The long awaited Sparling Bridge successfully opened on Saturday 30th November. Crowds gathered either side of the bridge on the sunny afternoon to celebrate the grand opening of the new pedestrian and cycle bridge connecting the communities of Minnigaff and Newton Stewart.
The Galloway Fisheries Trust is working with Natural England to produce a detailed Smelt Restoration Management Plan for the inner Solway Firth, to be the framework for European smelt (sparling) recovery in designated Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) around England and Wales.
On Friday morning Jess, our Prioritised Salmon Habitat Restoration Officer, was joined along the banks of the River Dee by the enthusiastic pupils of Kells Primary School. This term the pupils of Kells Primary are learning all about Scottish nature.
The two-year project aimed at increasing awareness about sparling has come to an end. The project was designed to be delivered by two interns, the second of which Courtney Rowland reflects on her time on the project.
GFT are presently sampling smolts caught in a fyke net at the inflow to Torhouse Fish Farm on the lower River Bladnoch. The fyke net also helps provide data on various other fish species within the Bladnoch catchment.
GFT are currently in the process of downloading data from temperature loggers which are in 20 sites across the river Bladnoch. The data gets downloaded twice a year; once in April and once in October.
GFT commissioned a Bolton based taxidermist, Phillip Leggett to create a realistic sparling model. This model accurately represents three adult sparling, which grow up to 30cm and are still present in the River Cree.
GFT undertake electrofishing surveys on Galloway's river catchments each year. This is a summary of a report on the health of salmon and trout populations in the Fleet catchment between 2016 and 2018.
Courtney is GFT's second Saving the Sparling intern. She has been working towards the arrival of Sparling since she began in December, focusing on education and public engagement. Sparling arrived in the Cree around the 22nd of February. This news story is Courtney's update on how it all went.
Each spring the GFT organises an afternoon of presentations covering our work over the previous year. The attendees are usually various funders, supporting organisations, key stakeholders and interested parties.
During the summer this year, we undertook a project (commissioned by Scottish Power) examining why in some years at Tongland fish pass there are a larger number of returning adult Atlantic salmon which are heavily infected with Saprolegnia fungus, in comparison to other years.
A summary of the 2018 timed electrofishing surveys for the Urr are provided. These surveys target salmon fry and provide information on annual fluctuations and distribution across 12 sites spread over the catchment.
We would like to introduce the new Saving the Sparling intern who started on Monday the 17th December. Courtney Rowland will be working for the next 5 months on delivering phase 2 of the Saving the Sparling Project.