2022 Projects & Contracts
National Projects: are projects we undertake in partnership with other Fishery and Rivers Trusts across Scotland to inform national fishery policies and wider management of natural resources. These projects include:
West Coast Salmon Smolt Tracking Programme 2022 (Led by Atlantic Salmon Trust)
AFT successfully completed our contribution to the second year of an important project which implanted acoustic tracking tags into a total of 200 salmon smolts in the River Orchy and River Etive which will enable us to learn more about the early stages of their marine migration. More information on the project can be found here.
Sweep Netting 2022 (led by Fishery Management Scotland)
Marine Scotland support of AFTs sweep netting programme in 2022, which investigates the sea lice burdens of sea trout in our sea lochs. This funding enabled surveys to be carried out at two sites in 2022: Loch Riddon and Loch Etive. Other sites at Loch Fyne, Loch na Keal (Mull), Loch Linnhe & Firth of Lorn, Sound of Shuna and Carradale are also being sampled to inform the development of Environmental Management Plans (EMPs) under contract by aquaculture operators.
Adult salmon sampling programme (ASSESS) 2022 (led by Fishery Management Scotland)
In the summer and early autumn of 2022, AFT staff will be working with anglers and river bailiffs to collect scale samples and body measurements from adult salmon caught in fisheries as part of a pilot for a new Marine Scotland funded project which will inform the Salmon Conservation measures (using life history, sea growth and provide estimates of egg deposition)
Scottish River Temperature Monitoring Network 2022 (SRTMN – Marine Scotland)
AFT continues to contribute water temperature data to the national picture through our network of temperature recording tags deployed in the Add, Carradale and Awe catchments. This information is informing national policy on climate change and land use. More information can be found here.
Working With Rivers Project 2022 (NatureScot)
AFT took on Tom Boniwell as an employee for a 12-week period with support from the Working with Rivers Program. Tom gained experience with a range of AFT projects and received training in river morphology and outdoor first-aid. Tom utilised his skills by supervising the machine work on the Dalvuie Burn Project. Tom also helped AFT with Smolt trapping and sea trout netting surveys during his stay.
Catchment Projects: are locally developed projects which seek to investigate and tackle specific issues facing our rivers, lochs and fish populations in partnership with local fishery and resource users.
Awe Catchment Studies 2022 (Awe District River Improvement Association & Scottish & Southern Energy Plc)
An AFT fieldwork programme on the Awe catchment is set up to monitor and improve the salmon populations in the Rivers Awe, Orchy and Etive. The data from these surveys has informed management in relation to the regulated flow discharge and freshets in the River Awe and the effects of the declines in adult salmon returning on the recruitment of juvenile fish. Water temperature data collected by AFT now informs the SRTMN project and maps are now being used to identify priority sites for tree planting projects. The work planned for 2022 includes:
- With additional support from Glasgow University, Atlantic Salmon Trust and Loch Awe Improvement Association, a new pilot project began in May 2022 on downstream fish passage at the Awe Barrage. A total of 25 salmon smolts were implanted with acoustic tags and released upstream of the Awe Barrage to record their movement as they migrate downstream. The data recorded by the receivers will be downloaded and analysed in summer 2022 to assess the future development of the project
- Electrofishing surveys around the Awe & Etive catchments – Summer 2022
- Maintain temperature logger network – service and data download in Summer 2022
- Invertebrate surveys across the catchment were undertaken in Spring 2022
River Ruel Habitat Improvement Project 2022
Utilising funds from Scottish & Southern Energy PLC, Ruel RIA and Wind Farm Trust, AFT staff and volunteers have undertaken habitat improvement works in the upper River Ruel since 2017. New work is planned for 2022, which will also receive funding from the Wild Salmonid Support Fund. This work will utilise green bank revetment techniques to reduce bank erosion with the aim of reducing fine sediment affecting the condition of the riverbed. The work will also continue to secure large woody debris (whole trees) into the river to increase the cover for fish, increase scour and self-cleaning of the riverbed substrates and also protect banks from erosion.
River Goil habitat improvement 2022
Utilising funds from The National Park, AFT staff and volunteers from Lochgoilhead Community Trust have undertaken habitat improvement works in the Goil since 2015. The work planned in 2022 will continue to develop the green revetment techniques which have improved riverbank stability and riverbed condition by scouring silt and preventing excess erosion. More information can be found here.
River Eachaig habitat improvement 2022
AFT secured funding from Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park to treat invasive plants on the River Eachaig in 2021-22. This work is underway, utilising a local contractor. Further funding has been secured to continue treatment in FYE 2023. Additionally, AFT has secured funding from the Wild Salmonid Support Fund to undertake green bank revetment techniques to reduce bank erosion with the aim of reducing fine sediment affecting the condition of the riverbed.
River Creran Catchment Project 2022
AFT is undertaking juvenile fish surveys in the Creran catchment to continue to build our knowledge of the river and inform an experimental hatchery support programme. Further work is planned for 2022 to collect data on invertebrates at our sampling sites to inform work on improving nutrient levels in the river that may affect fish growth and survival. AFT is also in discussion with Forestry and Land Scotland to develop a broadleaf riparian woodland regeneration project to seek funding from any new biodiversity funding opportunities.
Loch Fyne Rivers Project 2022
AFT plans to complete juvenile fish surveys in catchments in upper Loch Fyne to continue to monitor the salmon and trout populations. These data are being used to inform land and aquaculture management in combination with sea lice counts on sea trout in Loch Fyne.
Dalvuie Burn Project 2022
Sea trout often utilise small coastal streams for spawning and juvenile nursery habitat. This project has utilised funding support from the Wild Salmonid Support Fund and in-kind support from the landowner to restore a 0.7 km length of a previously straitened and ‘ditched’ stream into a more natural form. The machine work to re-meander the stream was undertaken in May and June 2022 and fencing and tree planting work is planned for later in 2022.
Commercial Contracts 2022: AFT undertake a range of commercial contracts for government agencies, private companies, and developers. This work informs the protection and improvement of terrestrial and aquatic resources which affect fish and fisheries.
Scottish Salmon Company: Marine Monitoring of sea lice burdens of sea Trout in Loch Fyne, Loch na Keal (Mull) & East Loch Tarbet to inform Environmental Monitoring Plans (EMPs)
Mowi Scotland & Kames Fish Farming: Marine monitoring of sea lice burdens of sea trout in the Sound of Shuna (Loch Melfort and Loch Craignish) utilising sweep netting and a coastal fyke net to inform the Environmental Monitoring Plan (EMP)
Mowi Scotland: Marine Monitoring of sea lice burdens of sea Trout at Carradale to inform Environmental Monitoring Plan (EMP)
Scottish Sea Farms: Marine Monitoring of sea lice burdens of sea Trout at Loch Linnhe to inform Environmental Monitoring Plan (EMP)
Kintarbet Hydro Monitoring: Following on from the work carried out in 2020, AFT monitored the migration of pre-spawn sea trout through a hydro scheme at Kintarbet.
High Constellation Wind Farm: AFT have undertaken macroinvertebrate & fish surveys in watercourses at the wind farm site to inform their EIA.