Hello, and welcome to the Argyll Fisheries Trust’s blog. It’s been a while since we updated this page – that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any news, just that we’re always out there doing the good work.

This has been a busy year. AFT are engaged in a range of activities aimed at understanding the factors that affect migratory salmonids and improving their habitat.

Our projects for 2010 are:-

Lower Firth of Lorn Habitat Surveys – funded by Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish & Southern Electric, this project is providing valuable information on the fish habitats of rivers of the Lower Firth of Lorn area.

Isle of Mull Rivers Project – funded by Scottish Natural Heritage and many of the fishery owners of Mull, we are collecting information on the juvenile fish populations and also on the fish habitats of the major rivers on Mull.

The Awe Catchment is the largest catchment in Argyll where much of our work is focused. Our projects for this year include identifying man-made barriers to fish migration in the rivers and burns, with a view to removing the barriers where practical (funded with thanks by Scottish Government, Loch Awe Improvement Association and Forsestry Commission Scotland); looking at the factors affecting the migration of smolts from the Awe to the sea (funded by Scottish Government and ADRIA); improving the aquatic habitat of the rivers of Eredine Forest; and removing invasive non-native plants from the whole of the Awe Catchment. For this last project, AFT were successful in getting a grant from the EU, worth around £215,000 over 5 years.

Our monitoring work for the Scottish Beaver Trial is now in year 3 out of 5, and we are continuing to gather valuable data on the fish populations of the reintroduction area.

Coastal sea trout post-smolt netting was carried out from May to July throughout Argyll. Generally, the picture was encouraging, with increasing numbers of sea trout caught. While the picture is improving, sea trout numbers are still drastically reduced on historic numbers, and AFT, in connection with Argyll District Salmon Fishery Board (ADSFB) have produced a sea trout conservation leaflet to publicise the plight of the sea trout. If you feel you can help by distributing the leaflet, then please contact Craig at the Trust and we get them out to you.

The Mull fish farm escapes project is investigating the effects on wild fish populations after many thousands of fish escaped from a freshwater fish farm on the island. This project is in year 1 of 4 and no results have been obtained to date.

Other Work

We are using income from the ADSFB and River Improvement Associations to develop Fishery Management Plans for many catchments. We are continuing our monitoring and investigation work, stock assessments, analysis of catch returns and habitat improvements. We also continue to represent wild fishery interests at national, regional and local levels.

Source: Argyll Fisheries Trust – Work for 2010