Soon be that time of the year again when the smolts start to move. Today we were over in the upper Deveron area and the upper River Fiddich installing three of the smaller, 4 foot diameter traps. There was the usual confusion over which bit went where at first but by number three it was a well oiled team effort between the Deveron and Spey. All three traps were deployed as part of the fisheries monitoring plan associated with the Dorenell Wind Farm.
A short distance downstream of the Deveron trap location is the confluence of the Blackwater, a good sized spawning tributary well known for its spawning run of big river trout. Salmon spawn in it also but if I recall correctly the Deveron Trust caught more trout parr/smolts than salmon last year in this trap.
The last trap was in the upper Fiddich. The Fiddich is quite small at this point but there are still 5 or 6km of first class habitat used by salmon upstream. We had a good mixed catch last year with the salmon smolts considerably larger on average than found in the upper Spey tributaries.
On Friday the Avon traps and the Tommore Burn trap will be installed although not operational until Monday; our last weekend of freedom for a while!