We completed our last NEPS (National Electrofishing Programme for Scotland) site on Friday afternoon last week. The Programme has us survey 30 sites randomly generated to prevent operative selection bias. These surveys are always interesting due to the random nature of the selection and can throw us into corners of Ayrshire where we ordinarily don’t find ourselves. Results from electrofishing surveys this year have been poor on the whole, given the poor catches experienced by anglers last year this isn’t a great surprise to us. Catches aren’t necessarily a good barometer of fish numbers as water levels and angling effort can have a significant impact fish caught.

Ian records the site parameters on a small burn that runs of the Cairn Table near Muirkirk. The heather is coming into some stunning colours now which made a fairly hard trek feel worthwhile! 

The Dunnock Burn on the River Stinchar. A hidden gem and quite stunning as the early morning light lit up the beech trees at the top of this glen. Whilst we were looking for salmon there were none. The burn is steep in places and although there aren’t any outright barriers to migration a combination of cascades and tree blockages seems to prevent fish from reaching the very upper reaches – there are good numbers of trout however.

The Garpel Water with Cairn Table hill in the background. Our NEPS survey site was out on the hill and required a fair tramp across the moor to reach it.


WIth these surveys complete we will be turning our attention to green engineering on the Water of Girvan, project work on the Brockloch Burn and Netherton Burns as well as a raft of other electrofishing sites across Ayrshire.