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Salmon farmers fund five wild fish restoration projects

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
22 June 2022, at 8:00am

Mending a historic Victorian dam on the Western Isles is among five major habitat restoration projects being funded by Scotland’s salmon farmers that are aimed at tackling the decline in wild Scottish salmon.

The West Harris Trust has been awarded £35,000 to save the leaking Fincastle Dam which supports the western bank of Loch Fincastle
The West Harris Trust has been awarded £35,000 to save the leaking Fincastle Dam which supports the western bank of Loch Fincastle

A total of £120,000 has been granted to organisations this year as part of a partnership between Salmon Scotland and Fisheries Management Scotland to address the long-term decline in wild salmon populations.

Now in its second year, the £1.5 million Wild Salmonid Fund is financed directly by Salmon Scotland and managed by independent charity Foundation Scotland.

The West Harris Trust has been awarded £35,000 to save the leaking Fincastle Dam which supports the western bank of Loch Fincastle and connects the Luskentyre Estuary with the freshwater of the loch and the Laxdale river where wild salmon progress to their spawning grounds.

The other four projects are:

  • Argyll Fisheries Trust has been awarded £20,342 to fund improvement works at River Ruel and River Eachaig in the Cowal Peninsula, to reduce rates of riverbank erosion and fine sediment entering the rivers.
  • Ayrshire Rivers Trust has been awarded £16,775 to undertake a restoration project that will aim to address excessive amounts of silt in the Brockloch Burn.
  • Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust has been awarded £22,190 to address tree canopy, in-stream cover and bank erosion issues in 15 sites over five burns across the catchment.
  • Skye and Lochalsh Rivers Trust has been awarded £25,729 to purchase practical and technological equipment that will enable the Trust to undertake an acoustic telemetry tracking study of adult sea trout.

“Salmon farmers have a shared desire to address the decades-long decline in wild salmon populations – one of Scotland’s most iconic species," said Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, in a press release.

“By supporting community-led projects to restore our rivers we are playing our part in reversing the decline in wild salmon numbers and identifying solutions that not only work here in Scotland, but globally," he added.