Catrine Fish Pass issue continues

Posted · 6 Comments

Catrine issues continue.  Yet again another deliberate blockage discovered by bailiffs recently. The youths suspected of being responsible were still in the vicinity but with no firm evidence nothing can be done. This kind of event is an example where we need the clubs and their members to take a stand and help the bailiffs.  The bailiffs can not be everywhere at once, we have a catchment of over 500 square kilometers to police.  All too often we get a late call or somebody telling us it happened yesterday. Its your river, report it and we can do something. Turn a blind eye or ignore it then we need an awful lot of good luck along with planning to catch them in the act.  This particular incident occurred within two hours of the contractors leaving the site in broad daylight.

Bailiff patrols have been stepped up in the area.  I have contacted the wildlife crime police officer recently to request the police patrol units visit the site regularly to which they are happy to oblige.

Deliberate blockage of fish pass

Deliberate blockage of fish pass

It took four men half an hour to remove the blockage even with the fish pass closed down.  The hidden danger here is the force exerted on the board from the weight and velocity of the water. The chamber wall acts as a strainer (term given to an object in the flow that can trap other objects/debris against it).

My main concern here is if a youth enters or falls into the chamber of the pass they will become trapped against the strainer (downstream chamber wall).  If this happens in cold water a persons energy is quickly drained and they will be unable to rescue themselves.  At best there would be a serious injury and at worst death could occur.

Damage to security fence to gain access to the fish pass

Damage to security fence to gain access to the fish pass

It is clear to see here that the security fence to prevent access to the fish pass has little or no effect.  I have raised this concern with Catrine Community Trust.


Further fence damage

Further fence damage to access the fish pass

similar incident in 2013

Similar incident in 2013

A similar incident occurred last year and this can be seen from these two pictures.  This shows that it is not an isolated incident or problem.  This incident was also highlighted to Catrine Community Trust at the time.

same 2013 incident from another angle

Same 2013 incident from another angle

At the Ayr Board AGM last week, I again highlighted my concerns to Mr Hugh Hutchison of Catrine Community Trust about these issues.  I have concerns over the poaching levels and attempted poaching instances at Catrine and bailiffs are responding to these concerns.  My main concern is over public safety.

If you witness suspicious activity or are concerned for someones safety report it to the bailiffs immediately. You can also contact Police Scotland by calling 101, they are aware of the current issues and will respond accordingly.

Bailiff Coordinator.


6 Responses to "Catrine Fish Pass issue continues"
  1. ian radburn says:

    this is always going to happen until the salmon ladder is covered and the top of the ladder needs grills of some kind to stop them putting boards in

    • Bailiff Coordinator says:

      This is an ongoing issue and I have informed the CCT of the concerns I have in regards to public safety and the poaching issues. We can only hope that something changes, until then we will continue doing what we do and pay regular visits day and night.

  2. ian radburn says:

    it is good to see the bailiffs walking the river and good to see them on the river lugar

    • Bailiff Coordinator says:

      since the bailiff structure changed there has been over 490 organised patrols covering all beats on the system from sea to source. Bailiffs walk all stretches in daylight and in darkness, in fact today bailiffs walked approx 5 miles of the system, these walks provide familiarisation of the beat as well as the opportunity to look for signs of activity that can be used to plan future patrols. We have a dedicated bailiff team that will do everything within their ability to ensure the water is well watched, we are always on the look out for new bailiffs to come on board to assist and ease the burden on others. As always we need the support and assistance of clubs, their committee’s and the anglers to take a stand against unacceptable behavior and contact the bailiff team and or Police Scotland in good time.

      Bailiff coordinator

  3. Michael says:

    As this is my first post on this site, I would like to praise all those involved in the setup and running of this site, especially the two administrators for their on going contributions.
    With regards to recent posts,there seems to be some very serious issues at Catrine fish pass. As the dangers have been identified and highlighted and bearing in mind someone drowned whilst poaching last year in the area. Surely all measures possible should be taken to try and prevent any further tragedies? If this involves secure fencing and covering the fish pass,this must be essential to hopefully prevent this happening again.
    I was somewhat surprised to see in the summary of the AGM that there had been comments saying that the twelve convictions were “minor”. There is no gradation to poaching convictions. A successful poaching conviction can only serve to send out a message to all who commit any offence on the river, that they will be held accountable for their actions.
    The new head bailiff and his team of bailiffs should be highly commended for not only the convictions they procured, but also their notable presence and from what I have seen, pleasent and helpful manner in which they conduct themselves. I hope the board continue to fully support them.

    • Bailiff Coordinator says:

      Thank you for your comments. The fish pass issues have been highlighted and we can only hope notice is taken.
      The support for the bailiffs is very welcomed. They dedicate a lot of time and effort in all weathers all year round. They were out again today visiting Ayr basin for the high tide, Ayr beats, Ladykirk, Dumfries estate area and of course Catrine. It may well be Sunday but the bailiff activity continues regardless.

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