Stormy week on Blackwater

This week brought one of the most violent storms for many years to the North of Scotland.  The broodstock collection at Loch na Croic is very dependent on weather and water flows.  A rise in water is needed to draw fish into the trap.  However if river levels threaten to overtop the trap then the trap must be cleared and closed, as the force of water through the trap would kill any fish in it.  During the trapping period, in November and December the water levels are carefully watched and the trap often has to be fished at night if flooding threatens.

salmon strip nov10 (30)












Trap in low flows                                        Trap on Wednesday 5th of December

Heavy rain and snowmelt brought the Blackwater into flood on Tuesday night.   Board staff cleared 60 fish from the trap around midnight before closing  the trap to let the flood pass.    The rain was then followed by very high winds through the night which cut off power to the pumps supplying water to the holdings tanks.   An emergency pump was set up and staff called out again.  Trees were blown down in front and behind the Landrover on the way to the trap requiring a chainsaw to cut it out.   The backup generator was  started and power restored to the pumps until powerlines were repaired the next evening.    No fish were harmed during the making of this epic although the Landrover suffered some minor damage and Board staff gained a few more grey hairs.



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