Smolt traps again

Soon be that time of the year again when the smolts start to move. Today we were over in the upper Deveron area and the upper River Fiddich installing three of the smaller, 4 foot diameter traps. There was the usual confusion over which bit went where at first but by number three it was a well oiled team effort between the Deveron and Spey. All three traps were deployed as part of the fisheries monitoring plan associated with the Dorenell Wind Farm.

The trap in the Allt Deveron

The trap in the Allt Deveron. It might not look it but the Allt Deveron was by far the biggest of the three rivers visited today. There is very good habitat in the upper Deveron and there was a good catch of salmon smolts last spring.

A short distance downstream of the Deveron trap location is the confluence of the Blackwater, a good sized spawning tributary well known for its spawning run of big river trout. Salmon spawn in it also but if I recall correctly the Deveron Trust caught more trout parr/smolts than salmon last year in this trap.

The Blackwater trap

The Blackwater trap in position

The last trap was in the upper Fiddich. The Fiddich is quite small at this point but there are still 5 or 6km of first class habitat used by salmon upstream. We had a good mixed catch last year with the salmon smolts considerably larger on average than found in the upper Spey tributaries.

River Fiddich trap in location

River Fiddich trap in location. Lovely clear water in the Fiddich. The conductivity and pH in the Fiddich are amongst the highest found in the Spey catchment.

The Fiddich is little more than a burn at this point and barely wide enough for the trap but it was turning good today.

The Fiddich is little more than a burn at this point and barely wide enough for the trap but it was turning great today. The Deveron team will be looking after all three traps initially.

On Friday the Avon traps and the Tommore Burn trap will be installed although not operational until Monday; our last weekend of freedom for a while!

There is 1 comment for this article
  1. Anthony Tinsley at 11:52 am

    Big traps for small streams?

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