The spawning crew were back in force and were greeted with difficult conditions. With heavy rain through October, November and December 2017 it meant a lot of poor nights in testing weather. The Swanney burn had high water levels and few fish. The Netherbrough burn proved to be more successful. A couple of good hauls which filled the hatchery with eggs from the Harray catchment area.  Many thanks to James Bews, Kevin Muir, Neil Chalmers and Malcom Thomson for their work on this. Applications for consent from Marine Scotland have been granted with Heldale and Northloch still ongoing. Thanks to M. Thomson for dealing with the applications in waters that are within a SSSI area and Ken Kennedy for creating example copies of the forms. A big thank you to all the voluntary crew on the rota for attending to the hatchery during the winter months and particularly to James Harcus.

Raymond Miller

Hatchery Stocking Update 2018

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 2018. 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.

Stocking 2017