Argyll Fisheries Trust

"To promote and improve the health of aquatic ecosystems and self sustaining fish populations. To understand the biology and ecology of all freshwater fish species, including those that migrate between fresh and marine waters, their environment and factors that affect them."

01499 302322
Email Us

Latest Projects »

Argyll Fisheries Trust Projects

Rivers in Argyll »

Rivers in Argyll

Argyll Fisheries Trust
Cherry Park
Inveraray, Argyll
PA32 8XE

01499 302322
Email Us


These are the main projects we are currently working on.  Reports from many of our projects can be found in the ‘Publications’ page.

Aquaculture Interactions Project

Starting in 2011, as part of a programme examining the impacts of aquaculture on wild salmonid populations, AFT are undertaking surveys of post-smolt sea trout in local sea lochs to monitor sea lice burdens. The programme is funded by Scottish Government, and is in collaboration with RAFTS and other West Coast fishery trusts with Marine Scotland Science as advisors.

This project builds upon previous years of sea trout surveys as part of the Area Management Agreements initiative  Through this project, we developed a Locational Guidance model for Local Authority planners and government agencies, which highlighted the most sensitive areas for wild salmonid fish on the West Coast to aquaculture.  While we are proud of the model, unfortunately development of the model was discontinued in 2015. 

LG_Map.jpgAFT will continue to talk to the aquaculture industry and Scottish Government with a view to improving management of aquaculture/wild fish interactions, and improving the health of wild fish populations.

All reports from this project can be found on the RAFTS website here, including the results of our sweep netting surveys.

Pearls in Peril 2012-2016

AFT are a partner in the Pearls in Peril project, which is led by Scottish Natural Heritage.  Our little part of the project is to improve the habitat for salmon and sea trout in the River Mingarry on Mull, which is a Special Area of Conservation for Fresh Water Pearl Mussels (FWPM).

Salmon and sea trout form an integral, essential role in the life cycle of the FWPM, and therefore to protect the FWPM, we need to protect salmon and sea trout.

Full details of the project, and more facts about FWPMs, can be found on the official website of the project here.

This project is funded through the EU LIFE Nature Project programme.

Loch Etive Rivers Project 2014-2015

In 2014, AFT carried out fish habitat and electrofishing surveys for 11 river catchments that flow into Loch Etive, Argyll.  The data collected from these surveys will be used to inform river owners, Scottish Natural Heritage, SEPA, as well as Argyll & Bute Council.  We are currently producing the reports (May 2015), and will publish the final summary report on this website when the project is completed.

Our thanks go to Scottish Natural Heritage and Awe District Rivers Improvement Association for funding this project.

River Goil Habitat Restoration Project

The River Goil is a real gem of a river, nestled away in a secluded glen in south Argyll.  However, the river is suffering from the pressures of agriculture and commerical forestry, which has contributed to erosion of the river banks leading to loss of usable habitat for fish.

The River Goil has suffered badly from bank collapse and erosion due to livestock poaching and poor vegetation diversity due to grazing pressure from livestock and deer. The rate of sediment input currently far exceeds the sediment transport capacity of the river. This has resulted in heavy sedimentation and compaction of the river bed which reduces habitat quality for salmonids and invertebrates. Atlantic Salmon and brown trout lay their eggs in a redd, a small depression in the river bed which is then covered back up with clean gravel/pebble substrate. These redds require river bed substrate which has adequate interstitial space to allow water flow and oxygen delivery to developing fish eggs and alevins. This interstitial space is also essential for fry cover and refuge, especially when bankside cover is not readily available. The same can be applied for a multitude of invertebrate species which in a healthy river should dominate the river bed community.

To tackle this, AFT are working with the local farmer, the Goil Angling Club, and the Forestry Commission to reduce the rate of erosion.  This is achieved by fencing off the river from livestock, planting trees in between the fences and river, the roots of which will strengthen the river bank, and protecting the river bank using soft revetments made of brash from commerical forestry.  Follow our blog for photos of fieldwork days.

Our thanks go to the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, EB Scotland Ltd for the Landfill Communities Fund, CSV Action Earth, and the Argyll District Salmon Fishery Board for funding this project.  Our thanks also go to Mr Jackson for allowing access to the river, and the Goil Angling Club for all their help.