July 13th 2017:-

Fisheries Management Scotland have produced a general advice note on the recent captures of Pacific pink salmon in Scottish waters: Fisheries Management Scotland – Statement RE- Pacific Pink salmon . This provides general  background information on the species and the recommended action to take.

March 14th 2017:-

A short film about the Pearls in Peril project has been published.

March 10th 2017:- The Pearls in Peril project, which OHFT were part of, has been nominated for an award: Pearls in Peril – 2017 UK River Prize Finalist

March 9th 2017:-

The Wild Trout Trust are holding an auction which ends on Sunday, March 12th. There is a large amount of varied and interesting lots which you can view at: Wild Trout Trust Auction

January 9th 2017:-

Stornoway Port Authority (SPA) has prepared a Draft Masterplan for Stornoway Port. This is now the subject of public consultation. The purpose of the master plan is to provide a structured framework for the physical development and transformation of Stornoway Port over the next 20 years.

In order to inform the masterplan, SPA is undertaking a programme of stakeholder and community consultations to ensure relevant community views are taken into account.

January 3rd 2017:-

OHFT Newsletter 2016

November 7th 2016:-

Exposing Scottish Government’s ludicrously inflated adult salmon estimates – Salmon & Trout Conservation UK – Exposes Scottish Government’s Ludicrously Inflated Adult Salmon Estimates

October 28th 2016:-

Virulent disease at Marine Harvest salmon farms raises concerns over potential impacts on wild fish – Virulent disease at Marine Harvest salmon farms

October 21st 2016:-

The following email regarding aquaculture problems in Lewis and Harris was sent out by the OHFT Senior Biologist to OHFT Trustee’s and Proprietors on Oct 21st and the OHFT Biologist’s Assistant sent it to all Angling Clubs/Associations, Fishery Managers/Keepers etc on Oct 25th – Aquaculture Email

October 5th 2016:-

Conservation Regulations 2016 regarding escapee farmed salmon

September 23rd 2016:-

As you may know, ASFB and RAFTS have a Joint Working Group which has been meeting regularly and generating ideas to feed into the Wild Fisheries Reform process. The Group has been meeting formally since about January 2015 and we have been communicating the work of the Group through members meetings, monthly updates, bulletins and published minutes on the ASFB and RAFTS websites HERE

September 22nd 2016:-

RAFTS, in partnership with SEPA’s Water Environment Fund and the Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust has successfully project managed the removal of a significant barrier to fish migration on the Morsgail Estate on the Isle of Lewis. This can be viewed on the RAFTS website at: Fish Barrier On Isle Of Lewis Removed

August 25th 2016:-

Subject to funding, The OHFT are looking to work in partnership with The Stornoway Trust and SEPA as part of a restoration project on the Glen River. The Glen River Restoration Project will start below Loch Airigh na Lic out the Benadrove road, and continue down the length of the river to the Porters Lodge. It will be a time consuming process but one we believe will be of huge benefits to the animals, eco system, and people who use the river and grounds. As such, we would like to generate as much interest and public support as possible. Any comments you wish to share about the river or proposed project, please email OHFT Admin

July 20th 2016:-

Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland have submitted a petition to Scottish Government calling for regulation of sea lice to protect wild salmonids. The draft petition can be viewed: Public Petitions Committee – Protecting Wild Salmonids (PE1598)

July 20th 2016:-

Reporting to the Marine Scotland & Local Fisheries Biologist Liaison Group (MSLFBLG), four technical working groups have been established to refine components of the Conservation Regulations assessment. The aim and membership of these groups can be viewed HERE.

May 11th 2016:-

Salmon & Trout Association Scotland

Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland makes formal complaint to European Commission on Scottish Government’s failure to address the impacts of sea lice parasites produced by Scottish salmon farms threatening west coast wild salmon and sea trout. Further information can be viewed HERE

April 25th & 26th 2016:-

SFCC Scale Reading/Training Course

Both Paul Hopper (OHFT Senior Biologist) and Donnie Maciver (OHFT Biologist’s Assistant) attended the SFCC Scale reading/Training Course held at the Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries Trust office in April. Information regarding the course can be viewed HERE.

March 17th 2016:-

ASFB/RAFTS Annual Conference

For your information, the presentations made at the ASFB/RAFTS Conference can be viewed at the links on the Conference page HERE.

February 23rd 2016:-

Salmon Conservation Measures

Legislation was laid in the Scottish Parliament earlier today to introduce a package of conservation measures (including a separate Order covering the Tweed District) to manage the exploitation of Atlantic salmon.  The measures come into force on 31 March 2016 and take effect from 1 April.

Key aspects of the regulations which have now been laid are:

  • Killing beyond estuary limits will be prohibited for three years due to the mixed stock nature of the fishery and limited data on the composition of the catch
  • The killing of Atlantic salmon in inland waters will be managed on an annual basis by categorising fishery districts by their conservation status
  • A requirement to have a Conservation Plan irrespective of the conservation status
  • The introduction of carcass tagging for net-caught fish for areas in category 1 and 2, which are to be sold commercially (including a separate Order covering the Tweed District). The costs for producing the tags will, in the first instance, be subsumed by Marine Scotland.

The Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform has announced additional support for angling clubs potentially impacted by new regulations.

February 10th 2016:-

Outer Hebrides Conservation Limits News Bulletin

WIDSFB wishes to update all anglers fishing in the Outer Hebrides during 2016 of the Governments conservation limits. The whole of the Outer Hebrides with the exception of Borve Lodge Estate, Obbe Fishery, North Harris SAC and Langavat SAC will fall under category 3. Category 3 is defined below:

Grade 3 Less than 60% mean probability of CL being met in the last 5 years. – Exploitation is unsustainable and mandatory catch and release (all methods) for 1year will be required. Management action is necessary to reduce exploitation and production of a conservation plan is required in consultation with Marine Scotland.

The conservation measures come into effect from April 1st following on from the national statutory spring salmon regulations. Any anglers who catch a salmon should follow the advice for safely releasing the fish below.

“An Anglers Guide to Catch & Release”

Any person fishing who does not obey the new mandatory catch and release and retains a salmon will be reported to Salmon and Recreational Fisheries Department. Anybody who wishes to report any suspicion regarding illegally retaining salmon should call 0131 2719700.

February 8th 2016:-

Draft provisions for a Wild Fisheries (Scotland) Bill/Draft Wild Fisheries Strategy: a consultation.

This Consultation is designed to give stakeholders an opportunity to provide feedback on the approach currently being taken as we continue to develop the legislative provisions for a Wild Fisheries (Scotland) Bill.
Interest(s):Business, Industry and Innovation , Economy , Environment and Climate Change , Public Sector , Marine and Fisheries
Team:Wild Fisheries Reform Team
This consultation is open until 2 May 2016

September 2015:

New Biologist at OHFT:

Paul Hopper joined the Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust on September 21, replacing Ben Collier as Senior Biologist. Paul’s grandfather introduced Paul to fishing at a young age and grew up on the banks of the South Tyne so naturally became a passionate salmon angler. Paul studied fisheries management through Inverness College and has held many fisheries roles, including several years in the aquaculture industry then as a river bailiff/habitat officer for the Dee District Salmon Fishery Board and also a couple of seasons as a ghillie, one of which was at Amhuinnsuidhe Castle Estate. More recently Paul returned to academic studies and completed a BSc Honours degree through the Open University.

March 2014:

Sea trout tagging project:

On May 9th, 2013 The Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust (OHFT) was awarded a grant of £2,500 by the Atlantic Salmon Trust (AST) to assist in the development of a programme of sea trout tagging in sea pools located within bays and estuaries situated around the Outer Hebrides.

The main aims of this project are to build up our scientific understanding of local sea trout populations and more specifically to investigate growth rates, population age structure and to find out more about where our sea trout go to.

At present we know very little about how sea trout move around our coastline and over what ranges they tend to travel so the expectation is that by tagging and recapturing fish we can start to gather some important information on the life characteristics of this species. Capturing, tagging and recapturing of sea trout will take place at several sites around Broadbay initially and will be carried out by experienced fisheries trust staff alongside a team of dedicated volunteers that comprise mainly of anglers. It is in fact the good will of our volunteers that make projects such as this possible to carry out. During the process of implanting tags we will also be recording information on weight, length and age of individual fish and this will allow us to study how fast (or slowly) our local sea trout grow.

Although the majority of sea trout that have been tagged will be recaptured using a standard sweep netting protocol it is also vitally important that anglers who may catch a Tagged Fish report the location, date and tag number to the Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust. The information reported in by anglers is of particular interest to the trust as tagged fish have the potential to turn up in river systems that are some distance away from where they were originally tagged.

We therefore urge all anglers to look out for a clipped adipose fin on any sea trout that are caught as this is an obvious way of telling if a fish has been tagged. We would then be grateful if the information mentioned above can be passed on to the local fisheries trust biologist, either by dropping into our office which is located in the Sawmill at Marybank or alternatively people can also contact the trust via or telephone 01851 703419.

January 2014:

In January 2014, the First Minister announced that a Wild Fisheries Review would be undertaken during 2014. The aims of the review can be viewed at: Wild Fisheries Review

November 2013:

The recent IBIS/AST conference on Salmon stocking had a number of first class speakers who delivered a series of excellent presentations on their own experiences and knowledge of salmon stocking practices alongside the pro’s and con’s of such activities. Follow the link where all the conference material may be reviewed including videos of the presentations: IBIS/AST Salmon Stocking Conference – November 2013

October 2013:-

Celine Hanzen, who joined the OHFT team in May on a five month placement under the  Leonardo da Vinci training fund (Lifelong Learning Programme),  has returned to Belgium. Celine quickly settled into life in the Outer Hebrides and was of great help to OHFT, especially with her IT skills and GIS expertise. Celine assisted with the post smolt sea trout programme, electro fishing surveys and the Pearls in Peril project. Celine’s “happy go lucky” attitude and “bubbly” nature will be missed at OHFT. We wish her all the best for the future.

The Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust held a fundraising dinner/ceilidh with an auction/raffle on Friday, October 25th in the “Willow Suite”, Cabarfeidh Hotel. A grand total of £4455.20 (profit) was raised which will go toward the work of the Fisheries Trust.

A big thank you to all who attended the dinner, purchased raffle tickets and bid for lots. Also, many thanks to all Estates, Angling Associations/Clubs, Business’s and individuals who generously donated lots/prizes for the Auction and raffle…….very much appreciated:
Abhainn Dearg Distillery, Amhuinnsuidhe Castle Estate, Annie Mackay, Anthony Edwards, Barvas Estate, Eishken Estate, Fideach Angling Club, Finsbay Fishery, FishPal, Garynahine Estate, Go Fish, Gress Angling Association, Grimersta Estate, Morsgail Estate, North Uist Angling Club, North Uist Estate, Rodel Hotel, Roy Thomson, Scaliscro Estate, Soval Estate, Storas Uibhist, Sportsworld, Stornoway Angling Association and Uig Lodge Estate.

September 2013:-

*Post Filled* Recruitment for a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at RAFTS has begun. Anyone interested in the vacancy can view the job description here:- RAFTS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) vacancy

May 2013:-

The Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust welcome Celine Hanzen to the team. Celine, who is from Belgium is on a 5 month placement and is funded by the Leonardo da Vinci training fund under the Lifelong Learning Programme. Celine arrived just in time to assist with the Post smolt sea trout programme which started on May 1st.

February 2013:-

After 12 years service to the Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust (OHFT), formerly the Western Isles Fisheries Trust (WIFT), Simon Scott has stepped down as Director. The Trustee’s and staff wish to thank Simon for his dedication to OHFT/WIFT.

October 2012:-

The Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust held a fundraising dinner with an auction/raffle on Saturday, October 27th in the “Croft Room”, Caladh Inn. The event which was well attended, raised over £5000 to help the work of OHFT.

Many thanks to the fundraising committee that organised the event, Caladh Inn staff, auctioneer, accordion players, dinners and all persons/Fisheries/Businesses that supplied auction lots and raffle prizes.

October 2010:-

The OHFT Biosecurity Plan has now been finalised and published. The plan identifies Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) that are known to be present in the area, such as Rhododendron and Japanese knotweed, but also species that represent a significant threat, such as Gyrodactylus salaris and the North American signal crayfish. The main priorities are to establish the distribution of a number of INNS on the islands, and also raise awareness to prevent new introductions of potentially damaging species.

The plan can be found here: Biosecurity Planning
For more information on the Biosecurity Planning project or to report a siting of an invasive species in the area please contact the Trust Biologist.