After the success of our fish rescue at Pundeavon on Wednesday, we were all keen and enthusiastic for another good result when we arrived at Caaf reservoir near Dalry the next morning. However, it had rained overnight and water levels were rising quickly. Since Tuesday afternoon, the reservoir was up over 2m which instantly led us to change our tactics.

No longer were we able to use the small net and the big one was dragged down the bank ready for the first sweep. Drawing and setting this net is hard work. It’s 100m long with a drop of 4m and takes around 8 people on the bank to draw it. We decided to set a curtain across the narrowest part of the reservoir to separate the shallows from the deeper water. We planned to use the smaller net in the shallows so it too was dragged to the water’s edge. The heavy fibreglass boat was also required and launched along with the inflatable which was required as a rescue/safety boat. Tanks were filled and with everyone ready, the outboard engine conked out and won’t restart.

After a fair bit of tinkering it did restart but wouldn’t keep running and unfortunately we decided that we had no alternative but abandon the fish rescue. By the time we recovered the boat and equipment with a JCB, it was around 3.00pm in the afternoon and we all went home feeling as though we’d had a hard but fruitless day.

Thanks again go to the volunteers who turned up to help; Des Broadley and Marc Scott. I hope despite the disappointment that we didn’t manage to do the job, that they enjoyed their day.

Water levels were still rising and we are doubtful that we will get back into Caaf within the next month.