Forth And Teith Conservation.
Habitat Improvement Works.

The Forth And Teith Management Group work closely with the River Forth Fisheries Trust Biologist , Dr. Joanna Girvan, in carrying out habitat improvement works based on sound scientific knowledge and practice. Each year , we are kept busy with the clearance of storm damaged trees from watercourse and the maintainence of bank erosion which causes access difficulties if not attended to. However, it is our survey findings and actions that form the backbone of current and future capital projects , for example the simple clearing of blocked watercourse to the restoration of free passage of salmonids through hitherto impassable obstacles. Jo will from time to time update this page so that all interested parties can keep abreast of all developments relating to the river.
The Forth And Teith Management Group work closely with the Forth District Salmon Fishery Board and strongly advocate adherence to their Conservation Code which can be viewed here Forth District Conservation Code.

Invasive Species Control Works.

The Group also works closely with Ben Tyser , Invasive Control Officer of the Forth Fisheries Trust. It is vitally important that we are all aware of the enormous damage caused to our local environtment by alien invasive species and the need to effectively manage, or, where possible, completely eradicate them. The principle invasive species in our area are , Giant Hogweed, Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and North American Mink. To view control programme proposals view Aims and Objectives. and Mink Programme. Ben is actively looking for volunteers to assist in administering these programmes. If you are interested in helping out in any way, please study these papers and contact Ben at b.tyser@fishforth.co.uk

Max McKinstrie And A Big Brown Trout.
Here is a report received from Max McKinstrie of Stirling Council's Fisheries team , and his amazing double encounter with the same cock brown trout recently.

On the 23rd of November I assisted Ian Semple in catching brood stock for the brown trout fishery at Howietoun. The location was out with the Forth district and involved electro-fishing two small burns flowing into a loch used by a syndicate club to collect mature cock and hen brown trout for stripping. We started at the first burn, which collects the water off the hill and directs it into the loch. We electro-fished a 50m stretch of this burn starting in the mouth of the burn then progressing up to burn. We started at the mouth where we caught a nice trout around 2lb, then on the next press of the anode the water erupted and a 5lb cock brown trout thrashed about in the water. It was netted quickly with much amazement looking at the size of this trout compared to the pool it was lying in just enough to cover himself. We continued to electro-fish through the burn collecting a vast number of trout as we went. This was an amazing sight for myself as it is the first time I have seen the numbers of fish in a burn not even a metre wide! Ian decided we had collected enough for what he wanted so we stopped to strip them all. The hen fish were then stripped of their eggs into a basin followed by the cock fish stripped of their milt over the eggs. We then moved over to the next burn which is a spring sourced burn and repeated the process collecting several more fish then stripping them the same way.

Eight days later I received a phone call from Ian Semple asking if I could again assist him with electro-fishing the burns as the local knowledge told us that there was more fish entering the burn to spawn. We set off and set up the equipment again at the first burn electro-fished in the same way catching a lot of trout in the first burn all around 1.75lb to 2lb. We then moved over to the spring burn where we electro-fished up the burn setting our sights on stopping at a small falls, We then worked up the burn catching trout all the way up, we then reached the falls. Ian put the anode in pushed the trigger and again the water erupted with a big fish. The fish was netted again, Immediately we started to talk about the fish we had caught the previous week in the natural burn about 100 metres away and noticed that it was similar but not the same. We had taken photos of the 5lb fish each time so when I got back to the office the photos were uploaded onto the computer and analysed. It was then noticed that this was the same fish that had been caught each time at a different burn a week apart after being electro-fished, netted, stripped, handled and released back into the burn. It shows that after going through all that process it still went onto spawn in a different burn.

The 1st. photo was taken in a spawning burn on the 23rd November , the 2nd. photo in a totally different burn on the 2nd. December. Click on photo then use Ctrl+ to zoom in and see the identical spots at the rear of the fish and on the lower fin giving a positive identification!!

Some Images Of Our Conservation Work (Click Image To Enlarge)

Some Images Of Obstructions.Left To Build Up Soon Becoming Impassable To Migratory Fish.