I’ve added 2 photos of trout that we caught today. The first was from the Barlewan Burn near to its confluence with the Abbeymill Burn. We surveyed this site as part of the Maybole Bypass monitoring. Apart from finding reasonably good numbers of salmon fry, this was one of only two trout we found. The lack of trout is consistent with our other site downstream and highlights the increasing importance of the Barlewan Burn as a salmon spawning burn. Following improvements to slurry storage and fencing in the area, the Barlewan is an showing significant improvement in salmon stocks.

A cracking fat trout from a wee burn.

The Culroy Burn in the Doon catchment also produced a nice trout with bright red spots along its flanks. This Burn was stocked regularly just a few years ago but I don’t think this has been repeated lately (I will check this). I’m not sure whether both trout and salmon were stocked but I suspect that it was only the latter. Comparing results from today with previous years was disappointing but better than the last time it was surveyed. Water levels were medium and rising so perhaps conditions weren’t great but given the weather this year we have little choice but to press on with surveys if we want any chance of delivering our full survey commitments.I’ve added the chart for all surveys we have at this site.Once I know the stocking details, I’ll update this post.

Vivid red spots on this Culroy Burn trout.

Continuous survey data since 2002, but in which years was the burn stocked?

Finally, I thought this would be a good opportunity to let readers know that our  Catalan Intern Alba, who has been a great help to us all over the last few months, will leave the Trust this friday to take up a position with a museum in Barcelona until the spring. To continue with Alba’s  work and commence new research, Natalia arrived from Catalonia at the weekend and started working with us today. As luck would have it, she brought the rain with her (so I told her). Both Alba and Natalia came to us through the Leonardo Da Vinci program which aims to provide internships to MSc qualified graduates. I am sure Alba would like to return to work in Scotland (perhaps even south of the border) and can highly recommend her to other Trusts who may need someone with her skills.

Alba and Natalia, our Interns. Alba (standing) had just fallen in up to her waist. Natalia was just as wet from the constant rain!