We are pleased to report that the Nethermills counter has been installed in the upper fish pass at Dampark, Ayr. This counter will allow Scottish Government and Ayrshire Rivers Trust to count and video salmon and trout entering and leaving the river via the fish pass. Once the system has been operated for a few weeks and verification has taken place, we should soon be able to release images of fish passing through the fish pass and start counting the numbers.
The data collected will be used to refine Marine Scotland conservation measures and allow much more accurate assessment of returning adult stocks. This in turn will allow the DSFB to manage the river in a more informed manner. We welcome this initiative and are grateful of the significant investment and effort that has been put into delivering only the 3rd counter system of this type in Scotland. This process has taken well over 2 years to complete since Ayrshire Rivers Trust first proposed the idea to MSS.
Video imagery is high quality and should allow accurate assessment of each fish passing through, night or day. There are 3 cameras, 2 side facing infrared underwater cameras and another overhead. Apart from just counting salmon and trout into the system, we should be able to get estimates of the size of each fish. We will publish a few images once we have data to process later this summer.
There are no plans to provide real time assessment. this currently isn’t an option that can be resourced but it will be good to hear the total count at the end of each year.