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Salmon have returned to stretches of the River Lundy for the first time in 50 years – thanks to the Lochaber team’s efforts last year to remove two redundant dams.
Removing the dams, which were close to the Commission’s Torlundy offices, opened up 5km of upstream habitat to the salmon.
Follow up electro-fishing in the upper reaches of the river later confirmed the presence of salmon fry and post-project monitoring work carried out with the Lochaber Fisheries Trust, confirmed the successful re establishment of salmon.
Electro-fishing is a technique used by marine biologists who aim to carry out fish surveys without harming fish. Passing a low electric current through a stretch of water encourages fish to swim towards waiting nets, where they can be caught, their size and condition assessed and their numbers counted.
Diane Baum, lead biologist for the Trust, said:
“I am absolutely amazed and delighted that there are juvenile salmon in the newly accessible areas. Hopefully this will provide more spawning ground for the future and salmon numbers will rise from now on.”
District Forester, Ken Knott, added;
“It’s a great result. With this success we can consider tackling any other river barriers in the district with a view to having all redundant barriers gone by 2015.”
The project was funded from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) River Restoration Fund, matched by expertise in project management and monitoring from the project partners.
Notes to Editors
1) Forestry Commission Scotland serves as the Scottish Government’s forestry directorate and manages the 660,000 hectare national forest estate, protect, enhancing and expanding Scotland’s forests and woodlands in ways that deliver benefits to people, communities, biodiversity and the economy. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland
1) Tha FCS ag obair mar bhuidheann-stiùiridh coilltearachd Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus a’ riaghladh nan 660,000 heactairean ann an Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta, a' dìonadh, a' cumail smachd air agus a' leudachadh nan coilltean gus buannachdan a thoirt dha coimhearsnachdan, an eaconamaidh agus, ag obair an aghaidh atharrachadh gnàth-shìde. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland