Read below the latest news from ASFB and RAFTS.

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Monthly News Update
January & February 2016

Welcome to the 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 January and February update includes news about:

  • Wild Fisheries Reform and associated business
  • Training
  • Projects
  • Events

Policy and external engagement
During January and February, ASFB and RAFTS were in regular contact with Marine Scotland and other agencies regarding a number of issues.  These mainly focussed on meetings relating to the wild fisheries reform (WFR - see more details below).   
Joint Working Group – The group continues to meet to distil some of the current thinking on aspects relating to fisheries reform.  The key issues for the group are assessing current finances and where gaps might exist for a future fisheries management model, form and function of new organisations, representation on new organisations and discussion on the current proposals for conservation limits for salmon fishery management.  The Group last met on 29 February and the most recent approved minutes can be viewed HERE. Wider information on the JWG may be viewed HERE (ASFB) and HERE (RAFTS).
Wild Fisheries Reform and Stakeholder Reference Group - ASFB and RAFTS are feeding directly into the WFR process via both the Joint Working Group (links above) and the Stakeholder Reference Group (see details HERE). We have also discussed with Scottish Government the need to establish better links between the biologists’ network and Marine Scotland (MS) and Marine Scotland Science (MSS) to deal with issues raised by the debate over conservation limits and their associated plans and other technical matters. A recent communication from MS has suggested how that might work which appears to have been well received. The Stakeholder Reference Group will also be setting up a range of technical working groups to involve a wide range of experience from across the network in a variety of different subject areas. This will be reported on shortly. A short paper has been produced to provide information on the various groups, their composition and remit. See a copy HERE.
Consultation on draft Wild Fisheries (Scotland) Bill/Strategy – as part of the overall WFR process, the consultation on the draft bill and strategy was launched on 8 February. The current consultation provides a draft Wild Fisheries (Scotland) Bill and draft Wild Fisheries Strategy for views, building on discussions through the groups outlined above and the consultation conducted in 2015. A full copy of the consultation can be viewed HERE, and views on these latest ideas are sought by 2 May 2016. ASFB and RAFTS are working with the members to develop a response, and a special meeting/workshop was held to gather views to inform the overall response.
In-river barriers

  • River Almond, West Lothian: 6 barriers – Phase 1 (initial surveys/sediment sampling) complete and formally reported by Mott MacDonald.  Phase 2 (feasibility and optioneering) phase has also been completed and signed-off.  Phase 3 (design) has been split into 3 separate work packages. Work Packages 2 and 3 covered weirs in west Lothian, and outline designs have been completed. Work Package 1 covers two weirs in Cramond, with a scope to progress the work to detailed design. This will be completed in May 2016. A decision will then be made as to how physical works phases will be delivered. All 6 weirs are council-owned, and recent clarification of WEF funding principles has confirmed that they are therefore no longer eligible for WEF funding.
  • River Avon, South Lanarkshire – 2 barriers: Phase 1 (feasibility and optioneering) is complete. Following stakeholder meetings in July strong support for the preferred options at both sites was expressed.  A contract was awarded for outline/detailed design and supervision of works at both sites in late 2015, and the design element was completed in February 2016. A public meeting is being held imminently, following which the project will move on to procuring a physical works contractor. All being well, these two major weirs will be made passable to fish this summer.
  • River Don, Tullynessie Weir - 1 barrier: Outline and detailed design work was completed in February 2016, and the River Dee Trust (on behalf of the River Don Trust) will now take the project forward to physical works this summer.
  • Gottar Water Weir, Inverclyde - 1 barrier: The estimated costs associated with the preferred option (identified in the feasibility and optioneering study) are prohibitive (from a cost-benefit perspective). Agreement has been reached that the project should move forward to an interim phase during which the estimated costs need to be analysed and ‘ground-truthed’, partly through the use of early contractor involvement and partly as a result of more detailed review/modelling.  This work will take place early in FY2016/17, although recent information regarding a local authority-managed flood prevention scheme requires clarification.
  • Creamery Weir, Dumfries & Galloway - 1 barrier: Phase 2 (detailed design) was completed in January 2016. RAFTS has applied to SEPA WEF for funding to enable physical works (and supervision of these works) to take place in summer 2016. The landowner and other local stakeholders remain strongly supportive.
  • Corrie Burn Weir, Spey – 1 barrier: This project has been put on hold for one year pending clarification of funding principles and regulatory conditions.
  • Morsgail Barrier, Isle of Lewis – 1 barrier: Phase 1 (feasibility and optioneering) was completed in December 2015, and phase 2 (design) was completed in February 2016. RAFTS has applied to SEPA WEF for funds to enable physical works (and supervision of works) to take place in summer 2016. The structure owner remains supportive.
  • RAFTS continues to provide technical support to Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries Trust on their WEF-funded project to enable fish to migrate upstream of Diebidale Dam on the Carron system. Phase 1 feasibility and optioneering was completed in December 2015, and following discussions between KoSFT and SEPA, the project is moving towards a design phase in the coming months. RAFTS will continue to provide technical support where required.
River Restoration – Training and Capacity Development
  • Draft versions of five of six information and guidance notes have been produced and will be sent to trusts in March for review and comment before finalization at the end of March. The draft information and guidance notes are for:
    • GN1 Project Set Up and Planning 
    • GN2 Procurement
    • GN3 Project Management
    • GN4 Stakeholder Engagement
    • GN5 Consents and Licences 
  • The sixth note that addresses health and safety, in the context of a project setting rather than in the general workplace environment, is currently being drafted. 
Pearls in Peril (PiP) LIFE Project
  • PIP undertook the tender process to appoint a consultant to carry out a hydromorphological assessment and to make recommendations for the restoration of two backwaters on the River Spey, at Aviemore and Delgyle. A preferred bidder has been identified and SNH will award the contract in March.  The process has been delayed due to budgeting issues, as remedial works after Storm Frank have taken up some of the available funding for summer 2016 projects and funds have had to be re-allocated.
  • The tender process for the design and build of a fish pass on the apron of the B871 road bridge over the Langdale Burn – a tributary of the River Naver – is underway. Potential contractors visited the site on 2nd March, and bids are due in late in the month.
  • PIP has been working with designers and with Forestry Commission (South Esk), Aberdeenshire Council (Dee) and Strathnaver Museum (Naver) to confirm locations and formats for interpretation boards and displays.
  • A Construction Contractor has been appointed to breach flood embankments and re-meander the Allt an Slugain burn, a tributary of the River Dee near Braemar. We are now in the process of gaining permissions and licences to carry out the work in June.
  • PIP has been liaising with the Civil Engineering Contractor (EnviroCentre Ltd.) to assess the extent of damage after Storm Frank on last summer’s restoration sites on the Dee and South Esk.  Remedial works will take place over the spring and summer.
  • Aftermath of January storms and flooding – site checks of all PiP infrastructure; evaluation of remedial works and programme planning; site meetings with contractors; briefing notes to SEARS Partners & Woodland Trust
  • Reducing nutrient and sediment input from diffuse pollution in River Dee:
    • Award of fencing contracts in Tarland and Feugh catchments
    • Overseeing installation of solar powered trough systems, Tarland burn
    • Farm visits/audits to potential SRDP diffuse pollution schemes – Tarland & Feugh catchments
    • Liaison with successful SRDP applicants/SGPRID/SNH over possible contract variations – Dess & Tarland catchments
    • Contractor/landowner meetings – Feugh
  • Attendance at Scottish Local Operations Group meeting, PiP team telecon, Dee Opening Ceremony
  • Presentation and site visit to small enclosures, CNPA Rangers Gathering, Balmoral Estate
  • The PIP conference will be held at Mar Lodge on 3rd and 4th May 2016, and anyone interested in attending should email Sarah.O’ with their note of interest. There is no attendance fee.  
Scottish Invasive Species Initiative (SISI)
  • A match funding application was submitted to SEPA and the processes are underway to secure match funding from SNH.  This involves preparing a business case to accompany the match funding application request.    
  • A review meeting was held with the HLF team in January to assess the progress of the development phase.  The submission of draft documents for official review is due in April to work toward a June submission deadline.    
  • Consultation with Trusts and other stakeholders is ongoing to support the development of the application documents and to structure the delivery phase activities.   
  • The PDO attended the annual GB Non-Native Species Secretariat Local Action Group workshop in January.  This workshop brings together groups from across the UK who are working on tackling INNS and promoting biosecurity.  The PDO presented on the plans for SISI and spoke with the managers of other projects to share ideas and experience in order to support the development of the SISI project.    
RAFTS Project Development
  • RAFTS has submitted applications to the Water and Environment Fund for control of invasive non-native plant species during 2016 involving 10 member Trusts  
  • An application to the WEF was also made for the WEF contribution to the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative for four years commencing in 2017 and involving 12 member trusts. 
  • RAFTS has submitted a two year proposal for work on interactions between sea lice infections on wild and farmed salmonids covering 2016 and 2017 and involving 5 member trusts.
  • RAFTS has secured funding with the Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust to initiate the development of a project proposal for inshore fisheries monitoring and investigate its compatibility with existing coastal water work of west coast Trusts and Boards. 
  • A proposal for four years of educational work by three central trusts was submitted to the Greggs Foundation in January 2016
  • An application for the further development and implementation of the River Restoration Training and Capacity Development Work and the delivery of 5 barrier easement-removal projects has been developed to be submitted for funding in March 2016.
Bailiff training – the last examination was held on 12 December. 16 candidates sat the examination and 15 passes were achieved. Congratulations go to David Smith (Forth) who achieved the highest pass for 2015. David will receive the Roger Barnes memorial award at the bailiff’s conference in a few weeks. All certificates and badges have now been issued to the successful candidates.
The next examination will take place on 29 March to coincide with the Bailiff’s Conference at Dumfries. Details of venues and registered candidates are below.

Exam Dumfries

Exam Western Isles

Exam Ardgay

Exam Cromarty

Invigilator: Brian Davidson
Tel: 07584484602
The Cairndale Hotel
English St


Invigilator: Donnie McIver  
Tel: 01851703434
Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust,  The Coastguard Station,  Stornoway
 Isle of Lewis 

Invigilator: Keith Williams
Tel: 07720890711
Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries Trust, Bank House, Ardgay, Sutherland, IV24 3BG
Invigilator: Edward Rush
The hatchery
Alan Armstrong LLAIA Angus Finlayson Leigh Hague, Brora Jonathan Duff, Cromarty
Robert Adair, LLAIA Kenny McIver Sam Livings, Brora Martin Golabeck, Cromarty
Murdo Crosbie, Cree Calum Robertson    
Stewart Mitchell, Irvine Malcolm McPhail    
Stuart Cunningham, Clyde Ray McInlay    
Calum Hyslop, Dee      
Scott Rutherford, Dee      
Graeme Keir, Forth      
Wasyl Bodnarczuk, Annan      

Annual Bailiffs Conference – ASFB, Nith DSFB and IFM have collaborated on the Bailiff’s Conference for 2016 and this will take place on 29/30 March at the Cairndale Hotel, Dumfries. See the programme HERE
Workshop on Natural Flood Management & Migratory Fish - Working towards a set of guidelines for wood placement in small streams 12th April 2016, Battleby Conference Centre, Perth – this event is free. See further information and registration details HERE
Fish monitoring and counting workshop – organised by Aquatic Control Engineering – Tain, 19 April. This event is free, and you may register HERE
Pearls in Peril Conference - will be held at Mar Lodge on 3rd and 4th May 2016, and anyone interested in attending should email Sarah.O’ with their note of interest. There is no attendance fee.
Events calendar – please look at the Fisheries events calendar HERE. This is hosted by the Scottish Fisheries Co-ordination Centre, and will serve as a ‘one stop shop’ for Scottish fisheries and aquatic science training and event dates.


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