On the hatchery front, last seasons stock were released into the appropriate waters. Thank you to all the volunteers on the hatchery rota and Leslie Miller for releasing the fish in Westray, Mike Holland for Stronsay and James Harcus for Sanday. Special thanks to James Harcus for running the hatchery tirelessly over the year. The annual spawning began late October with a trip to Swanney spawning grounds. This was fruitless, with only two trays collected. The rest came from Netherbrough burn, late November and into December. The spawning team consisted of myself, James Bews, Kevin Muir, Neil Chalmers, Allan McConnachie. The hatchery ran smoothly over the festive period, however with there being high winds this clogged the sand filter and led to poor water quality. Two trays had to be disposed of as they were dying off, the reason for this is unknown, but could be due to a bad hen. Consent has been granted from Marine Scotland to release these, though Heldale and North Loch are still ongoing. Thanks to Malcolm Thomson for dealing with the hurdles regarding this. Huge thanks to the hatchery volunteers, we couldn’t do it without volunteer support

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.