As Catrine Community Trust work towards their ambition of generating electricity from their revamped Hydro scheme on the River Ayr, things must be approaching the point where water will soon again flow through the voes and the turbines.
We expect the scheme to be commissioned within the next month or so as CCT has just installed a Vaki Counter in the fish pass to comply with their CAR licence terms and conditions. This counter is essential to allow monitoring of fish passage through the ladder before and following commencement of generation. It is essential that the regulator (SEPA), CCT and the Ayrshire rivers Trust are able to assess the impact of the dam, the passibility of the fish ladder and any impact that generation may have as thousands of gallons are abstracted from the main river through the voes particularly during the peak period of salmon migration.
The Board agreed to contribute a substantial amount of their income towards the purchase of the counter on condition that they and ART were provided with raw data to analyse. This information will allow the scientists and Board to see how many salmon access the upper river which can only be beneficial when determining the health, productivity and future conservation status of the River Ayr.
ART visited the dam today to have a look at the new counter set up. They operate another counter of this type at Loch Doon and know some of the pitfalls with operation and analysis and will offer to assist CCT should they need help with interpreting the data.