Collection of Broodstock

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The Scottish Office has successfully run a kelt reconditioning system at Almondbank for many years with the fish being used for restocking by the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board. Together with the Tay Foundation and the Tay Ghillies Association and the various beats it has been decided to expand this project. New holding tanks are in place. All we need now are broodstock. The catch and release programme is well under way... but here is an even better way to help. Keep the fish alive and donate it to the breeding programme.


The Donation of Spring Salmon to the Kelt Reconditioning

Project Protocol to be adopted for all donations.

Class of fish

  • It is important when considering donating a salmon to the project that not all fish are suitable. To be sure that you are only donation a spring salmon, we are looking for freshly run fish caught between the opening of the season and the end of April, and preferably over 10lb in weight.

  • We do not want kelts caught in the spring, or fresh fish that are showing signs of damage in the form of patches of missing scales, small wounds or ripped fins. These fish are difficult to treat and are usually already in the first stages of infection by fungi and bacteria.

  • Although it is sometimes not possible to distinguish the sexes early in the season, donations of both cocks and hens are appreciated. Cock salmon are in much lower numbers in the spring and are therefore more valuable to the project.


Appropriate Tackle

The correct choice of hooks, landing nets and landing procedure will minimise damage to any salmon that is donated.

  • The use of barbless, micro-barb or flattened barb hooks is preferred over standard hook patterns as they cause less tissue damage when removed.

  • Salmon should be landed using soft, knotless, micromesh landing net Tailers should not be used nor should fish be lifted by the tail.

  • Long nosed forceps should be used to remove the hook from the fish while still in the landing net in the water. If the fish is deeply hooked, for example deeper than the scissors, it is safer to cut the line and leave the hook in position. It will be removed later under anaesthetic.


Handling and Holding the fish

As each beat is making its own arrangements for holding salmon for collection, basic principals can be followed to ensure the welfare of the fish.

  • Handling and carrying the fish is best done in a wet, soft, net bag. Avoid touching or restraining the fish directly with bare hands.

  • The fish must be kept as quiet as possible. A dark holding box or corfe with a flow of water through it, and moored as close as possible to the point where the transport tank can reach. Collection should be made the same day as capture, but if this is not possible, a fish could be kept safely overnight in a suitable holding box if you are confident of no interference.

  • If tethers must be used, great care must be exercised in their fitting and placement so as not to damage or interfere with the gills of the fish. The fish should be retrieved very gently to avoid a fight or struggle as this could rip the mouth or gill covers. Manoeuver the fish into a soft wet net, without lifting the fish from the water. When safely in the net, the fish can be carried to the transport tank. Tethers should only be used a few hours. Collection should be the same day as capture.


If you have a fish to donate please contact Mike Myles (or one of his staff) at the Almondbank hatchery on:

01738 583361




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