On the hatchery front, last season’s stock was released to their new habitats with permission from Marine Scotland. The spawning crew were out at the end of November and filled the hatchery in record time with two bumper trips to Netherbrough. Then the hatchery volunteers were back in full swing attending to the eggs daily, without their dedication the hatchery would not function. The water quality has been poor this year with constant high winds and heavy rainfall. This causes silt to block the sand filter which leads to the eggs struggling to get enough oxygen.  Permission to stock waters has been an up hill battle this year and is ongoing. We have been given permission to stock Burn of Voy, Lea Shun, Loch of Clumly, Echna Loch and Bea Loch. To get permission for the other lochs we will have to provide additional info, some of which include survey work over the summer, which will involve significant man hours.
Thank you to all the volunteers for their continued hard work over the past season.

Raymond Miller

Hatchery Stocking Update 2019

Raymond Miller, OTFA Hatchery Convenor, informs me that the Kirbister Hatchery is now empty and ready for a good spring cleaning before it is mothballed awaiting the next batch of trout eggs in November 2019. It was a very successful hatching season.

Mike Holland helping stock the Stronsay Lochs

The first tray of early collected eggs hatched in February and were stocked into the St Mary’s Loch in Holm. The remaining trays took a lot longer to hatch, mainly due to the cold conditions delivered by the various Beasts from the East. But eventually most trays had hatched by the beginning of April and the fish were distributed to locations the OTFA Hatchery Sub-committee deemed best. This included Skaill, Clumly, Stenness Burns (Voy and Deepdale), Sanday (Roos Loch, North Loch, Bea Loch), Stronsay (Meikle Water and Lea Shun), Westray (Saintear and Burness), Hoy (Heldale) and Stromness Reservoir. About 5,000 fingerlings were stocked at each location.

A great effort by our Association hatchery stalwarts in the collection of the spawn in the late autumn; looking after the eggs daily by rota and distributing the fish this springtime. Let’s hope that in a few years’ time many of the above lochs will produce fine specimens grown on naturally from this recent stocking.