Saturday June 9th saw an International delegation visit the River Nith in its head waters. This was the culmination of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) conference which was being hosted by the Scottish Government in Edinburgh this year. NASCO last met in Scotland 9 years ago and after a week of talks and meetings at the conference the Scottish Government requested that the Nith arrange a field visit to the coal mines in the upper catchment. Delegates from Sweden, Russia, Norway, America and many other countries were shown around Scottish Coal’s House of Water surface coal mine and its workings.

Then the focus turned to the river diversion that was conducted during 2004 to allow for the extraction of coal. Following a presentation in the morning where the engineering procedures and fisheries protection measures were explained the group then walked a section of the diverted channel and were shown the channel and its maturing features. Members of the Nith District Salmon Fishery Board and Directors of the Nith Catchment Fishery Trust were on hand to answer questions and chaperone the delegates.