MFTI Seine netting in the Beauly Firth
One of the key aims of the MFTI is to learn more about our local sea trout populations and how they use the marine environment and in particular the Inner Firths. To achieve this, the MFTI is conducting a series of coastal seine netting trials to catch sea trout and collect length data, scales and conduct sea lice counts. Reading the scales we can learn how old the fish are, when they smolted, how long they have been at sea and if they have spawned before. We can then compare this information with historical collections and analysis conducted by G.H Nall for the Fishery Board for Scotland in 1929. The length of the fish at any given age can provide us with a growth rate and an indication of food availability. Conducting sea lice counts on all trout caught helps us monitor the presence of this marine parasite in our coastal waters. We are currently trialling different methods and sites so if you are interested in helping please get in touch.
On Friday 13th June we conducted a joint trial with the Ness DSFB and the Ness and Beauly Fisheries Trust at Bunchrew in the Beauly Firth. This is a site we have had some success before and we welcomed along James Robertson as a willing volunteer to help us haul the net in. We completed 5 sweeps at the site catching 2 small sea trout, probably this year’s smolts, and one stickleback!
Setting the net in the Beauly Firth (Pic: James Robertson).
James Robertson (local volunteer) helping to deploy the net (Pic MJW, MFTI)
Checking the catch (Pic MJW, MFTI)
The catch; 2 small sea trout probably tghis years smolts) - scale reading will confirm (Pic: James Robertson).
measuring and taking scales from the trout (Pic: James Robertson)
We also caught this stickleback (Pic MJW, MFTI).
Sorting the ent for the next shot (Pic James Robertson).