Christmas Raffle Draw Winners
Dec 15, 2010

Annual Christmas Raffle Draw 2010 Winners

The Annual Christmas Raffle Draw was made by Mr John Scott MSP last Friday, and the winners are as follows :-

Donor                                                 Prize                                                           Winners

Scot West Business Forms           £100                                                            Mr Bruce Lindsay                      

Spirit Aerosystems                         Fuji Film Digital Camera                          Mr Alex Ross

Spirit Aerosystems                         Bottle of Champagne                              Mr Wiiilam Galbraith

Spirit Aerosystems                         Bottle of Dalwhinnie Whisky                  Mrs Mhairi Gibson

Ayrshire Rivers Trust                     Christmas Hamper                                  Mr Stephen Higgins

Kilmarnock Angling Club                £40 Gift Voucher                                      Mr T C Coltman

Kilmarnock Angling Club                £30 Gift Voucher                                      Mr Neil Howie

Kilmarnock Angling Club                £20 Gift Voucher                                      Mr G Doherty

Kilmarnock Angling Club                £10 Gift Voucher                                      Mr Douglas Stewart

Torbets Outdoor, Kilmarnock        £20 Gift Voucher                                      Mr Colin McNally

Tesco, Ayr                                          Bottle of Bombay Gin                              Mr Jim Stevens

William Grant & Sons Ltd                Bottle Reyka Vodka                                 Mr John Dalrymple Hamilton  

William Grant & Sons Ltd                Bottle of Monkey Shoulder Whisky     Mr Marshall Dougall

William Grant & Sons Ltd                Bottle of Balvenie Whisky                      Mr Kenneth McGregor

William Grant & Sons Ltd                Bottle of Hendricks Gin                          Mrs K Gray

William Grant & Sons Ltd                Bottle of Glenfiddich                               Mrs Helen Lindsay

Mr Robin Wilson                               Bottle of Famous Grouse                       Mr Alex Ross

Carrick Angling Club                       £20 Fishing Voucher                                Mr R B Redhead

Carrick Angling Club                       £20 Fishing Voucher                                Mr M Bryden

Doon Engineering, Ayr                    Voucher for a Car Service                      Mr Allan Knox

ASDA, Ayr                                          Bottle of White Wine                                 Miss Brodie McCutcheon

Ayrshire Rivers Trust                     Fleece Jacket                                            Mr Jock Wood

Ayrshire Rivers Trust                     Polo Shirt                                                   Mrs Seonaid Lewis

Ayrshire Rivers Trust                     Print of the River Stinchar                      Mr Jim Harkin

Energy Agency                                 Power Down Energy Saver                     Mrs Una Maxwell

Energy Agency                                 Power Down Energy Saver                     Mr Alex Ross

Mr David Slider                                 “Matching The Hatch” Book                    Mr F Irvine

Mr David Slider                                 Crivit Fishing Reel                                    Ms Sandra Adams

Gamesport, Ayr                               Wading Stick                                              Mrs Marguerite Hunter Blair

Mr Carlos Van Heddegem             Bottle of White Wine                                 Mr Brian Lindsay

Ayrshire Rivers Trust                    Bottle of Malt Whisky                               Mr F M French     (Supporters Prize)


We would like to thank John Scott for once again giving up his valuable time to make the draw, and to the Chestnuts Hotel in Ayr for being perfect hosts. The Trust would also like to give a heartfelt thanks to all who donated prizes to the draw, trust members for selling tickets, and all who bought them – your generosity, time and support are vital to the Trust and we thank you most sincerely! 



Galloway Hydro Scheme review: proposed cut in River Doon compensation flow
Dec 6, 2010

As you may be aware Scottish Power have submitted their application for a variation in the Galloway Hydros Scheme licence. The review of the licence undertaken by SEPA identified that the scheme was having a significant deterimental impact on the Kirkcudbrightshire River Dee. The review required Scotish Power to provide compensation flow, or increased compensation flow, at three locations in the River Dee. The provision of increased compensation flow in parts of the Dee means that Scottish Power will have less water available for hydro generation. Scottish Power have “identified to SEPA that there would be no loss in renewable energy generation as a result of implementing the specified changes“. Scottish Power have dismissed increased wind power as an option to replace the lost generation capacity as well as 17 other options listed in the application document. The option selected as the source of replacement generation capacity is to take more water from the River Doon by reducing the compensation flow from 45million gallons/day to 36.5mgd.

ART has become increasingly aware that there is an urgent need for a more balanced view on the proposal that that provided in the application document and ecology report. In order to address that ART have produced an interim consultation response which summarised the main issues without being too technical. The information provided is factual and referenced enabling the reader to find out more if required.

ART will be submitting a detailed consultation response in due course but we hope that this information included in the interim report will assist those  tasked with or interested in providing a response on behalf of an organisation or individually. The ART interim report is available here.

The application document and ecology report can be viewed on SEPA’s website at . The deadline for consultation responses is the 17th Dec 2010. Responses should be sent to

Fisherman’s Supper Raffle Winners
Dec 3, 2010

       Fisherman’s Supper 2010

The Annual Ayrshire Rivers Fisherman’s Supper was recently held at the Ivy Rooms Hotel in Ayr. The speakers were Bill Nolan, a well known raconteur with a background in Scottish Rugby and Beer promotion (two closely related subjects some would say), and Tommy Wilson, who made a welcome return to the Supper after a four year gap. The audience were treated to a delicious meal, then royally entertained to a side-splitting performance by both speakers, ending in an auction and raffle draw, with the winning bidders and raffle winners listed below:-


                      Donor                                          Lot                                                                               Winning Bidder

                      Mr Gordon Dawson                 Upper Arndilly, River Spey                                      Mr Lawrence Dalgleish

                      Lord Richard Wellesley           Knockdolian Beat, River Stinchar                          Mr Gordon Hyslop

                      Gordonian Fishings                 Newtyle Beat, River Tay                                           Mr Peter Ross

                      Gordonian Fishings                 Newtyle Beat, River Tay                                           Mr Stuart Lang

                      Mr Robert Dalrymple               Ballantrae Beat, River Stinchar                               Mr Lawrence Dalgleish

                      Mr Carlos Van Heddegem      Holms Beat, River Doon                                           Mr Tony Callan    

                      Mr Stuart Lang                          Balnowlart Beat, River Stinchar                              Mr Nick Candlish  

                                                                                                    Raffle Draw 

                      Donor                                           Prize                                                                           Winner

                      Mr David Cosh                           15ft Fulling Mill Salmon Rod                                   Mr Andrew Ewing

                      ATH Resources                         Bottle of Famous Grouse Whisky                         Mr Carlos Van Heddegem

                      Mr Robin Wilson                        Bottle of Smirnoff Vodka                                        Mr Hugh McLatchie

                      Mr Jim Stevens                         Daiwa Fishing Rod                                                    Mr Ian McGregor

                      ART                                              Fleece Jacket                                                            Mrs Aleta Shaw

                      ART                                              Fleece Jacket                                                            Mr Douglas Stewart

                      ART                                              River Stinchar Print                                                  Mr Jimmy Mair

                      Mr David Slider                          “Matching the Hatch” Book                                     Mr Alistair Paton

                      Mr David Slider                          Crivit Fishing Reel                                                    Mr John Squire

                      Morrisons Supermarket         Box of Biscuits                                                          Mr Bob Cairns

                      ART                                              Power Down Energy Saver                                     Mr Andrew Ewing

                      Mrs Aleta Shaw                         Sewing Box                                                                Mrs Janette Galbraith

                      Mr Phil Haughton                       Bottle Grants Whisky                                               Mr Jimmy Mair

                      Mr Ian McGregor                       Bottle of Chardonnay                                               Mr Peter McIlwraith

                      Mr Ian McGregor                       Bottle of Rose Wine                                                  Mr Alistair Duguid

                      Mr Ian McGregor                       Bottle of Sauvignan Blanc                                        Mr Gordon Hyslop

                      Mr David Slider                          Bottle Vodkat                                                             Mr Willie McLeod

                      Mr David Slider                          Bottle White Wine                                                      Mr Carlos Van Heddegem

                      Mrs Marty Anderson                Bottle Fitou                                                                 Mr Hugh McLatchie

                      Wm Grant & Sons                      Bottle Monkey Shoulder Whisky                           Mr Douglas Stewart

                      Wm Grant & Sons                      Bottle Glenfiddich Whisky                                       Mr Colin Chalmers

                      Wm Grant & Sons                      Bottle Balvenie Whisky                                            Mr Jim Smillie

                      Wm Grant & Sons                      Bottle Hendricks Gin                                                Mr David Crawford

Thanks also to the other top table guests, Mr Jim Stevens, Mr Ian McGregor and Mr Brian Shaw, and to all of the above Raffle Prize and Auction Donors for their fantastic generosity. Last, and by no means least, a huge thank you to the Ivy Rooms staff for their help and assistance in staging this event, and for the lovely meal that was enjoyed by all! See you in 2011!



Salmon Spawning Walk
Nov 25, 2010

The Trust ‘s biologists have organised a spawning walk on the River Ayr on Saturday 4th December.

This should provide the opportunity to watch salmon cutting redds and spawning in the shallow riffles and runs as they complete the final stage in their lifecycle.

The walk will last between 2 -3 hours and will be at a very leisurely pace. A pair of polarising sunglasses are useful to reduce the surface glare and improve visibility. Wellingtons or thigh waders are essential and a walking stick helps with balance. Obviously this walk will be weather dependent and if water levels are too high, or the temperature is too low, then it will be postponed (or the veue changed if there are suitable alternatives elsewhere in Ayrshire on that day). Time and meeting place will be arranged in due course.

Anyone interested in coming along should contact the Trust asap as places will be limited.

It is looking unlikely that there will be any activity on the redds this weekend due to the low temperatures. Unless there is a change in the weather soon, the spawning walk will be postponed for 1 week. Watch this space for updates.

Signed Glasgow Rangers F.C. Shirt, 2009 Auction
Nov 12, 2010

ART were kindly given a signed framed 2009 Rangers Shirt (27 players signatures) to help raise funds. Rangers F.C. were the Scottish Premier League  Champions in 2009.

After much deliberation, we decided to auction the shirt through our web site.

Bids should be sent by email to info@ayrshireriverstrust or by telephone on 01292 525142. If emailing, please include your full contact details so that we may verify that the bid is correct.

The current highest bid will be updated at least on a daily basis but do remember this is not a live auction like ebay, so it’s advisable to get in early with your best bid.

The shirt can be viewed at our offices, Monday to Friday 9am -5pm.

The closing date for bids is 5.00pm on Tuesday 30th November.

The winning bidder will be announced shortly after the close of the auction. Payment through Pay Pal using the donate button or by arrangement with ART staff. Collection from our office at Ayr or delivery by arrangement.

Good luck!

Tuesday 5.00pm  Bidding now ended.  Sold to Tom Gibson from Kilmarnock for £130. Thanks Tom.



Pollution on the Ayr
Nov 1, 2010

On the 27th October, ART received a phone call from a concerned angler about pollution on the Lugar that ruined any prospect of fishing downstream of the Burnock Water at Ochiltree. ART attended immediately and contacted SEPA who also attended.

The situation was similar to the events that occurred during October 2008 with a large amount of suspended solids carried downstream from an opencast coal site (the source of which SEPA was unable to pinpoint). This time, the source was traced and the problems rectified quickly. The impact of this discharge on angling is obvious, however the impact on invertebrates and salmonid spawning is not. Trout will be spawning in the very near future and hopefully the silt arising from this discharge that coats the river bed  will have cleared before then. The Burnock and Lugar are extremely important salmonid spawning and nursery areas.

Anglers are understandably aggrieved by this type of event and their loss of fishing which can extend to several days by the time the effects reduce. Any angler with concerns about water quality  is encouraged to contact SEPA and the Trust as soon as a problem is evident. Where possible, photographs should be taken to support the complaint.

The discharge has been recorded and will be the subject of further investigation by SEPA. ART eagerly await their update.

Water Voles on the River Irvine
Nov 1, 2010

Today, ART has been offered assistance with monitoring of both mink and water voles in the Irvine area by a group of volunteers that work for a local company. This very welcome assistance will allow ART to start controlling mink which should benefit the increasingly rare water vole. Monitoring with GCT type rafts will commence soon.

A water vole on the Irvine

ART staff recently viewed a water vole crossing the Irvine near the Beechams site which was surprising as mink are well established in that area. Anyone with knowledge of water voles on the Irvine or willing to assist with monitoring is encouraged to get in touch. The more people involved , the wider the area that can be controlled.

Details of our work with water voles can be found in the water voles project pages of this site.

Introduction to Salmon Fly Tying
Oct 20, 2010

The Trust are running an introduction to Salmon Fly Tying during November.

Three seesions are planned initially, and will commence on Thursday 4th November at 5.30pm – 7.00pm. The 2nd and 3rd sessions are planned for the 11th and 18th November at the same time.

The content of the course is geared to complete novices and will aim to provide step by step instruction. After 3 sessions (and a bit of practice in between) participants should be able to produce a range of flies to suit most conditions.

There will be a nominal charge to cover costs.

Places will be limited so if you are interested please let us know soon.

If there is enough interest we may run a follow up course aimed at more advance fly tying.

Fisherman’s Supper
Oct 1, 2010

The annual fisherman’s supper will be held at the Ivy Rooms, Miller Road, Ayr on the 12th November at 7.00 for 7.30pm.

Tickets are available now at £23.00 per head or £220.00 for a table of 10.

Brian Shaw, senior biologist with the Trust will deliver a brief summary of what’s been happening throughout the year followed by our two guest speakers.

Speakers on the night are Bill Nolan, an International Rugby Board Member, PR and Media Consultant and most importantly a lifelong angler and Tommy Wilson who despite being very funny and a great after dinner speaker hasn’t cast a flee in his life! The two of them are sure to keep the audience entertained throughout.

Book your tickets early to avoid disappointment as this event is normally fully booked.

Japanese Knotweed Control on the River Doon
Sep 3, 2010

Following the noticeable spread of Japanese Knotweed (JK) in some areas of the Doon catchment, ART has now secured the necessary funding to commence strategic control of this problem plant. Inappropriate management of JK in some areas has caused it to spread and increase in density along the river banks.

SEPA has agreed to match fund the Doon District Salmon Fishery Board’s contribution in an effort to gain control of what threatens to be a major problem if left unchecked. ART has been responsible for initiating this control and will be project managing the ongoing effort in 2010 and 2011. Trial results indicate that the most effective period of control is Autumn, during flowering. In September this year, a local contractor will embark on the task of treating every known stand of JK along the length of the Doon (with the exception those areas already under control agreements or organically farmed). The Doon DSFB will be contacting all riparian owners for their permission in due course.

Landowners are legally obliged to prevent the spread of this plant from their land under the Wildlife and Countryside (Scotland) Act 1981. It is therefore in everyone’s to allow this opportunity to become a landmark event in Ayrshire. We just have to look to the Stinchar valley to see how invasive (and expensive) this plant can become in a relatively short space of time.

The photo below shows the plant in flower but interestingly in the UK, it never forms seed and reproduces only by vegetative means (cuttings).

Rod and line catch data graphs have been updated to include 2009 information
Jul 27, 2010

The catch data graphs have been updated to include 2009 information. If you click on the desired river you will then see a tab for catch data corresponding to that particular river, there you will find the updated graphs. One graph is for salmon catch and release and the other sea trout catch and release.

The overall figures are shown in the tables below.


Salmon and Grilse 2009 rod catches





% Released



























Sea Trout and Finnock 2009 rod catches





% Released


























ART AGM Guest Speaker: Marcus Walters, Moray Firth Sea Trout Project
May 27, 2010

The 2010 Annual General Meeting of Ayrshire Rivers Trust will be held on the 7th July at Ayr Rugby Club, Millbrae, Alloway, KA7 4PJ, 7pm for 730pm. As well as the usual formalities we are pleased to announce that there will be a guest speaker present. Marcus Walters, of the Moray Firth Sea trout Project will give a presentation on the work being carried out to investigate the causes of the decline in the Moray Firth sea trout population. The work being carried out in the project may provide some useful pointers for research into the decline in sea trout in Ayrshire and the wider Firth of Clyde.

We would like to encourage as many members and interested parties as possible to attend.

Giant Hogweed Control.
May 3, 2010

ART have engaged a contractor to spray the upper River Ayr again this year. This will be the third successive year that the river upstream of Stair Bridge has been controlled by ART. Additionally, ART are spraying the lower river on behalf of South Ayrshire Council to reduce the risk to public health. The right bank downstream of the stepping stones to Nethermills Weirs has already been completed and the left bank will follow shortly. Duck / Swan island is a particularly bad spot on the left bank and the plants are already 3 feet high.

Despite our efforts and a huge reduction in mature plants, there doesn’t appear to be a shortage of young seedlings emerging from the soil this year. Hard winters are known to break the seed dormancy so we were expecting a flush of new plants. Preventing flowering and seed production remains our top priority as the seed bank in the soil is ever reducing although realistically we expect to maintain our efforts for some considerable time yet.

Tweed comes to the Stinchar
Apr 29, 2010

The Stinchar DSFB AGM will be held at Minuntion on the 6th May at 7pm (vote early!). The guest speaker this year will be Dr Ronald Campbell, Head Biologist with the Tweed Foundation. Ronald will be giving a presentation titled  ” A Talk on the Wild Side – Salmon Managment on the Tweed“. This is sure to be of interest to all anglers as Ronald has a wealth of fisheries management experience and knowledge.

All are welcome to attend.

If you catch a big salmon in Ayrshire it could win the Malloch Trophy by Savills
Apr 14, 2010

The Savills Malloch Trophy is awarded for the heaviest salmon of the season, caught on the fly on any Scottish river, and released. This old trophy has been resurrected by the Tay District Salmon Fishery Board. In 2009 it was won by a fish of 32lb from the River Lochy. Salmon only slightly smaller than that were caught in Ayrshire last year so if you are lucky enough to land a salmon over 20lb on the fly do consider entering it for the trophy. It is not necessarily the biggest fish that wins the trophy, the circumstances and location will also be considered by the judging panel.

How to Enter

Catch It            Catch your wild Atlantic Salmon on a fly

Weigh It           Those over 20lbs are contenders

Measure It       Both length and girth (take a photo if poosible)

Verify It           Independent witness required

Record It         Detail fishing tackle used, date, time and place of capture

Release It

Enter It            Entry forms are available from or your local river office


Winner’s Prizes    Silver Sculpture by Patrick Mavros

£250 House of Bruar voucher

Invitation to the River Tay Annual Awards Dinner

Ghillie’s Prize       Savills Malloch Medal and cash prize

Memorial Prize     Awarded to the winning river

Ayr smolt trap
Mar 25, 2010

Ayrshire Rivers Trust have recently started an exciting research project on the River Ayr. A rotary screw trap has been deployed in the main stem of the river to sample downstream migrating smolts. The screw trap is constructed from aluminium and consists of two floatation pontoons, a rotating cone drum and a fish box. Once the cone is partly submerged it rotates as the current flows past the specially designed fins. Any fish entering the cone are led into the holding box (thanks to Galloway Fisheries Trust for lending the smolt trap)

A range of information will be collected during the project including smolt run timing, smolt size and age, genetic samples and evidence of predator damage. The smolt run will also be related to environmental factors such as river levels and water temperature.

This project would not have been possible without funding contributions from the River Ayr District Salmon Fishery Board, Scottish Government (via Fishery Management Planning Project funding) and Scottish Coal.

Stuart Brabbs adjusting the smolt trap

Ayrshire Fisheries Seminar
Mar 25, 2010

Ayrshire Rivers Trust recently held a very well attended seminar on the theme “Under the surface of Fisheries Management”. The event was well attended and the appreciative audience heard presentations from a range of well known speakers.

Seminar speakers from the left: Brian Shaw ~ Ayrshire Rivers Trust, Andy Walker ~ Wild Trout Trust, Lucy Filby ~ SEPA, Peter Kennedy (Chairperson), Eric Verspoor ~ Marine Scotland, Craig Macadam ~ Buglife. (Andrew Wallace ASFB/RAFTS also presented but had to leave early).

Ayrshire Rivers Trust would like to take this opportinuty to thank the speakers for their excellent contibutions. Many thanks also to the audience for turning up in such good numbers to make the day a great success.

Invasive Weeds Spraying Course
Mar 15, 2010

During March, ART  trained 7 volunteers to apply pesticides to recognised and certified standards. The candidates were trained and asssessed in The Safe Use of Peticides using hand held applicators in or near water. (PA6AW). The cost of this training was met by SEPA funding, awarded through the restoration fund to assist in improving the status of Ayrshire Watercourses impacted by invasive non native weeds.

The volunteers will now take control of invasive weeds on their local rivers follow strategic control methods coordinated by ART. This is the first time that this approach has been used to tackle the invasive weed problem in Ayrshire and perhaps Scotland, so we anticipate great results. Next year we intend to train a further 12 volunteers so if this is of interest, get in touch with your details.

Recording of March Brown Mayfly
Mar 3, 2010

After the very succesful fishery seminar held on Sat 27th Feb at Auchincruive, Craig MacAdam from Buglife has sent an ID sheet showing the March Brown mayfly, with space to record any sightings. The March brown (Rhithrogena germanica) is declining across Europe.  The Ephemeroptera Recording Scheme is running a survey this year to establish the distribution of this iconic mayfly in the UK and Ireland.  The March brown ‘season’ is almost upon us and Craig would be grateful if you could distribute this attachment to anglers, clubs and associations in your area so that his team receive as many records as possible.  Please also have a look for this distinctive species on your local rivers and feel free to send digitial images of specimens to ourselves, which can then be forwarded to Craig for confirmation of your identification.


March Brown Mayfly ID and Record Sheet pdf (187KB)

Rod catch graphs updated
Feb 5, 2010

The rod catch data for each of the main rivers in Ayrshire have been updated to include the 2008 official catch returns (see rivers tabs e.g. For salmon 2008 was generally a very good year. The catches on the Ayr, Doon, Girvan and Stinchar were all above the ten year average with the 2008 catch on the Girvan particularly good: equivalent to 238% of the ten year average. The catch return for the Irvine District (which includes the Garnock) was the only Ayrshire area to be below the ten year average.

For sea trout the situation was not so good, although reported catches on the Ayr, Doon, Girvan and Stinchar were all above the ten year average. The Ayr showed the largest increase with a total of 45 sea trout reported in 2008 compared to the ten year average of 24. On the Irvine and Garnock the situation was similar to salmon with the reported catch being 25% of the ten year average.

Of course there are issues regarding the accuracy of the official catch statistics, and it is thought that this factor is not consistent across Ayrshire. The catch statistics alone suggest that there are problems in the Irvine and Garnock, however large numbers of spawning salmon were observed in the Irvine at the end of 2008, perhaps the highest number seenfor many years. Whether this was due to a large late run of salmon which arrived after the close of the angling season or whether there are other factors explaining the poor rod catch need investigative work.

ART Biosecurity Plan Consultation Draft
Feb 1, 2010

ART staff have been working on a Biosecurity plan outlining the measures which should be taken for present non native invasive species and if others were to be introduced accidentally to the Ayrshire catchment. You will find the plan in PDF format under the documents tab or by clicking on the link below. Please feel free to read through it and get in contact with your comments.

Biosecurity Plan Consultation Draft

Fisheries management seminar
Jan 14, 2010

ART are holding a fisheries management seminar on Saturday 27th February 2010. The seminar will be held in the Green Room located within the Refractory in Auchincruive Estate. All are welcome, tickets are £10 per person including lunch. Please confirm your booking by Friday 12th February either by email, phone or post. If further information is required please get in contact.

Further details are supplied by clicking here

For directions please click here