The Spey Foundation, like its predecessor the Spey Research Trust, is administered by a Research Committee which was set up under a Deed of Trust in June 1982, and is a charitable organisation.

The Foundation’s main role is to undertake research in a range of topics and provide scientific evidence to the Board which they can use to base management decisions on. The Foundation staff carry out surveys and projects which are aimed at producing results and evidence for what the river needs to be a healthy and supportive environment for the many species that live in and around it. Regular monitoring work includes the annual electrofishing surveys, which we use as a way to check the population of juvenile salmon and trout in the river. During the spring we run smolt traps on tributaries to assess the number of juvenile salmon and trout migrating to sea. Although the marine phase of salmon and sea trout is largely out with our control, our aim is to ensure we are fully aware of the threats and what can be done to mitigate them, as well as ensuring the river is producing the maximum number of smolts possible, and thus contributing to the returning adult stock. Education is a further important part of our remit, covering a wide range of subjects which work with the Curriculum for Excellence in schools, and give pupils the chance to learn new and exciting information relevant to their local community.

Collectively, the Spey Foundation is, or has been involved in a wide range of activities:

  • Electro-Fishing Surveys & Monitoring
  • Scale Reading & Data Collation
  • Fish Counter operation – acoustic counter on mainstem at Delfur and a vaki counter on the   Dullan; adult traps on River Fiddich and mainstem at Spey dam
  • Catch Data Analysis
  • Smolt Trap Operation
  • Habitat Management
  • Education – “Salmon in the Classroom” and general presentations on aquatic wildlife
  • Thermal Discharge Monitoring for Distillers
  • Water Sampling/Monitoring for Wind Farm developments
  • Preparation and Implementation of Fishery Management Plans, including for Wind Farm   Developments
  • Collation and Preparation of samples for the FASMOP Genetic Analysis project
  • Bio-security Planning for Invasive Non-Native Species
  • Co-ordinator for the Scottish Mink Initiative in the Spey catchment, aiming to eradicate the non-native species American mink

As well as the biology team, there is a Foundation committee who meet quarterly to discuss the science, future projects and priorities. The members of the Spey Foundation are currently:

  • Peter Graham (Chairman, Peter Graham Associates)
  • Alan Williams (Carron & Laggan)
  • James Carr (Mandatory for Wester Elchies, SFB)
  • Brian Shaw (Biologist, Spey Foundation)
  • Polly Burns (Assistant Biologist, Spey Foundation)
  • Roger Knight (Director, Spey Fishery Board)
  • Dr Catherine Wills (Knockando Estates)
  • Sir Edward Mountain Bt. (Delfur Fishings)
  • Angus Gordon Lennox (Gordon Castle Estate)
  • Dr. Alastair Stephen (Scottish & Southern Energy Fisheries Biologist)
  • Sandy Smith (Spey Ghillies representative)
  • Brian Doran (Mandatory for Craigellachie Fishings)

Steve Brand (Spey Rods and Ghillies)

Everything carried out is with the general aim to enhance, support and monitor the River Spey and ensure it is able to support the maximum biodiversity possible.

For regular updates on the Foundation’s work, please visit the ‘Spey blog’, along with our Facebook and Twitter feeds. We post videos relating to our work on our Vimeo channel.

 
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