatever the situation eel turned out to be the otters last meal.

Cessnock Water quality goes downhill
Sep 19, 2009

A recent invertebrate sample in the lower Cessnock Water, close to Hurlford, found that water quality has deteriorated markedly since the last sample taken by Ayrshire Rivers Trust in Aug 2005. Then the sample scored A1, the highest score in the Trust’s scoring system, with a range of mayflies, caddis larvae, stoneflies, shrimps etc present. The picture shows an image of a flattened mayfly which were common at the site in 2005 but absent in 2009. 

The Sept 2009 sample scored D2, one of the lowest scores possible, with only pollution tolerant species present. Shrimps, which can tolerate low levels of pollution were completely absent from the sample.

The reasons for the poor score are not yet clear although the most likely source is effluent run-off from one of the many farms in the catchment. The findings have been reported to SEPA.

Invertebrate sampling is one of the most tried and tested methods of monitoring water quality and is an excellent way of assessing the long-term health of any watercourse.

Brown trout found in the Pow Burn
Sep 2, 2009

Ayrshire Rivers Trust staff have often been told about the good trout that used to be found in the Pow Burn, which flows into the sea near to Prestwick airport, but until today we had never carried out a survey in the burn. To rectify that situation one site was surveyed in the middle reaches where 3 brown trout were found along with other fish species such as eels, sticklebacks and stone loach. The trout were in very good condtion. A few scales were taken from the fish pictured and it was found to be one and a half years old. The trout was 219mm long, exceptionally good growth for a fish of that age.

It is very pleasing to see that there are still trout present in the burn, albeit at low density. The Pow Burn has a purely agricultural catchment but many stretches of the burn are in good condtion. If further improvements were to be implemented within the catchment the Pow Burn could provide high quality habitat for a range of species.

Large Farmed Salmon from the Doon.
Aug 28, 2009

A farmed salmon of over 20lbs has been caught on the River Doon this week.

An angler fishing at Lindsayton in the middle reaches caught a 20.25 lbs salmon that on scale examination was confirmed to be an escapee. Earlier in August, a larger fish of approximately 22lbs was found dead, again in the midldle reaches. This fish was also confirmed to be a farmed fish.

Anyone catching a fish that suspects it is not wild in origin should take a few scales (5) from the fish (near the dorsal fin just above the lateral line) and send them to the Trust biologists who will be able to confirm it’s pedigree. The tell tale signs to watch for are fin and tail damage, unusually spotty appearance and a less than streamline overall shape, all of which are obvious in the picture (some fish are harder to spot).

All escapee farmed fish should be killed to eliminate the risk of interbreeding with the native Doon fish.

Water of Fail Steering Group
Aug 14, 2009

On 13th August the inaugural meeting of the Water of Fail Steering Group was held.

ART were keen to encourage a holistic approach to solving the Fails problems as they occur catchment wide. We were delighted by the response to our invitations to join the group with representatives from SEPA, the Rural Payments and Inspections Division, South Ayrshire Council and the Ayr District Salmon Fishery Board amongst those agreeing to take part.

The meeting commenced with an introduction by Brian Shaw followed by a summary of legal and regulatory issues by James Storrie of SEPA.

Several issues were discussed  and the broad objectives were decided.

Fiona Ross of South Ayrshire Council has kindly agreed to chair future meetings.

There is no doubt that it will take considerable effort and time to make real improvements to this river but this is a very positive starting point and we hope that anyone with suggestions will get in touch through the Trust’s office.

Compensation payout.
Aug 14, 2009

Darvel Angling Club have recently received compensation for the pollution incident that occured on 5/11/2006.

Following protracted negotiations betwen Fish Legal and the contractors insurers, an agreed settlement has been reached.

£7137 was paid to Darvel Angling Club last week to cover the cost of restocking the Gower Burn, an important spawning tributary of the River Irvine.

Thousands of mainly juvenile salmon and trout were killed following the release of slurry into the burn.

ART are pleased that Darvel AC have finally been compensated and hope that it sends a cautionary warning to other farmers and contractors operating in close proximity to a water course.

Salmon in the Classroom
Jun 29, 2009

As the school term comes to an end so did the 2009 Salmon in the Classroom project. Nineteen schools participated in the project in 2009 involving a total of over 450 pupils. The project aims to foster an interest in rivers and the wild life they support so hopefully we will have a few budding biologists in a few years time.

An innovation for 2009 was the salmon lifecyle ruler which was given to each pupil. Ther rulers also proved to be very popular with teachers and school office staff and it often  difficult to leave the school without the box of rulers being emptied.

The last school field trip was with Towerlands Primary in Irvine. They had previously released their fry in the Annick Water and a repeat visit was made for an electrofishing demonstration and bug hunting to assess the health of the river.

Five species of fish were found during the electrofishing demo including brown trout, salmon, eels, stone loach and minnows. The eels are always a favourite with the pupils and it was great to see attitutes to this much maligned fish change during the fish identification section.

 Caitlin de Falco isn’t quite sure what to make of this eel!

The other schools participating in 2009 were Pinwherry, Colmonell, Barrhill, Barr, Ballantrae, Hillhead (Kilmarnock), Mauchline, Kingcase (Prestwick), Monkton, Wellington (Ayr), Logan, Drongan, Ochiltree, Straiton, Cairn (Maybole), Pennyland and Corsehill (Kilwinning) and Glengarnock (Kilbirnie).

Mother of all salmon parr found in the Annick
Jun 24, 2009

Trust staff captured a giant salmon parr in the Annick Water this afternoon during a trip to the river with Towerlands School.                       

Trust staff had previously observed that salmon parr from the River Irvine and tributaries were often of a large size. During this trip a salmon parr of 189mm was recorded, the biggest ever found by the Trust in Ayrshire. The average size of parr found at this time of year is from 90mm to 130mm. Scales taken from the parr showed that it was two and a bit years old.

Does this mean that it will return as a large adult salmon? It is impossible to say although fast growing parr are thought most likely to return as grilse after spending one year at sea. However, in 2008 a salmon of over 24lb was caught in the Annick Water, one of the biggest landed in Ayrshire last year, maybe there is a race of giant salmon thriving in the Annick Water!

Beavers in Scotland
Jun 5, 2009

The recent re-introduction of beavers into the Knapdale Forest in Argyll has received a lot of publicity. There has been a great deal of debate on the potential impact of a widespread naturalised population of beavers on populations of wild migratory salmonids in Scotland. Fisheries interests regard the dam building habit of beavers to be one of the biggest risks to migratory salmonids. Small to medium sized burns are extremely important spawning and nursery habitat for wild salmon and trout including the declining sea trout. There are long established regulations and laws controlling man-made dams, for good reason, one of the major causes in the decline of salmon populations was the widespread building of dams for mills at the start of the industrial revolution.

The Scottish Beaver Trial website states that beavers will only build dams where there is no suitable pre-existing habitat  This highlights another concern of wild fishery interests; beavers change existing habitat to suit their own needs. Shallow fast flowing burns could be turned into stillwater ponds inundating trout and salmon spawning habitat. The Tweed Foundation have researched the impact of beavers on wild fish in great detail and recently published a feature on a visit to a small colony of beavers in Tayside The ability of beavers to manipulate habitat to suit their own needs is cleary demonstrated.

Unfortunately the Knapdale beaver trial is in an area where there is no significant population of migratory salmonids. This suggests that the trial may not be able to provide answers on one of the most contensious issues surrounding their introduction.

Spring Fish
May 26, 2009

There are a few Springers about with most rivers reporting the odd fish, (the Stichar is the exception).

We are all hoping for a good season ahead but it is worth noting that the four local Salmon Fishery Boards recommend that all Sea Trout are returned throughout the year to preserve the remaining stocks. This may be unpopular with a few anglers, but on the whole most seem to be in favour of this measure at least in the short term.

Tight Lines.

Ayrshire Catchments Bio-security Planning
May 26, 2009

Ayrshire Rivers Trust is currently developing a Catchments Bio-security plan associated with identifying the risk of introduction and spread of non native invasive species and fish diseases in Ayrshire rivers. The Ayrshire bio-security plan is one of twenty being produced as part of a nationwide Bio-security Planning Project by members of Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland (RAFTS). Three pilot plans have been produced by the Argyll Fisheries Trust, The Esks Rivers & Rivers Fisheries Trust and the Deveron, Bogie & Isla Rivers Charitable Trust. These plans identify the risk, delegate responsibility and co-ordinate restoration following introductions.

The Ayrshire plan will focus on the three key areas – prevention, detection and rapid response and finally control and eradication. In the case of any invasive species, prevention is always better than cure and this will be central to the biosecurity plan. Bio-security planning for rivers is a complex but innovative measure designed to protect against the worst scenarios imaginable. Threats such as Gyrodactylus salaris, the fish parasite responsible for destroying salmon stocks on over 40 Norwegian rivers.

Gyrodactylus salaris is but one of a host of threats to native species. The economic cost of an introduction could be disastrous to the Scottish economy and consequently the development of these plans is supported by conservation organisations and the Scottish Government. Stakeholder consultations will form an essential part of the process as the plan will represent the agreed approach of all parties.

Dates and venues for consultations will be announced shortly when all interested parties will be invited to participate in the process.


Summer Events
May 26, 2009

Catrine Festival.  Saturday 6th June 2009

Catrine Community Trust are holding a festival in the village on the 6th June . Ayrshire Rivers Trust will have a stand where we will display some of the work that we do. We will be collecting and identifying invertebrates from the river which is sure to be popular with children and anglers alike.

In conjunction with the Community Trust, we will hold a duck race with the winner receiving £100. Ducks will be on sale at £1 each.

Other attractions on the day will include:

Craft stalls selling jewellery, art, woodturning, baking, sweets etc. and plenty of other things to do and see including facepainting, pony rides, mini animal zoo, bouncy castle, hot food, bar, music etc etc etc.

This promises to be a fun day out for all the family with lots to do and see and we hope you will come along and support the Trust and the community.

Full details for the day can be found at the Catrine Community Trust’s web site.

Celebrate Ayrshire, Culzean Castle and Country Park. Sunday 14th June 2009


Celebrate Ayrshire is the theme of this event and ART are pleased to be taking part.  Ayrshire’s ‘Homecoming Year’ is all about celebrating our heritage and links with Robert Burns. Artists, poets, musicians and the Maybole Pipe Band will feature during the day and there will of course be the opportunity to buy crafts and local produce.

On show will be a milking demonstration, an open top bus, vintage military vehicles, a Clydesdale Horse and many other attractions from our past and present. ART will have a display featuring our work and current projects.

Culzean Castle and Country Park are spectacular and will no doubt benefit from the added attraction of Ayrshire Rivers Trust to pull in the crowds!

Come along and bring the family. It should be another very good day out. Full details of the event are available from the National Trust for Scotland’s web page

Giant Hogweed Control
May 26, 2009

We are into the second year of our Giant Hogweed project on the upper River Ayr. Spraying is well underway, and by mid June will be complete upstream of Stair Bridge. Early indications are that there is a significant reduction in mature plants since this time last year.

The aim is to prevent plants reaching maturity (4-5 years old) when they can produce up to 5000 seeds per plant. Once the plant flowers, it dies.

Following this round of spraying we will assess the overall effectiveness of the control measures and hopefully if progress has been worthwhile, we will secure funding to allow us to control the plant on the whole river for several years to come. Maintaining the effort over many years is the only way to eradicate this plant from the catchment.

If you see plants that are flowering upstream of Stair Bridge this year, please take the time to contact us so that we can arrange for their removal before seeds develop. There is a reporting facility on the Invasive Weeds Project page or alternatively call Stuart or Brian at the office.

Mar 24, 2009

We have received reports that there are still a lot of kelts spread throughout the Ayrshire Rivers. Some of the fish that have been landed are said to be extremely well mended. Last week on the Doon, an angler returned a fish that he thought was a ‘Springer’ that on scale examination is likely to have been a Kelt.

At this time of the year it can be difficult to tell Spring fish from Kelts and as always, in the interest of conservation,we encourage anglers to return all Salmon before the 31st. of May. It is worth noting that the four Ayrshire River Salmon Fishery Boards codes of practice state that all Sea Trout should be returned throughout the season.

SEPA Ayrshire Fisheries Meeting
Mar 3, 2009

SEPA have been working with a range of stakeholders including Ayrshire Rivers Trust to produce a draft Clyde Area Management Plan (AMP) which includes Ayrshire . There is a consultation period for the plan which can be found at

In order to provide information on the draft Clyde RBMP Ayrshire Rivers Trust are organising an evening meeting at SAC Auchincruive on the 25th March where representatives from SEPA will present information on the AMP. This meeting will provide a great opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the RBMP process, how it affects your waters and also an opportunity to feedback comments to SEPA. Details of the meeting are available here. If you would like to attend please contact Ayrshire Rivers Trust via email.

Ayrshire Fisheries Management Plan
Feb 25, 2009

Following a public consultation period Ayrshire Rivers Trust have produced a final version of the Ayrshire Fisheries Management Plan 2009 -2015. The Trust is grateful to the many individuals and organisations who took the time to respond duing the consultation period. Almost all of the comments received were positive and the content of the plan has been amended to incorporate comments wherever possible.

We hope that the publication of the plan will result in the implementation of the actions identified, all of which will help to protect and improve fisheries in Ayrshire. The final FMP can be found here.

The production of the FMP was funded by the Scottish Government.

New vehicle for the Trust
Feb 12, 2009

ART have today taken delivery of a new vehicle that should reduce their Carbon footprint dramatically.

Brian Shaw was clear about the reasons for opting for a smaller van this time around. ” The old four wheel drive pick up was rarely used to its full potential and was heavy on fuel. As a conservation organisation, it seems appropriate that we reduce our carbon footprint wherever possible and using fuel efficient vehicles not only reduces our transport costs but cuts emissions. Over the lifetime of the vehicle we expect to make considerable monetary and carbon savings which is not only good for the planet but also demonstrates to our members that we always aim to offer the best value in returnfor their support”.

The van was supplied by Kerr and Smith Ltd who are supporters of the Trust.

The 2002 Mazda 4×4 Crewcab Pickup is now for sale with full service history, MOT, Tax, and no known faults. 86,000 miles. (The signage will be removed)

Price £2100.00 ono. Contact the office for full details.

North Ayrshire train derailment pollution
Feb 11, 2009

As a result of the train derailment near Stewarton at the end of January, over one hundred and fifty thousand litres of aviation and road fuels are understood to have escaped into the environment, polluting soil and watercourses.
Ayrshire Rivers Trust staff attended the Annick Water and the Garrier Burn after receiving a spate of telephone calls from concerned anglers and members of the public. The Annick Water appears to have escaped largely unaffected however the Lochridge Burn and the Garrier Burn both have suffered terribly with what is expected to be a total loss of all fish and invertebrate populations. These burns  flow into the River Irvine via the Carmel Water and the impact on these two rivers has yet to be fully assessed.  In all, around 22 kilometres of watercourse are likely to be affected.
Aviation kerosene is particularly harmful to the aquatic environment. Following investigations, Trust biologists discovered many dead fish throughout the affected burns. Seven different fish species were recorded including salmon, brown trout, minnow, stickleback, gudgeon, stone loach and eel. Millions of invertebrates, the staple food for fish, birds and amphibians have been completely destroyed. Even pollution resistant species such as leaches have been lost. The effect on salmon and trout spawning sites is unclear which is extremely worrying as salmon and trout eggs should be hatching soon. Reduced oxygen levels will lower egg survival rates and for those that do hatch, lack of invertebrates will lead to further losses. At least three generations of trout and salmon are likely to have been lost.

Other species likely to be most affected are otter and water vole, both of which are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and are thought to  be present in these burns. Water Voles are Britain’s most endangered mammal. Ayrshire Rivers Trust are currently researching the distribution of these animals in Ayrshire and anyone with information regarding water voles is asked to contact them. Bird life was noticeable by its absence during the surveys. Encouragingly, Trust Biologists found no dead mammals or water birds although downstream at Irvine Harbour there appears to be a number of casualties.
Environmental emergency response teams are actively removing fuel oils from the affected burns. It is unclear how the oil can be removed from the soil around the crash site but in situ bio remediation techniques are likely to be the only option. Undoubtedly, the cleaning up process will take an extended period of time with full recovery taking years rather than months.