On the way to the smolts traps I managed to take a few photos of the river conditions.
Someone asked yesterday where the turbidity in the lower Spey was coming from. Not sure about yesterday but today it wasn’t from the Avon.
The Spey was running high but none of the burns downstream of the Cromdale Burn had any extra water. Even the Dulnain was well down on the last couple days. The contrast between the very dry conditions on the Moray coast yesterday and the volume of water lying in the upper river floodplain was striking. Along with the big snow melt there has been a lot of rain in the upper catchment since Sunday.
The turbidity in the upper Spey was most likely from the landslip in the Markie Burn, the same burn that caused so much discolouration last summer. The water level in Spey Dam had dropped considerably since Sunday but the dam was still spilling.
Today was the first time I have seen the Spey Dam counter in operation. We still don’t know how many fish it has counted since it was installed, one day we will!
To conclude the day I had a quick walk up the Markie Burn. A high gradient burn surrounded by very steep hills, it is known for its torrential flows. The lower 1km was steep with many cascades but no waterfalls that would limit fish access. Some think salmon can’t survive in such harsh/turbulent conditions but there are salmon rivers with entire catchments like the Markie. If salmon were able to access the Markie it would no doubt produce a modest smolt run.
It was good to see the upper river again. There is a lot of water to come down but the lower river should start to drop from later tomorrow, hopefully those fishing this week will get a day or two in.