At the Spey Fishery Board’s Stocking Sub-Committee it was decided that some of the hatchery’s fish would have their adipose fin removed to facilitate identification during monitoring and if caught in the future. With the lack of resources available, the Ghillies were asked if they would be able to assist in this fin clipping, as they had done last year. The request was met with an overwhelming response, with 23 volunteers who were keen to assist and began helping with the project at the Board’s Sandbank Hatchery. The Ghillies, and volunteers, spent every evening from Monday 25th August until they completed the task by 9:00pm on Friday 29th August.
The tremendous effort by the Ghillies from the length of the river, who gave up their evenings, is really appreciated. Credit must also go to the Hatchery Manager, Jimmy Woods, who produced fry in excellent condition, thus assuring them the best possible start to their long and hazardous journey to the feeding grounds in the far North Atlantic.
SFB Chairman, Brian Doran, who also helped to fin clip at the hatchery, said, “I am extremely grateful to all the Ghillies for giving up their spare time to contribute towards this project and for their continued support and passion for the fish in the river.”
The hatchery produced 207,000 fed fry, of which 180,000 had their adipose fin clipped. The fin clipped fry are subsequently being released into the following burns: Tommore, Rothes, Batten, Corrie, Mackalea, Cromdale and the lower mainstem. The stocking was all done as mitigation; either for man-made obstacles, losses due to pollution incidents and the major fish kill in the lower river during the recent large spate.
All photos courtesy of Mr Steve Brand