Monday, 15 April 2013

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Monitoring of fish through the regulator on St Mary’s.

We recently received a letter from the River Tweed Commission which mentioned among other things their wish to set up monitoring equipment in the form of cameras on the regulator at the dam at the foot of St Mary’s.

What has brought this about is that the Tweed Foundation during their routine sampling found a very low number of juvenile Salmon and Trout in the little Yarrow.
After considering the issue it has been put forward that the fish pass adjacent to the regulator is virtually non functional due to the fact that for it to have sufficient flow of water, the level of St Mary’s needs to be very high to get sufficient throughput of water to allow fish to navigate the pass.
The fish pass at high loch level.
The feeling is that Brown Trout and Salmon should be able to navigate the regulator channel, but it may be that larger fish only may be capable of using the channel, and the smaller fish being denied passage thereby leading to small numbers young fish.
Of particular interest to us is that is that larger trout from St Marys are said to exit the loch and head up the Douglas burn in order to spawn. If the resultant offspring are unable to get back into the loch the numbers of trout will drop.
This in addition to the construction of the Meggat dam which according to some of our senior members resulted in removal of the gravel beds on the Meggat, wiping out the majority of suitable spawning beds on the river.

The cameras will record fish movement through the regulator, in addition the size and type of fish would be able to be recorded.
Discussions between the RTC SEPA and Scottish Water are ongoing to see if funding can be released to finance this project. Water gushing through the regulatorat St Mary's.From the archives

From a meeting on the 5th of February 1970
- the notion of stocking the lochs with Rainbow Trout was discussed but it was felt that it would be more appropriate to stock with Brown Trout. Accordingly it was agreed to order 50,000 Loch Leven eyed ova.

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