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Monthly News Update
March 2015

Welcome to the new-look monthly update from ASFB and RAFTS. 

There is a lot happening in Scotland's fishery management sector. This update provides a snapshot of current activity. We hope that you find it interesting and informative.

The March update includes news about:

  • Wild Fisheries Review and associated business
  • Other consultations and proposals
  • ASFB and RAFTS events and publications
  • Projects
Policy and external engagement 
  • Scottish Government: ASFB and RAFTS have been in regular contact with officials on a number of issues including: the wild fisheries review, licensed killing of salmon proposals and barrier projects.
  • Scottish Parliament: Last month we reported on the Wild Fisheries Review evidence sessions taken through the Parliamentary Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee (RACCE). These sessions included representatives of Boards, Trusts and other fisheries and angling bodies. The Committee subsequently took evidence from the Minister and officials at their meeting on 4 March. The official report of that session is HERE
  • River Basin Management Plans: Trusts and Boards are reminded that SEPA have produced two consultations that propose objectives and measures for the water environment for the next two RBMP cycles, up to 2027. The consultation for the Scotland river basin district will close on April 9th and can be viewed HERE The Solway-Tweed river basin district consultation closes on 9th June and can be viewed HERE. RAFTS and ASFB recommend that Boards and Trusts respond to these consultations and will also be responding to these in due course.
  • Proposal for licensing system - killing of salmon: Scottish Government are consulting on a proposal to create a licensing system governing the killing of salmon. The consultation may be viewed HERE. ASFB and RAFTS will be responding to these proposals and are in the process of discussing with members and gathering views prior to the submission deadline of 30 April. A briefing and questionnaire has been circulated to DSFBs and Trusts and ASFB/RAFTS have sought initial comments from members. A dedicated workshop was convened at the ASFB/RAFTS members’ meeting on 18 March at Battleby and this has added further information and value to our consultation with members.
  • Review of Wild Fisheries Management - Ministers are expected to launch a formal consultation on the review in Spring 2015. ASFB and RAFTS have formed a joint Working Group (JWG) to develop ideas and identify information requirements needed to inform the decision making process within both organisations. The aim is to give the members and their representatives an informed baseline from which to develop their response to proposals arising from the review and ensure they best meet our fishery management interests. The first briefing from the JWG was issued in March and further updates for ASFB and RAFTS members will be issued on a regular basis. Feedback from members will be essential during this process and ASFB/RAFTS will be encouraging full participation through a variety of means once the consultation is underway. A dedicated page on both ASFB and RAFTS websites is being developed to ensure all information on the ASFB and RAFTS input is freely available, and a link will be provided in due course.
  •  Members: ASFB attended the River Tweed Commission meeting on 2 March. ASFB are available to member Boards to attend local meetings should that be helpful.

 Events & publications
  • ASFB & RAFTS Conference – the Annual Conference at Battleby on 19th March attracted a capacity crowd and covered a range of interesting sessions within an overall theme of ‘Challenges for future fisheries management’. This day included a diverse range of presentations about building resilience for the future, marine issues for salmon and identifying future fisheries management needs. Next year’s conference will take place on 17 March 2016. A copy of the programme and downloadable presentations can be found HERE.
  • Annual Review 2015 - The ASFB and RAFTS Annual Review for 2015 was launched at the Conference – a copy may be downloaded HERE
  • Annual Bailiffs Conference – the Annual Bailiffs Conference was hosted by the Ness DSFB at the Waterside Hotel, Inverness on 4/5 March. This was well attended and attracted a range of speakers, including representatives from the Environment Agency, Angling Trust, Police Scotland and Procurator Fiscal, as well as speakers from within the DSFB network. A summary report may be found on the Ness DSFB website HERE. Around 30 candidates sat the bailiff’s examination on the 4 March. The results of the examination should be issued towards the end of April. Congratulations go to Gareth Bourhill of the Loch Lomond Angling Improvement Association who won the Roger Barnes memorial trophy for the highest examination mark in 2014. ASFB thanks the Ness DSFB for hosting the 2015 event and consideration will be given soon to the 2016 event.
In-river barriers

RAFTS is continuing to develop the concept of barrier project ‘de-centralisation’ (previously outlined in the February ASFB-RAFTS Update). RAFTS is developing a programme to build capacity across the network for greater implementation of these projects by members. RAFTS is well placed to provide technical support and guidance to member trusts who are encouraged to work with RAFTS to submit their own applications for barrier easement projects to the Water Environment Fund.
RAFTS currently manages six ‘live’ projects concerning the easement or removal of in-river barriers to fish migration. These six projects encompass thirteen currently impassable structures, and funding for scoping, design and physical works is provided through regular applications to the SEPA Water Environment Fund.

  • River Almond, West Lothian: 7 barriers – Phase 1 (initial surveys/sediment sampling) complete and formally reported by Mott MacDonald. Phase 2 (feasibility and optioneering) application was approved in late 2014. The project tender was advertised in February, and a contract award is imminent. We anticipate work beginning in March/April 2015 and concluding mid-Summer, at which stage the design phase will commence.
  • River Avon, South Lanarkshire – 2 barriers: Phase 1 (feasibility and optioneering) is complete, with the exception of some coring investigations that continue to be hampered by river conditions. Subject to the findings, it is proposed that a Phase 2 (design) tender will be advertised in the coming months.
  • River Don, Tullynessie Weir - 1 barrier: This project remains on hold while technical issues are resolved by SEPA and RAFTS. However, it is expected that the project will be back on-line in the near future.
  • Gottar Water Weir, Inverclyde - 1 barrier: Phase 1 (feasibility and optioneering) application was approved in late 2014, and the tender was recently awarded to Royal Haskoning DHV. Work will begin in April 2015 with an initial stakeholder consultation meeting and it is envisaged that this project phase will conclude in mid-Summer 2015.
  • Creamery Weir, Dumfries & Galloway - 1 barrier: Phase 2 (design) application was approved in late 2014. The tender was advertised in February, and awarding of the contract is imminent. We anticipate work on this phase of the project beginning in April 2015 and concluding in mid-Summer.
  • Corrie Burn Weir, Spey – 1 barrier: This project remains on hold while RAFTS and SEPA determine a way forward in collaboration with the local authority. The project needs to address the concerns of Moray Council as the structure is situated close to the foot of a wall which supports a public road.
  • ·A further two project applications will be made to the Water Environment Fund in April; one from the Outer Hebrides and one from Kyle of Sutherland.
'Pearls in Peril' LIFE Project 
  • Scotland Project Officer underwent CITB Health and Safety and NEC3 Professional Services Contracts training
  • The tendering process for instream restoration construction contracts on the South Esk and Dee is ongoing
  • Tender documents for additional hydromorphological surveys on the River Dee are in preparation.
  • SRDP agent workshops attended for Agri-environment Climate scheme and Forestry Grant Scheme launch
  • Further SRDP meetings with individual farmers and landowners have been held, and will be ongoing over the next few months, for diffuse pollution mitigation on the middle Dee
  • Potential site for £20k riparian planting in the upper South Esk catchment has been identified & currently liaising with landowner
  • Planting of 4500 Woodland Trust funded trees along the Gairn almost completed
  • Installation of 20 CNPA funded small tree enclosures on Clunie almost finished
  • SRDP contract water margins at Inverey completed and watergates installed
  • Site visits with SNH staff to explore SRDP management potential
  • Natalie Young resumed the Riverwatcher post on 4th March and has planned site visits for the season.
  • Riverwatch launches organised in Wester Ross and Fort William.
The Riverwatcher also completed site visits to 2 SACs, reported a Suspected Pearl Fishing event in Angus to Police Scotland and National Wildlife Crime Unit and attended a Wildlife Crime Conference hosted by Police Scotland

Read more HERE
Scottish Mink Initiative (SMI)
  • Coordinator spent 4 days with WRFT providing support and advice on field work and volunteers
  • Coordinator currently checking as many rafts on the North Tay as possible.
Read more HERE
RAFTS Project Development 
  • The Stage 1 application for HLF funding for a multiple invasive non native species control project has been successful with development work for the Stage 2 application due to start in April 2015.
Training & Future Meetings/Events
  • Training co-ordination - IFM, ASFB and SFCC met on 6 March to discuss a co-ordinated approach to fisheries management training availability and delivery in Scotland. A training calendar is being developed and will be launched soon. Some work on mapping out roles in fishery management has been initiated and this will be circulated amongst other groups (Bailiff Development Group, ASFB, RAFTS and others) to seek comments.
  • Fluvial Geomorphology Course - Following on from the success of the Introductory Fluvial Geomorphology course in 2014, RAFTS is facilitating an 'advanced' course on 27/28 April 2015. RAFTS has once again secured the services of Professor Malcolm Newson. The course is still open to RAFTS members, and details/booking form have been circulated to all trusts.
 Upcoming dates and events


The Fishmongers’ Company support the work of ASFB & RAFTS

The Water Environment Fund assists environmental projects delivered by RAFTS and members.


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