We have two teams out electrofishing at the moment in an attempt to catch up following weeks of high water. Next week we will post an update for all the rivers that we have fished but this evening I thought it would be worth letting you know how we fared today on the lower Ayr. Sadly I can’t report any significant improvement on the poor results from the last two years. The situation on the lower River Ayr is very poor across the board despite minor improvements at a couple of sites.

The Doon, Girvan and Stinchar by contrast appear to be doing well.

We did have a couple of interesting catches today and Alba was amazed at the size of a trout that came from below a boulder downstream of Stair Dam. In my last blog post I questioned the need for stocking trout. I did say that there was no shortage of trout around 10 inches but we were lucky today and caught a cracker of around 15″ or 1 1/2 lbs+. This fish was caught in the skinny water downstream of Stair dam. I always get a buzz from fish of this quality whether the are at the end of a rod or caught during electrofishing.

Over 1 1/2 lbs and in great condition

Our Catalonian intern Alba, was surprised at the size of this fish and struggled to hold onto it for a photograph.

Alba with the big troot.

At the same site we also had a very large salmon parr.

a large salmon parr at 178mm

It is always nice to find wee grayling. They are stunning fish and good fighters too. We constantly hear that there are very few of these fish coming to anglers these days so it was encouraging to find a few in the lower river. It’s not so many years back that anglers used to throw this species up the banking rather than return them to the river. The fear was that grayling competed with salmon and trout to their detriment but I’m pleased to say that these old attitudes have largely died out.  Considering that the most numerous species we capture on the Ayr these days is Stone Loach, I think we have greater issues to worry about than a few grayling.

Grayling are stunning wee fish

I’ll post more details of our electrofishing results next week.