A large multi sea winter salmon in the fish pass and counter. This one was round 93 = 97cm long.

Behind the scenes, work continues on the counter every week with our staff cleaning the equipment and downloading more data. Processing and verifying this data all takes a huge amount of time and while may not pick up every fish that goes through it yet, eventually we should be able to get to the stage where we have confidence in its abilities and a have a calculation that we can apply to the total count to estimate the minimum numbers running the river. The Marine Scotland Directive (the new name for Marine Scotland Science) will also work with ART and try to use AI or computer aided learning to reduce the amount of work involved verifying the data.

During the process of reviewing the data, we also find fish that the counter can’t pick up such as river lamprey or smolts descending the river in spring.

Salmon and a solitary trout smelt heading to sea in May

An overhead view of a shoal of smolts heading to sea

It is encouraging to be able to count these fish in and out of the River but it takes a lot of work.