RUNS of salmon in the River South Esk will benefit after a major schedule of investment, worth tens of thousands of pounds, was given the green light last week.
The vital cash will be used to tackle the problems of degraded habitat in Glen Clova in the upper part of the river's catchment.
The project aims to significantly increase the amount of suitable habitat available for adult salmon to spawn and for young salmon to grow in.
The total cost of the work is 140,000, with 50% funded by the EU under the European Union's LIFE programme – which has a remit to protect and restore threatened wildlife and habitats.
Esk Board has drawn up an extensive schedule of works between now and 2007 to address habitat problems in eight miles of river above Gella Bridge. This area has suffered from overgrazing and flood damage with consequent silting and loss of bank foliage.
Once a survey to identify the most affected sections has been carried out, these sections will be fenced off, reseeded and planted with native hardwood trees to provide shade and shelter.
Remedial work will also be carried out in commercial forestry plantations and there will be improvements to existing flood prevention measures in Glen Clova.
Hugh Campbell Adamson, chairman of the Esks District Salmon Fishery Board, said: "The South Esk's designation as a Special Area of Conservation gives us the opportunity to work on the river environment to improve conservation of thefreshwater mussel and salmon and sea-trout.
“These improvements will contribute to the overall biodiversity of the South Esk system, and provide opportunities for education and public awareness of the wealth of wildlife in and beside the river.
“The Board is developing a strategic plan for the South Esk with the ultimate objective of ensuring its stocks of salmon and sea-trout are sustainable. The EU Life Funding is a great start to the new plan and the Board is committed to its success,” he added.
The South Esk investment forms part of the wider LIFE salmon project. This brings together a variety of organisations, which will work with the salmon resource in Scotland in a comprehensive programme of work to remove threats to, and improve conditions for, Atlantic salmon within eight rivers.
The LIFE project – which has a total budget of just over 3 million – represents the largest public/private sector partnership in Atlantic salmon conservation ever undertaken in Scotland, and has been co-ordinated by Scottish Natural Heritage.
David Mitchell, area officer for Scottish Natural Heritage's Angus and Dundee office, said: “When completed this work will safeguard spawning redds and nursery areas for salmon fry so helping the South Esk retain its status as one of Scotland's greatest salmon rivers”.
The Esks District Salmon Fishery Board has statutory responsibility for the monitoring, management and control of exploitation of salmon and sea-trout within the Esk district.
The LIFE money has only been made available because the South Esk (in common with the other rivers benefiting) is recognised as one of the most important salmon rivers in Europe.
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Weather for Brechin
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: South west
Temperature: 10 C to 14 C
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