In August of this year the Spey Fishery Board announced that it had decided to fully embrace its hatchery operation at Sandbank in Glenlivet by developing it to its full capacity. This followed a particularly difficult Salmon fishing season, during which the Board carefully considered the scientific advice regarding the use of hatcheries and balanced this against the commercial interests of all stakeholders along the river.
The Board determined to increase production at Sandbank to 1,000,000 salmon eggs, which is double the number that has been produced over the last year. The Scottish Government’s licencing authorities, however, have raised concerns about the low salmon catches this season, which are indicative of a reduced run of fish returning to the river. This, in turn, raised concern that the removal of more broodstock fish than have been taken in the recent past may constitute a greater threat to the viability of the population as a whole in a River designated as a Special Area of Conservation for Atlantic salmon.
The Scottish Government has therefore licensed the Board to collect 200 broodstock fish from the River and its tributaries, rather than the 352 that had originally been requested, which is in line with the number of broodstock fish utilised last year. The Spey Fishery Board remains fully committed to its hatchery operation and will now begin collecting the licensed number of broodstock fish henceforth.
Spey Fishery Board