Taking stock of wild salmon

A NEW scheme aimed at boosting stocks of wild salmon is explained in a special Fish Farmer podcast by Jon Gibb, fishery manager of the River Lochy and director of the Lochaber District Salmon Fishery Board.
Working with Mowi, Scotland’s biggest salmon farmer, Gibb and his team have launched a new approach to restocking, thought to be the first project of its kind in the world.
The ‘smolt to adult supplementation programme’ was the brainchild of Gibb, who operates the Drimsallie Hatchery, near Glenfinnan.
‘The idea is that we trap migrating wild salmon smolts in the rivers (over 95 per cent of which would die anyway at sea) and transfer these wild fish to Mowi sea cages,’ said Gibb.
‘Mowi would then grow the wild salmon smolts to adult stage and then, once they reach maturity, we would release them directly back into spawning burns.
‘The introduced salmon would spawn naturally in the wild and this would guarantee the numbers of juvenile fish going to sea in future generations.
‘This is pioneering work and has never been tried in Scotland before,’ Gibb added.
Watch the podcast here (https://youtu.be/yDzkYPuSZ64) and read the full story in the next issue of Fish Farmer, out in early May.
Picture: Jon Gibb at the Drimsallie Hatchery (photo and film: Angus Blackburn)