Earlier this year three local schools successfully raised, released and recaptured salmon as part of the Spey Foundation’s popular ‘Salmon in the Classroom’ education programme, which is kindly sponsored by Walkers Shortbread of Aberlour. The three primary schools within the Spey Catchment who took part were from Grantown on Spey, Newtonmore and Kingussie. Each school was given the opportunity to look after salmon eggs in their classroom, and watch them hatch and develop into alevins. Once the alevins had reached the appropriate stage, the pupils released them into local burns in February this year.
After allowing the salmon to grow and develop in the burns for a few months, Spey Foundation staff, Brian Shaw, Steve Burns and Jim Reid returned in mid-June to show the pupils how the salmon changed into fry by carrying out electrofishing in the area where they were released.
Teacher, Patricia Brown from Grantown Primary School said, “Everyone loved the electrofishing experience.” Pupils were also given an invertebrate sampling demonstration to show the different insects living within the river.
Previous years have shown this experience is not one easily forgotten, many of them expressed excitement at the idea of one of ‘their’ salmon being caught by anglers in the future.
The Spey Foundation and the Spey Fishery Board are very grateful to Walkers Shortbread for their continued support with our education programme.
Steve Burns giving a presentation to Grantown on Spey pupils.
Pupils are given a safety briefing on the use of the electrofishing equipment
Steve Burns, assisted by Jim Reid and Brian Shaw, electrofish the Kylintra Burn near Grantown on Spey with pupils eager to see their salmon again!