Electrofishing – May 2012

Population Surveys on the River Avon and Tributaries – May 2012

FDSFB provided the services for three days in May and a day in September in 2012. The intent was to determine the presence or otherwise of salmon parr in various in various sections of the Avon and its tributaries and to monitor the success of “Trout in the Classroom” programmes at two local Primary Schools.

Initially four sites were chosen and fished; Upstream of the Bathgate WWTW on the Coulston Burn and three on the Logie Water.  Results from the Coulston were as disappointing as 2011. The water smelled of animal sewage and only a handful of Stoneloach and minnows were found in a 25m stretch of the Burn. The site at the B8028 and that below the Armadale WWTW yielded no trout but some stone loach, stickleback and minnows. The last site found two year classes of trout, proving breeding as well as large numbers of minnows, sticklebacks and some stone loach. 

Day two concentrated on the upper Avon and the Culloch Burn at Slamannan. The stretch at Balmitchell Bridge yielded 6 trout, and significant numbers of minnows. A site at the Slamannan WWTW yielded a mere 3 trout. Sampling the Culloch Burn provided 17 trout. Day three saw the team back at the base line site at Aldi in Linlithgow. This time electrofishing found a total of 23 trout  A 100mm roach was also found.

We also carried out an educational project by electrofishing the Manuel Burn at Whitecross Primary School. This had been the release site for the trout hatched by the School children under the Trout in the Classroom Programme. Under the watchful eyes of around 30 children, we collected a total of 53 trout up to 6” in length. 

In September we revisited sites on the upper Avon. The site at Slamannan WWTW, two sites on the Culloch Burn near the fire station and a site upstream of the Culloch were sampled. We collected a total of 36 trout and 36 trout parr.