Findhorn, Nairn and Lossie Rivers Trust
2022 was a disappointing year. Low warm water in May led to large numbers of fish dying from Saprolegnia. Total catch numbers for the year for salmon and grilse were 873. This is the first time that it has fallen below 1,000 since 1981.
This can partly be accounted for by extremely low water levels during the summer, but it still represents a continuation in the downward trend of catch numbers. It is hard to know how we, as a Board, can reverse this trend. Our licence to control seals has been denied and we have little control over global warming and over-fishing of the seas. Despite this, positive action is being taken to safeguard and improve our own river environment.
Sean and Alister did some sterling work catching two known poachers red handed but it is disappointing to note that the poachers got away with a written warning. It is hard to know how this is justifiable when the death of a badger is considered one of the most serious wildlife crimes, yet badger numbers are increasing dramatically and salmon numbers are declining.
Many of you will know about the Findhorn Watershed Initiative. This exciting initiative is covered on page 30 of the report. This initiative should result in huge environmental benefits to the Findhorn catchment area which will, in turn, have benefits for the welfare of our salmon in terms of cooler water temperatures, slower water run-off and less acidity in the water. I encourage you to visit the website and to join the mailing list so that you can follow their progress. www.Findhornwatershed.com
It is good news that the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative (SISI) funding has been extended until 2026 and Elise Cox will be continuing her excellent work in controlling Giant Hogweed, Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam.
Once again, I would like to thank Bob Laughton and his team for an excellent and informative report which will give you an idea of how much time and effort is being put into managing our river. Also, our thanks to Clare Walker who is doing an excellent job having taken over from Valerie.