Gillian and I stopped off at Loch Doon this morning as we headed back to the office after a meeting. We have long been concerned over the limited numbers of salmon reaching the upper catchment and 2013 hit an all time low with only 3 fish through the counter at spawning time. This part of the catchment was once a haven for Springers which were known to spawn in Carrick and Gala Lanes.
Since the Vaki counter was installed in the fish pass, numbers have steadily declined so we are in the process of developing a plan that will allow us to monitor all aspects of salmon migration into the loch and beyond and also we intend to look at egg and juvenile survival. There are several problems within the area that we know of but how best to overcome these is a tricky one with no easy solutions. We must establish what are the main problems and that’s the first step. With a life cycle of around 5 years, there won’t be answers coming soon and it’s best to look at this as a long term attempt to work out aspects of survival and migration that limit productivity and goodness knows what else we find along the way.
We haven’t secured funding yet but we are in discussions with potential partners that may assist. More on this as it becomes clear what we can and can’t do but don’t look for it soon. Loch Doon looked stunning as the sun shone on waterlogged Ayrshire. More of this please.