The Tay Foundation is a Charitable Trust helping the River Tay and its tributaries, fish and environment
The Big Challenge...
The Tay Foundation is looking for a major sponsor who can help us develop the river system to its full potential over a ten year period.
Salmon Kelt Reconditioning
For many years, Marine Scotland Science and the Tay DSFB collaborated in a project to "recondition" adult salmon kelts. Captive adult kelts were successfully taught to feed, so they would then survive and produce eggs for a number of years beyond their normal lifespan. This work was perfected at MSS's experimental fish farm at Almondbank. The facility produced ca. 750,000 eggs per year from valuable spring salmon populations for restocking that could not have been obtained in any other way.
In April 2011, TDSFB was given the opportnity to take over this unique facility to prevent it from closure. By installing four more 5 metre diameter tanks, the capacity has been doubled to hold in total between 300 and 400 adult salmon, females and males. The TDSFB hopes the production will rise to 1.5 — 2 million eggs which will be used for carefully targeted restocking on the basis of identified need in accordance with the Tay DSFBs updated stocking policy (see here), a good example being the River Garry once flow is restored. There will also be a much reduced need to remove broodstock directly from the wild, as is the norm in hatchery projects.
Care is taken to ensure that best hatchery practice is followed at all times. For example, broodstock are initially sourced in areas as close as possible to where restocking, as determined by juvenile electrofishing, is required. All brood fish are tagged with individually numbered tags to ensure the tributary of origin can always be identified. Genetic testing has also ensured that inappropriate crosses between related fish are not made.
This project involves significant cost and the Tay Foundation has and is assisting wirh fundraing to ensure this ambitious project succeeds (see the How to Help page).
For more information including video footage of fish feeding, visit the Tay DSFB site by clicking here.
Four new 5 metre diameter tanks have been installed recently in the former Marine Scotland Science fish rearing unit at Almondbank to double the capacity to hold reconditioned Atlantic salmon kelts.
In this extraordinary project, adult salmon kelts which would otherwise have died, live, feed and grow in captitivty, producing eggs for years beyond their usual lifespan. This provides an invaluable source of eggs from fragile populations for restocking, which could not be obtained otherwise.