The Milton Burn at Turnberry was the focus of our fish rescue yesterday.

Reputedly a sea trout burn, we had little data from this burn in the lower reaches so it was an interesting experience regardless of a rather poor result.

The Milton Burn at Turnberry where culvert repairs under the A77 required dewatering of the site

W & A Gilbert contractors working for Scotland Transerve requested we perform a fish rescue ahead of essential culvert repairs at the burn. We appreciate this attention to detail as it is only right that any dewatering is accompanied by a fish rescue. Regardless of the number of fish present, it isn’t appropriate to leave them floundering as water is sucked from their habitat. We have worked with Gilbert’s before and other Scotland Transerve contractors and we never refuse our assistance anywhere in Ayrshire.

Pump installed, the water quickly disappeared down the pipe and left the site dry. As the water disappeared, we ran through the site removing any fish we had missed in earlier passes


The Milton Burn failed to live up to expectations however, we did catch a few trout although not as many as we hoped. Eels on the other hand were in plentiful supply and that’s good news as they have declined across Europe and are currently classified as in critical decline on the IUCN Red List of Species. All in all we recuded nearly 50 eels from the dewatered area, around 10 trout and hundreds of stone loach and rather surprisingly no minnows.

We are grateful to W & A Gilberts for the advanced notice and accommodating us and the fish and to Scotland Transerve for their continued commitment to protecting the ecology. Good work by all.