We were at Pundeavon Reservoir today to work out how best to survey the fish and habitat prior to Scottish Water removing the dam wall. This redundant reservoir is no longer fit for purpose and if left as a fishery would increasingly pose a flooding risk to the community below in Kilbirnie. The dam wall has had repairs in the past due to settling and more would be required in years to come. It looks a lovely wee fishery but sadly it has to go.
ART has been asked to undertake ecological surveys to identify fish species present. So far we know of rainbow, brown trout and roach. We will also be looking for undesirable aquatic non native weeds. Scottish Water realise the risk to the Garnock should non native species be released along with the water. Fist step is to identify all species present and Gillian and I set off today to scope the area. The trek up the hill will be our first challenge as we will require a boat to survey the reservoir. It is steep and rough but we made it with the van and I expect we will manage a boat and trailer too. Next problem will be launching a boat as there is no slipway. Tricky but again we think we found the best spot. A four wheel drive will be essential for recovery though.
ART will submit a proposal to Scottish Water tomorrow for the survey and depending on what we find, we will then have to devise a fish rescue as the water is drawn down. Scottish Water will need to include barriers and traps to prevent unwanted species making it to the River downstream. The fish we manage to save will be moved under licence to new locations that Kilbirnie Angling Club has secured. This will be a challenging task but one we look forward to. Watch this space in the coming months for updates.