Lochaber Fisheries Trust nets nearly £20k to assess young salmonid numbers

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Lochaber Fisheries Trust has been awarded almost £20,000 to assess young salmonid numbers in rivers in the Fort William area and in Ardnamurchan.

The cash comes from Scotland’s salmon farmers who have granted their latest share of a £1.5 million fund to projects tackling the decline of wild salmon stocks in Scottish rivers – a fall conservationists have blamed partly on salmon farms themselves.

Both the Lochaber and Argyll Fisheries Trusts have been awarded nearly £20,000 each from the monies available.

‘To help tackle the current decline in wild salmon and sea trout within Scottish rivers, more than £70,000 has just been awarded to organisations across Scotland working to enhance and protect wild fisheries and habitats,’ announced the fund’s managing charity Foundation Scotland.

The awards were made by the Wild Salmonid Support Fund, a new fund created by the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) and financed directly from Scotland’s salmon farm companies.

Launched back in April, the new fund is part of a five-year programme that has already attracted applications from charitable organisations all over Scotland.

This week, the successful applicants were announced with five projects receiving funding, their awards ranging from £9,025 to £19,600.

Lochaber Fisheries Trust will spend its £19,600 on funding the implementation of juvenile surveys, which will assess fish densities and genetic diversity in eight local rivers.

In the Outer-Hebrides, Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh (Carloway Estate Trust) received a grant of £9,251 to undertake a project that will aim to improve salmon spawning grounds on the Carloway river.

Activities will revolve around the replenishment of gravel beds, and the trust hopes to recreate a natural habitat that will enhance spawning opportunities for wild salmonid.

Sally Reynolds from Carloway Estate Trust said: ‘Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh is delighted to have received support from the Wild Salmonid Support Fund.

‘The grant will allow us to improve our reeds by addition of suitable gravel, which will improve the spawning conditions for our fish. We look forward to working together as a community to make this practical project happen.’

The Wild Salmonid Support Fund is scheduled to reopen to new applications in spring 2022.