FIVE angling associations in the Scottish Borders have donated more than £7,000 in cash plus equipment to help support the Tweed Foundation’s fishery research and education work.
The donations from Coldstream and Peebles Trout Fishing Associations and Kelso, Hawick and Whiteadder Angling Associations will help to fund a special Tweed Foundation trout tagging project as well as a study on combating rising water temperatures in the river network caused by climate change.
The cash and equipment will also support the Tweed Foundation’s TweedStart programe, an educational initiative that aims to develop young anglers and encourage children to take an interest in the ecology of the River Tweed.
The trout tagging project aims to identify the spawning locations of the Brown Trout that feed in the Lower Tweed during the spring and summer months so that resources can be directed to improving the conditions that aid the survival of as many fish as possible.
As a cold-water fish, the Brown Trout population is particularly threatened by rising temperatures caused by climate change.
The Tweed Foundation is implementing measures such as riparian tree planting, which provide shade to cool the waters, but as the organisation’s budgets are limited, action needs to be focused on areas where this will have maximum impact.
The donations will also help to fund an investigation into the use of freshets – releases of water from reservoirs – as a way to cool the waters during heatwave conditions by pushing warm water out to sea. Increasing numbers of trees are being planted to provide shade along the River Tweed and its tributaries, but this will take several years to have an impact and it is hoped that freshets could be used as a short-term solution to reduce water temperatures.
Tweed Foundation Director, Jamie Stewart, said; “We’re extremely grateful to Coldstream, Peebles, Kelso, Hawick and Whiteadder Associations for their generous contributions towards our work across a range of conservation and education initiatives. There is much to be done to investigate both long and short-term solutions to protect the fish stocks that are so important to the river environment, the local economy and our way of life. The Associations’ ongoing help, and that of all our supporters, is vital.”
David Hermiston, Chair of Coldstream Angling Association said; “The conservation of the local trout population is obviously extremely important and we believe that the Tweed Foundation’s trout tagging study is an important way to discover what’s happening to Brown Trout within the Tweed river system. We’ve supported the fabulous work of the Tweed Foundation for many years and are delighted that we’re able to help with this particular project.”
John Porter, Secretary, Peebles Trout Fishing Association, said “The Tweed Foundation‘s goal is to improve fish stocks and we believe that it is vital that the charity’s important work is supported so that we can protect, improve and strengthen the ecosystem of the river, now and for the future.”