Steve and I slotted in a quick redd count in the Broad Burn (a.k.a. Speyburn) after lunch (or more accurately during lunch) today. Broad Burn is one of several tributaries of the Rothes Burn, all of which are very productive, just a pity they weren’t all accessible, although one day they will be. Broad Burn itself is now accessible thanks to the installation of the fish pass by Speyburn Distillery, a key sponsor of the Spey Foundation.
The installation of the fish pass was covered extensively on this blog during the summer so this was the first spawning season with proper fish passage for a long time.
Between the road and the distillery (distance of 450m with an average width of 5m) we counted 20 redds in total, 9 of which we thought were salmon with 11 trout (sea trout) redds. Above the new fish pass we counted 22 redds all of which we recorded as sea trout. One or two we weren’t sure about but we are always conservative with the redd counts however it wouldn’t surprise me if there were a couple salmon redds there, certainly some looked large enough. It would have been nice to have seen and identified a salmon but the fish we did observe were all sea trout. Fish seen included the rear half of a male; the remains of an otter kill, a single live sea trout and a pair spawning.
A video of the sea trout cutting its redd can be seen here on our Vimeo webpage.
All in all a very successful visit to the Speyburn. It was satisfying to confirm (again!) that the fish pass is working and we look forward to the electrofishing next summer so that it can be established for certain which species were involved.