I have been busy in the office or at meeting over the course of the last week or two so I made time today to walk a couple burns for the first time. The Abhiann Ruigh-eunachan, or Allt Mor as it is named further upstream flows from the Cairngorm ski area into Loch Morlich. Draining as it does the granite rocks of the Cairngorms the water in the Allt Mor is crystal clear although in the lower reaches the flow is sedate and there was a covering of algae on the substrate making spotting redds very easy.
The substrate consisted of granite gravel of an ideal size for spawning. There were very little modifications to the burn and the habitat was good. There must be some spectacular spates in the burn when there is a thaw but surprisingly it looked very stable.
This redd was very pretty – framed with clumps of weed.
I thought I was looking at salmon redds but a short distance upstream there were a couple trout on redds, including one big fellow of 5lb+.
I didn’t see them spawning so they may well have been salmon redds but the big trout did swim over to check me out. Quite often cock fish will “buzz” interlopers as if protecting their territory.
The Allt Mor is a very nice burn, befitting for the scenery that surrounds it. I can’t remember the total number of redds, the sheet is in the pickup outside, but there were about 40 in 1.4km between the loch and the ski road but some would have been trout redds. Similar numbers were recorded last year with 30 salmon redds in the same stretch.