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Lynher Hatchery update 2020

GH reported that brood stock collection had been difficult in winter 2019 and that there had been a shortage of cock fish.

Despite the slow start 28,000 eggs had been laid down and hatching was progressing well

He noted that 30% of the alevins were stocked out into side streams under artificial redds. Monitoring of these sites later in the season had showed high densities of fry – attesting to the success of the method. 

GH noted that the Lynher hatchery was run solely by volunteers and the provision of the site by N Lintott was highly appreciated. The work of the secretary (A White) was also highlighted. 

Financial donations were critical to the continued existence of the hatchery.
He thanked LDAC for their generous financial donations in supporting the hatchery and urged Club members to join the Lynher River Association (£10.00 pa) thereby helping to further finance the activity.

Graham Hake

Colliford Hatchery update 2020

Colliford Hatchery (R Grieve)

RG firstly mentioned the recent passing of C Bettinson, a long-term member of the Club and a keen supporter of the Colliford hatchery.

RG noted that the Facebook page was being effectively used and that external interest in the Club was evident. 

Hatchery specifics followed 

  • 2019 brood stock collection had been successful with 9 cock and 9 hen fish collected. 
  • LDAC waters had provided over 50% of the fish. 
  • Operating challenges included the withdrawal of Pycezes as a treatment measure. The EA has just approved use of an alternate treatment. 

The hatchery was on target to have stocked 100,000 fish into the St Neot River by summer of 2020.

Fin clipping was discussed and the importance of reporting any fin clipped fish caught emphasized

Richard Grieve

Colliford Salmon Hatchery

Lynher Hatchery update 2019

At the LDAC AGM Arthur White gave a brief hatchery update.

  • The 2017/18 output of 56,000 fry into the river at a cost of 5p per fry
  • The cost of the operation being solely dependent upon donations and acknowledged the critical financial contributions made by LDAC in sustaining the operation.
  • Only 17,000 eggs were stripped this winter due to limited brood stock availability
  • Hatching had now started but that they were expecting approximately 15,000 fry for stocking out later in 2019. Whilst this lower number was disappointing it was recognised that natural variations should be expected.
  • He wanted to thank G Hake in particular for his efforts in leading the hatchery work and N Lintott for providing the site.

Colliford Hatchery update 2019

At the LDAC AGM Richard Grieve gave an update on the great progress at Colliford Salmon Hatchery.

He gave an interesting discussion on the hatchery operations and water flow issues.
Richard reported that this was the start of the third year of operation of the relocated Colliford Hatchery.

It is widely recognised that the prior concerns over water quality had not materialised.

Richard thanked his volunteer staff for all their efforts, especially those that were from local communities, not the more typical angling population. He noted the key LDAC/FRA support for the hatchery.

Richard then discussed in detail the issues over water levels and their possible effects on salmonid migration in the Fowey.  Whilst the SWW releases of summer water for abstraction at Restormel provided artificially high flows in the mid-river this did nothing in the lower estuarine reaches as it was all being abstracted at Restormel.
Richard's concern was that the abstraction of water at Restormel was seriously impacting the ability of fish to by pass the weir at Restormel. Water should be left to run out to the estuary below Lostwithiel, especially that associated with water bank releases.

Richard has requested the FRA review the water-bank at Colliford and that it be more fully utilised to encourage migrating fish from estuary to upper river and that the FRA/WRT could focus on this issue with SWW and the EA.

Finally Richard noted that brood stock collection in late 2018 had been fair but with the majority of hen fish being small grilse. Late stripping of one fish had resulted in helpful EA agreement not to insist on factorial mating to complete the operation.

In support of hatcheries Rob Williams presented an analysis of Fowey counter figures that clearly showed that, in the period before the Wainsford hatchery was first in operation, the 9 year average was 696 fish whilst the 10 year average during operations (including the 3 year smolt/first migration period) showed that this average had risen to 902 fish (a 23% increase). Whilst some might discount such data, at worst it showed that Wainsford hatchery had no detrimental effect on Fowey stocks and at best it improved them substantially.

The LDAC Chairman noted that fin clipping of 25% of the Fowey fry was undertaken and urged members to look out for such fish and to report them if caught – thereby proving the success of the hatchery.

Colliford Hatchery Update 2018

At the LDAC AGM in February 2018 - Richard Grieve gave an update on Colliford Salmon Hatchery acitivy, including -

  • Thanked LDAC for continued support for the hatchery.
  • Noted the good collaboration between EA/SWW/FRA/WRT in making the hatchery successful
  • Noted the first year of operation with good outputs
  • Noted that brood-stock had been collected from across most of the catchment for 2018 
  • Provided an interested commentary on some of the lessons learned from the first year of operation. It had, for instance, become clear that water temperature was critical in hatching and normal fry development. To this end an innovative and cost effective chilling system had been installed which recirculated chilled water across egg trays, thereby reducing the volumes required. This concept had also been transferred to the Lynher hatchery as best practice. 
  • Recommended the excellent short film (Lost at Sea) as an interesting learning tool for all salmon anglers. 
  • Noted the importance of judging the hatchery and its success on facts, not supposition. In particular he touched on the motivational impact negative statements could have on the small pool of volunteers that kept the hatchery going.

Lynher Hatchery Update 2018

At the LDAC AGM in February 2018 - Arthur White a brief overview of the Lynher Hatchery activities including

  • The 2017 output of 30,000 fry
  • The cost of the operation being solely dependent upon donations and acknowledged the contributions made by LDAC in sustaining the operation
  • 65,000 eggs in 2018, stripped from 8 fish
  • Hatching had progressed well with just 4% losses – aided by lower water temperatures.

Colliford Hatchery update 2017

From the 2017 AGM Minutes -

The new FRA-operated hatchery at Colliford is now up and running thanks to the generous funding from SWW and the efforts of all the volunteers who helped set it up and run it.

Initial concerns over water temperature and quality/quantity have proved unwarranted and the Hatchery Manager was pleased to report that the first 6 months of activities had proved a success:

  • Brood stock collection quotas had been met. LDAC waters provided two thirds (2/3) of the brood stock and one angler (J Hake) had collected over 50% of the total.
  • Just under 40,000 eggs had been stripped and the brood stock returned back to the river. 
  • At the time of the meeting the first 2 fry had hatched and with low water temperatures (assisted by a chiller unit) eggs are developing well. 
  • A CEFAS inspection had been carried out and the results were more than satisfactory. 
  • The vision for the hatchery is not just to make it work – but to make it work well. 
  • Volunteers were once more thanked for their efforts in making the operation the success it is to date.

Lynher Hatchery update 2017

From the 2017 AGM Minutes -

Firstly Arthur White thanked LDAC for the financial contribution it makes to the running of the hatchery on the Lynher. Unlike the Colliford hatchery the Lynher hatchery receives no funding from SWW or other external agencies; the £2000 pa running costs have to be met from contributions from local anglers and the volunteers themselves.

Operating problems from previous years had been resolved inasmuch as -

  • The EA had granted the Hatchery a license to collect brood stock in November, after the season had closed. This means that the brood stock are no longer held for long periods in warm (autumnal) waters and their health has improved – allowing for more successful stripping. Thanks were given to the EA for their support.
  • Later stripping increased the viability of eggs as the water temperatures were now lower during their development.

Operation to date -

  • Brood stock quotas met
  • 52,000 eggs stripped. However one batch was poorly developed and those eggs (10,000) were then reintroduced into artificial redds in the river to prevent their inevitable deterioration in the hatchery.
  • Of the remainder approximately 50% of the eggs had hatched to date.

The stocking plan for the fry this year would involve split releases – half the stock would be reared on whilst the other half would be introduced to the river as swim-up fry. This plan prevented rising water temperature from impacting survivability during the summer.

This year the hatchery would also be looking to raise funds for a chiller unit to further improve survivability rates in the future.

Lynher Hatchery Update - 2016

After a difficult winter with high water temperatures inhibiting the stripping of several brood hens, some 23000 eggs were eventually obtained.

Hatching extended over a prolonged period, and a number of fry were returned to the river in early March.

The remaining fry, some 13,000, will now all be reared on for autumn stocking, provided summer water temperatures do not prove to high.  

Fowey Hatchery - update - March 2016

The Fowey Rivers Association and South West Water are re-opening the Hatchery under the dam at Colliford - at the head waters of the St Neot.

This is a great opportunity - and with the generosity of South West Water and their ongoing commitment of compensation for Colliford reservoir - we can operate a Hatchery far beyond the scale that we could afford if we funded it ourselves with donations and conservation grants.

When the programme starts in October we will be looking for volunteers to help operate the Hatchery - and we will start feeding more information nearer the time.

If you would like to volunteer - please send your details to hatchery@riverfowey.org

Lynher Hatchery 2013

Currently we have obtained our full brood stock allowance of 16 fish, although as in the last two years cock fish have been very scarce.

Despite high water levels in recent weeks there is little evidence of fish running the river.

The brood fish are generally in good condition, although we have increased the Pyces and salt treatment to maintain their health. No evidence as yet that any fish are reaching the stripping stage, but we rarely reach this position before mid-December at the earliest. 

Water temperature is still at 9 - 10 oC which is still rather high for the time of year.. (Arthur White)


Fowey Hatchery 2014 update

We set up a small temporary Hatchery solution in North Cornwall for the 2013/14 programme - but the weather and the quantity and quality of Broodstock fish available defeated us.

The end result does not convey the amount of work involved - and thanks must go to Justin Ruscombe-King of Westcountry Trout for offering his Hatchery - also The Fowey River Association for their support and funding.

An announcement note about the closure can be found here www.riverfowey.org

Many thanks, we will be back next year. (Richard Grieve)

Fowey Hatchery 2013

I am very pleased to be able to give a positive Fowey Hatchery update.

A permanent home is still not in place but some progress has been made in the 2 years we have been away.

Let us recap for a moment - South West Water (SWW) pay The Fowey River Association (FRA) compensation for the lost spawning at the top of the St Neot tributary caused by the building of Colliford Reservoir. SWW built a hatchery below the dam and which subsequently closed. 

Efforts to raise salmon for re-stocking then moved to Wainsford. Wainsford hatchery was very successful but regrettably had to close in 2011. 

SWW are still committed to raise salmon in compensation for lost spawning - and in conjunction with the FRA they continue to look for a site to re-establish and thereafter fund our new permanent home. But these things take time... 

While this work goes on we have worked out a temporary solution for the 2013/14 salmon-rearing season - in conjunction with our regular hatchery technical advisor Justin Ruscombe-King - we are going to raise 30-40,000 Salmon in Boscastle at his trout farm. 

At the time of writing (December 2013) we have made the 25-mile journey from the Fowey to North Cornwall with several cock fish but only a couple of hen fish. This is the bare minimum required for 'factorial mating' whereby multiple cock fish are used with one hen's eggs thereby spreading the genes. 

We have a great team collecting brood-stock fish throughout the Fowey catchment - and LDAC waters and anglers are at the forefront of this work - so thank you to everyone who has donated time and indeed fish. 

We very much hope to have more news very soon. If you would like to keep up to date we have re-opened the Fowey Hatchery Blog on the FRA website www.riverfowey.org If you would like to be involved please drop me a line at rjg@ldac.org.uk 

Thanks again, regards Richard Grieve