Trout Tagging Project
River Spey Anglers Association were recently successful in securing a grant of £5000 from the National Lottery Awards for All to assist the Spey Research Trust with a project to try to obtain more information about brown trout and sea trout stocks in the River Spey. Using money from the grant special small tagging guns and floy tags were purchased and rewards for successful returns of tags by participating and non participating anglers were also purchased.
The equipment was distributed during June with instructions to trained anglers from the salmon post season tagging project. It was also distributed to anglers and ghillies on Richmond Arms Hotel water on the Avon, Castle Grant (Kincardine Beat), Tulchan Beat on the River Spey main stem, and Phones Estate on the River Truim which is one of the larger tributaries on the Upper Spey.
Whilst it is still too early to report on numbers initial tagging on the Avon and Truim has progressed particularly well. There is still a need to source more angler volunteers in the Lower Spey and any angler or angling club interested in participating in this project is invited to contact Bob Loughton the Spey Research Trust Bioligist on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone him at the Spey Fishery Board offices at 01340 810841.
Spey Research Trust
Spey Research Trust, SFB Research Office
1 Nether Borlum Cottage, Knockando, Morayshire, AB38 7SD
Tel: 01340 810841
The behaviour and ecological requirements for brown and sea trout within the Spey are poorly understood. Sea trout are an important component of the rod fishery in many estates and beats along the Spey. However, recent catch records indicate a worrying decline.
Brown trout are overlooked resource on the River Spey. In the Upper Spey Protection Order (Loch Insh to Spey Dam) is there a dedicated fishery for resident brown trout and a number of Lochs also support brown trout fisheries. However, along the mainstem brown trout are often frowned upon by salmon anglers because they are perceived to prey upon juvenile salmon. Consequently, they have been actively removed from many areas and are generally killed if caught as a by catch.
Little data for brown trout has been recorded along the mainstem fishing beats of the Spey and even less is known of their behaviour and spawning habits. However, it is proven that sea trout and brown trout are the same species and the need for improvements in management and approach. To achieve this good data on the status of the both sea and brown trout within the Spey is required.
The Spey Research Trust has recently devised a trout research programme and the key aims are to:
- formally monitor catches of trout within the River Spey,
- collect data on trout diet and growth rates,
- collect data on trout movements and exploitation rates,
- monitor juvenile trout populations,
- increase awareness of trout biology and conservation.
The current funding bid seeks to examine “c) collect data on trout movements and exploitation rates”.
Local anglers and ghillies will be trained in fish tagging procedures and then issued with tagging guns and purpose made Floy Tags. Each tag has a unique number allowing individual fish to be identified. Data on each fish will be collected including length, weight, sex and a sample of scales retained for age determination. A photograph of the fish may also be collected. A Floy tag is then placed below the dorsal fin and the trout released back to the river.
If the trout is subsequently recaptured information on growth and migration will be gained. A reward scheme for recapture information will also be available to encourage anglers to return the tag data. Anglers will also be encouraged to re-release the trout after recapture. Rewards will include three trout flies, a miniature of Speyside malt and full tagging details of the fish.
As data accumulates information on exploitation rates, re-captures rates and locations will be derived. In addition some data on spawning location may also be gained if tagged trout are obervered in tributaries during October and November.
3. Materials Required
Equipment requirements include Tacht2 Tagging Guns, Floy Tags, Trout Flies and Box.
Project will start in Spring 2006 and run until further notice.