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10 December 2014
Spawning trout surveys

I have been out and about lately looking for evidence of spawning trout.  Bob Laughton from the FNLT, volunteer Neil Gordon and I took a visit to a beautiful wee river which showed plenty of evidence of spawning trout. A cracking wee river with a nice balance of spawning habitat, parr habitat and deeper holding areas for larger fish too. 

Bob & Neil surveying a small trout river

Bob Laughton, FNLT Director, pointing out a very clear trout redd.

We also did a spawning survey on Loch Park which is a productive wee fishery near Dufftown. Having walked the entire perimeter of the Loch with volunteer Ian Sharp we found that the only burn running into the Loch had very little spawning potential. Only the first few meters had any gravel before it disapered into peat bog. Sure enough this bit of gravel had a pair of trout on it preparing to spawn. This small section of spawnoing was certainly not adequate to support the population of this loch so we returned with Allan Liddle and a boat to look for spawning in the Loch. We immediatly found plenty of evidence of trout cutting redds near the bank where there was loose but unsorted gravel. Loch spawning by trout is not that well documented although as long as the right conditions exist it is very likely more prevalent than you might think and almost certanly underestimated. Allan Liddle captured a video of some trout spawning near the outlet. Video can be found HERE.

A trout redd beside the bank in Loch Park

The view underwater in Lock Park of another productive spawning area. 

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