We record water temperature data across the Ayr catchment that feeds into the Scottish River Temperature Monitoring Network and helps identify areas on rivers that would benefit from such actions as tree planting. Follow this link for much more detail : http://marine.gov.scot/information/scotland-river-temperature-monitoring-network-srtmn-predictions-river-temperature-and

I visited the two upper most monitoring sites today to download data; one near Glenbuck and the other at the top of the Glenmuir Water on the Shaw side of the catchment.

High Dalblair on the Glenmuir Water near our temperature monitoring site. A remote and ruined steading in a harsh environment.

Both loggers were due for change before the end of the month but both had stopped working some time ago. There appears to be a battery issue with these loggers and we have let MSS know so they can check others too. Unfortunately, as the loggers had died, I couldn’t replace them but did manage to download the data they had recorded. Water temperatures peaked around 24ºC last summer and that’s high enough for our liking but not unusual. Predicted water temperature rises over the next 50 years as a result of climate change could be lethal to salmon hence the focus on this work in the first place.

Anyway, it was a lovely day to be out on the river working. When in the Glenbuck area, I checked for juvenile trout in the Stottencleugh tribs to see if I could see any that may be as a result of the small hatchery/incubator we ran last winter. I managed to spot a few.

Upwelling groundwater from historic mining leads to iron deposits on the bed of this burn and prevents spawning success. This is the reason why ART intervened last winter and reared a few locally sourced trout from eggs to alevins before we released them into better habitat in the area.

Can you see them?

I also looked at the willow cuttings we planted next to the new channel built to allow the road to be straightened. I was disappointed to see that some had been mowed. This area would benefit from allowing the river bank and a decent buffer to grow wild and provide shade and cover for fish (as it used to be. I may call the council and see if we can encourage a slight change to their management approach.

three surviving willow cutting that are doing well. It’s a shame that the council feel the need to mow so close to the river and I will try to encourage them to change this practice. Hopefully in a few years time, we can see the margins restored and covered in tall grasses, shrubs and trees that provide so many benefits to fish and in stream ecology

I noted that Ash ‘Die Back’ has killed the nice Ash tree that stands near our logger. This was alive last year but there’s not a single leaf on it now. It is worrying the number of Ash trees we are seeing dying or dead. There were a good number of trout parr scooting around in these wee pools and that’s encouraging.

There wasn’t a single leaf on this young Ash tree today. it was alive last year. We are noticing more and more Ash trees similarly affected across the whole of Ayrshire