LOCHY FISHERY MANAGEMENT PRIORITIES AND ACTIONS FOR 2019

LOCATION OF PROBLEM NATURE OF PROBLEM ACTION OR MITIGATION SUCCESS MONITORING
Main Stem River Lochy

 

 

Low number of spawners in lower river due to lack of autumn-run fish Electro-fishing survey undertaken to inform areas to seed with 2g summer fry in July Electro-fishing survey the following year to count corresponding parr numbers
Main stem River Lochy

 

 

Predation from goosanders, particularly during smolt run Predator control through non-lethal bird scaring undertaken throughout the year with emphasis on spring and late autumn Visual counts of goosanders throughout the year
Main stem River Lochy

 

 

Predation from cannibal trout, particularly during smolt run at pinch points Spring trout fishing at river pinch points (open trout fishing up to known local angling clubs) Cumulative visual and trout rod catch evidence every year
Main grilse spawning tributaries (Loy, Lundy, Cour etc)

 

 

Critically low number of spawners well below minimum spawning targets. Due to low marine survival of 1sw grilse in particular.

Habitat degradation in areas of commercial forestry and Smelter intake dams.

Wild Lochy smolts grown on to produce captive broodstock. Eyed ova from these broodfish planted in artificial redds in all tributaries in late winter.

Live discussions with new owners of smelter and Forestry interests to improve flows and riparian habitat in Lundy and Cour tributaries.

Annual electro fishing survey will inform whether corresponding fry numbers are healthy in stocked locations the following summer
River Roy headwaters

 

 

Critically low number of spawners well below minimum spawning targets. Due to low marine survival rates (and long-standing habitat issues?) 25,000 fin clipped autumn parr stocked out in September. Talks with Estate on improvements to bankside fencing and riparian planting Catches and electro-fishing will inform the success of this project funded by Braeroy Estate
Loch Arkaig catchment

 

 

Critically low number of spawners well below minimum spawning targets. Several cumulative local factors possibly at play (low marine survival, Mucomir Dam, smolt farms and forestry). Loch Arkaig Restoration Project – trapping wild smolts, growing captive broodstock and planting out eyed ova. Ongoing talks with SSE about improvements to flows and fish passage at Mucomir, coupled with ongoing dialogue aimed at improvements with all catchment neighbours Fish counters and cameras at Mucomir Dam and River Arkaig hydro Dam, rod catches and annual electro-fishing, will inform the success of this multi-partner project (RLA, SSE, MHS, Lochiel Estate etc)
Estuary (Loch Linnhe and the Sound of Mull)

 

 

Sea lice, escapes, disease from fish farms Direct involvement with local fish farmers on a regular basis seeking to reduce lice or remove fish entirely during wild smolt run. Through very active membership of FMS Aquaculture Committee, working towards better cooperation with national industry and Scottish Government initiatives Lice numbers, disease issues, escapes and unexplained mortalities are received on a monthly basis for all of the fish farms in Loch Linnhe and the Sound of Mull. Success of these industry-led initiatives and improvements becomes quickly apparent
High seas (ocean migration and marine phase from West Coast to North Norwegian Sea and East of Faroes).

 

 

 

Lack of food due to major changes in the oceanic eco-system. Competition by pelagic fish. Predation by other species coping better with the changing climate (dolphins, seals, other fish species etc) Working closely with key international scientists in the field with an objective of raising pelagic fishing quotas. Supporting the work of the AST, and particularly liaising closely on a west coast smolt tracking project proposal Success may be slow but it may look like this – improvements to summer and autumn runs; increase in weight/condition of grilse; reduction of red vent syndrome in grilse (a sign of weakened immune and poor condition)

Comments

Christopher Zawadski
December 3, 2018
It can only be hoped that this immense effort will eventually yield good results. Even if not, the amount of data provided will surely help to focus more on the remaining survival issues facing our fish. We live in hope! Thank you and keep up the valuable work. Regards Christopher Zawadski Horncliffe Berwick upon Tweed

Leave a Reply