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!!