Saturday was a nice day (compared to most recently) so I headed to the Girvan to check a few burns for trout spawning activity. I thought I’d definitely see some evidence or fish on redds. Unfortunately I found nothing. I walked the lower Lindsayton Burn at Dailly but saw no evidence of spawning yet. This is a great wee burn coming straight off a hillside so water quality should be good. Unfortunately the lower burn I fear is being impacted to some extent by run off from cattle feeding rings sited too close to the water. Perhaps if the track wasn’t there, the grass would help to stop the silt reaching the burn but when comined with heavy grazing and poaching by cattle, there simply isn’t any buffering effect taking place.  A fence alongside the track would help.

The mud around the feeding areas is washing straight to the burn.

Next I headed to the Penwhapple Burn near Hawkill stretch. I remember seeing lots of good trout in this burn as a very small boy when fishing with my dad. Still no sign of trout and no evidence to suggest that they have already spawned so I’ll have to come back later if I get time. An interesting point worth noting is that Scottish Water has been instructed (by SEPA) to increase the volume of water released from the reservoir from 500 to 916 cubic metres per day to meet the environmental standards for ‘good’. This should be good for the burn in summer when the flow dwindles to virtually nothing.

Clean gravel and clear water. This should be excellent spawning ground if our electrofishing surveys are anything to go by.

From here I walked upstream along the river to the ford at Killochan. On the way I found an area where liquor from a dung heap was running across the surface of the ploughed land and reaching the river some 300m away. Sadly the farmer probably thinks his dung is well sited and unlikely to cause any problems. I’m sure the amount of rain we have had rcentlly is the real problem but all these inputs add up.

Liquor from a dung head reaching the river.

The dung heap resonsible some 2-300m from the riverbank.

There is a stand of Japanese Knotweed at the ford that will need sprayed next year (if it wasn’t recently). The gravel on the inside of the bend below the ford looks like a likely salmon spawning site so again worth a check during December. It was a nice walk along the river and on my way back to Old Dailly I had to wait for a pheasant drive to finish. I have to say anglers and shooters are similar; they fail more times than they succeed!