James Paris Legacy
Lomond in the Classroom
On Tuesday 31st January, the Loch Lomond Sea Life Centre hosted the official launch for the Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust's 'Lomond in the Classroom' project. We had just over 150 students from five local Schools; Renton Primary, Bonhill Primary, St Mary's Primary, St Martins Primary and the Vale of Leven Academy take part in the launch. The Trust's biologists, Carolyn and Han, introduced the students to some of the amazing features of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, including its natural beauty, varied habitats and incredible wildlife.
The launch also introduced students to Powan, a Scottish form of the European Whitefish. Powan populations are only native to Loch Lomond and Loch Eck, making it one of the rarest freshwater fish in the U.K. As part of this project, students will learn about the life history of Powan, threats to its survival and how to look after it and it's natural habitat.
The schools were also treated to a talk from Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Volunteer Rangers. The Volunteer Rangers explained what projects they are involved in and why they volunteer their time to the National Park. We are lucky to have 5 Volunteer Rangers participating with the Lomond in the Classroom project this year. This project provides a great opportunity for students to learn more about the National Park from dedicated and passionate individuals.
The launch concluded with a pop quiz to test the student's knowledge of the local area and what they have learned about Powan from our presentations. The winners received free family passes to the Loch Lomond Sea Life Centre which were generously donated.
Over the next week, the Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust will deliver our 'Lomond Hatcheries' to each school. These classroom hatcheries have been designed with students in mind, ensuring that they can be fully operated by students and to provide the water conditions needed by incubating Powan eggs.
The Powan eggs will be delivered shortly where the responsibility for these eggs are handed over to the students.
We would like to thank the following organisations for supporting the project: The Greggs Foundation; the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park; the Loch Lomond Sea Life Centre; Cameron House & Villages Hotels.
We hope the schools are looking forward to this project as much as we are.
Category 2 Status in 2017 Confirmed
The Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust are pleased to announce that the Scottish Government have released the conservation status and final gradings for the Endrick Water SAC and the River Leven yesterday. Both rivers had previously been graded as Category 3, which would have resulted in the mandatory catch and reliease of all Atlantic salmon caught in our system during 2017. As a result of the new categorisation, sustainable and limited talking of fish will be permitted within the Loch Lomond system.
These categories are by no means set in stone and the conservation status of each river system will be monitored and assessed each year. Management actions will also be put in place to reduce the exploitation of our vulnerable stocks and to prevent the downgrading of these rivers in the future. It is hoped that work and research currently being done by Marine Scotland and fisheries biologists from around Scotland will allow rivers to be assessed using location and stock specific data in the future. The Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust (L.L.F.T.) and the Loch Lomond Angling Improvement Association (L.L.A.I.A.) will continue to work with Marine Scotland to aid with their assessments of our rivers and the development of a conservation plan for our system.
We would like to commend the chairman, Malcolm McCormick, and the committee of the L.L.A.I.A for passionately engaging with Marine Scotland and the L.L.F.T. during the recent consultation which allowed new data and information to be used as part of the reassessment of our system.
Click Here for the L.L.A.I.A.'s statement on the new categorisation.
Life of Loch Lomond Project - Autumn 2016
Over the past month, four local Primary Schools have taken part in the Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust's ‘Life of Loch Lomond’ Project. This environmental education project which was supported by the Greggs Foundation, introduced over 150 Primary School students to some of the animals that live in and use different habitats within the Loch Lomond catchment area.
In the classroom, students were taught about aquatic invertebrates, fish, birds and mammals that form part of the food web within the rivers and lochs of Loch Lomond. Students were also introduced to some of the life cycles and habitats of these species before they were invited to witness these species in their natural environment. Each class then took part in a field trip to a local burn where they witnessed an electrofishing demonstration and they were asked to help identify and measure the fish caught. Our staff members also demonstrated how to sample for aquatic invertebrates within the burn and then encouraged each student to collect and identify their own aquatic invertebrates.
We would like to thank the students of Bonhill Primary 6/7 & Primary 7; St Martin’s Primary 5/6/7; St Mary’s Primary 7 and Renton Primary 4/5 & Primary 7 not only for their enthusiastic participation with this project but being a joy to teach.
We would also like to thank the teachers for their assistance and William M; Andy M; Jim F; Keith A; Han H; Davy W and Eddie E for helping with the field trips, it is greatly appreciated.
The Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust again would like to acknowledge and thank the Greggs Foundation for their support with this project.
What exactly is electro-fishing?
Each year at the end of the summer and early autumn, LLFT scientists and volunteers spend time electro-fishing the Loch Lomond catchment area. At its most basic, electro-fishing can be described as the application of an electric field into water in order to incapacitate fish; thus rendering them easier to catch.
Electro shing is a common technique used by scientists and biologists to sample fish populations in bodies of freshwater. As the name implies, electro shing uses electricity to catch fish. LLFT uses this method to learn details about fish populations such as species composition, age distribution, and presence of invasive species.
Biologists use a small back- pack shockers and send a small electrical current into the water. The fish then swim towards the anodes and once the fish reach an anode, they stop swimming and go into narcosis (stunned), floating belly up. Since narcosis only lasts for a few seconds, biologists must quickly net the fish, which they put into a holding tank during the sampling period. At the end of a run, the fish are processed on the river bank to identify, measure and weigh the fish sample. All the fish are returned to the river unharmed.
What is Giant Hogweed?
Giant Hogweed is a very tall plant which displays large, white, umbrella-like clusters of flowers from June to July. Its hollow stem is ridged and purple-spotted, and its leaves are large and divided.
It has been called the UK’s most dangerous plant due to the irritants in the plant that cause the skin to redden and blister. At this time of year, the plant is at is most toxic. Many people will develop blisters as a result of touching the plant’s sap.
After contact with the plant, the burns can last for several months and the skin can remain sensitive to light for many years.
The NHS says anyone who touches giant hogweed should wash the affected area with soap and water, and keep it covered.
Recent article in the Daily Mail:
The History of Giant Hogweed
Giant hogweed was brought to the UK from Central Asia in 1893. It was introduced by the Victorians as an ornamental plant for lakesides and gardens but it wasn’t until the 1970s when this alien species gained notoriety.
What LLFT are doing to help eradicate Giant Hogweed
(and other Invasive Non-Native Species)?
Giant Hogweed is a common weed which grows by many rivers and canals. This makes it a massive problem to river systems, so with welcome grants from SNH, the LLFT make great efforts each year to control giant hogweed in “hotspots” throughout the river system. Controlling invasive non-native species is one of the core activities of LLFT, with the grants received enabling us to control a limited area in our river systems.
Giant hogweed can be controlled with herbicide, but due to the dangers of the plant, this has to be done in a controlled setting by trained volunteers. All volunteers are required to wear protective clothing, and procedures are in place should anyone make contact with the plant. In addition, washing equipment and clothing after spraying is important too.
INNS UPDATE - VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!
It's the start of our Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) project field season!
Some of the invasive plant species, namely Giant hogweed and Japanese knotweed have started to emerge which means we can begin spraying as of next week.
As many of you will know, this project was commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage in 2012 to deal with infestations of Giant hogweed, Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam within the Endrick and Blane Water catchment areas. All three species are widely distributed throughout both catchments and often cover very large areas. Not only do these plants threaten the local environment by outcompeting and excluding native plants but Giant hogweed and Himalayan balsam go through a winter die back leaving our river banks open to erosion. Furthermore, they reduce the amenity of our catchment by limiting local access for a number of leisure and sporting activities.
Unfortunately there is no easy fix to the INNS problem and managing them is a long term process that requires a great deal of LLFT staff and volunteer dedication. With this in mind, I am asking for your help as the trust are looking for volunteers who can come out and help us control these invasive plants. The trust have a number of different approaches we use to control INNS however we primarily use herbicide to stunt the growth of the plants or physically remove the entire plant from the ground, in the case of Himalayan balsam.
No experience is necessary as we provide all the training and information required. It is our hope that the project will not only rid the catchment of these INNS but present volunteers with an opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people and see the catchment in a new light.
Details have been provided below for when we are tackling the INNS, where we will be meeting and what we will be doing.
Friday 10th April - 10am
Sunday 12th April - 10am
This activity is weather dependent (requires dry weather and little wind) and may be cancelled last minute.
Next week we will begin treatment work in the Blane Water catchment area and each day we will meet at the time provided above in the carpark of the Kirkhouse Inn, Glasgow Road, Strathblane, G63 9AA.
WHAT WILL WE DO?
As it is early in the season we will only be applying Round-up herbicide to Giant hogweed and Japanese knotweed with knapsack sprayers along the banks of the Blane Water.
WHAT TO BRING?
The trust will provide all the necessary treatment equipment (knapsack sprayers) and Personal Protective Equipment. However as we will be working outdoors, we only ask that you wear wellington boots and warm, weather appropriate clothing. The trust will also provide refreshments and lunch.
If you or anyone you may know would like to get involved please get in contact. I do ask that you let me know two days before each treatment day so I can organise lunch.
If you have any questions relating to the INNS project or any of the other work that the trust is involved in please do not hesitate to get in contact.
Excitement at Barnsford on the Endrick
It's always great to see such enthusiasm & excitement on the river.
4th APRIL 2015
2nd APRIL 2015
The clocks have gone forward and it's officially summertime, so in the days after the smolt trap had been deployed, the weather deteriorated. The rain was so torrential that overnight, the Endrick had risen ten feet, was level with the banks and the smolt trap had "vanished" from its normal position. The trap had lodged itself underneath the fallen willows, hanging by the chain alone. The smolt trap has now be re-deployed, thanks to the valiant efforts of our volunteers, and the business of collecting data on the fish populations can now resume.
The 2015 season has now begun with the first smolt trap being deployed on the Endrick. Our volunteers visit the smolt traps every day to monitor the fish and record the size and types of fish that have been caught. This data then forms and important part of the full historical picture of the health of the fish and river system in the Loch Lomond catchment area.
LLFT would like extend our thanks to everyone who came along and helped launch the Endrick Smolt trap on Sunday and for ensuring ensure it was secure.
We are deploying the second smolt trap this Sunday on the Blane Water at the quinloch bridge. If anyone is able to come along and help that would be great. We will meet in the Glengoyne distillery carpark at 10am. From there we will drive down the the Quinloch Bridge and launch the trap. We will need to do a bit of woody debris removal before we begin.