Improving the Carron

SSE is engaged in bringing a mammoth amount of electricity into the north of mainland Scotland from the North Sea by way of Shetland. This must be the time for government and population to stop making electricity from natural rivers whose headwaters used to produce important stocks of wild salmon, especially early run fish. These fish brought nutrients into our largely barren highland river sources increasing number and diversity of the wild life they supported.

Water was abstracted to make electricity for the big city and not returned. The "Hydro Boys" worked with speed and nothing wrong with that. However, now the long term damage to our ecology can be seen, we ugently need to take stock. So, while moving on is vital we need to find the spirit to look again at what was done by the government 70 years ago and clean up our actions based on the science now to hand. When we have done so, we shall be well placed to help others on the world stage, which is where we need to trade.

For success in getting more Springers to run the Carron it is essential to restore the natural length of the Carron and its altitude above sea level. Then we can get multi-sea fish to once again bring nutrients in from the sea to improve the fertility of breeding areas.

We can suggest that we adopt Iain McMyn's advice that we develop the headwaters of the R. Diebidale (which does not demand the removal of L. Fowler) OR, alternatively, persuade government/SSE to let Carron Springers re-use their old redds (at least to the Glen Beag bothy) along with the nursery area identified by Richard Sankey several years ago. Doing both these things would be wonderful. Doing neither means we cannot help the Minister to see more smolts from early run fish going to sea but rather the "death-throes" of Carron Springers.

Jonny Shaw, August 2021

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