The Ness and Beauly Fisheries Trust works in close partnership with the local Fishery Boards and other key bodies such as SSE to gain a detailed and up to date understanding of the status of salmon and sea trout populations within the District. Keys sources of information include:
- Electric fishing survey data;
- SSE fish counter data;
- River habitat survey data;
- Fish barrier assessments;
- Water quality assessments;
- Fish health investigations;
- Population genetic structuring; and
- Analysis of annual catch returns from rod and net fisheries.
The receipt of such information allows the Board to make an informed assessment of the potential impacts of development proposals within the District, assess applications for scientific and other exemptions to the 2003 Act and to inform its own fisheries management activities such as stocking, habitat improvement and conservation measures.
The principle aim of our fisheries management activities is to maximise the natural production of salmon and sea trout in our rivers and lochs through the protection and enhancement of spawning success and juvenile survival. This is achieved by:
- Improving access to spawning and nursery areas through the removal of man-made obstacles and the clearance of natural/semi-natural blockages;
- Identifying and mitigating problems relating to water quality (including diffuse and point sources of pollution) and quantity;
- Enhancement of in-stream and riparian habitat;
- Control of invasive non-native species;
- Monitoring, control and management of predators where there is evidence of ‘serious damage’ to the fishery; and
- Managing the exploitation of returning adults through agreement with coastal netting operations, the promotion of catch and release amongst rod and line anglers and the prevention of illegal exploitation of fish.
The Ness and Beauly Fisheries Trust works with a wide range of partners to achieve these aims and objectives. This includes the local Fishery Boards, regulatory bodies such as the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and SNH, together with individual land owners and tenant farmers.