Stronsay pupils release fry in the Meikle Water

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The sun was out and the Meikle Water was flat as a mill pond when the day had come to release the trout alevins hatched in the school shed between February and April.

Jamie was in charge of “Troot in the Shed” this year and he managed to successfully run the project with minimal loss! The eggs and fry were checked on a daily basis as it is critical to remove any casualties from the tank before the water quality starts degrading. The simple set-up we have in school doesn’t allow us to feed the fry once their yolk-sacs have been reabsorbed, so they need to be released without delay.

 

However, one can ‘t just hatch any fish and release them in the wild… We have to go through a very strict application process and submit our paperwork to Marine Scotland who will consider several criteria such as the species and size of fish, the origin of the broodstock, the receiving water, etc… If Marine Scotland consider the introduction as safe, we get issued with a « stocking consent » which allows us to proceed.

So, with the « stocking consent » in the bag,  Jamie, John and Mr Pietri walked to the loch on the last day of term and carefully released about a hundred unfed fry into the Meikle Water. Mrs Rose had generously provided us with fine mesh nets and trays to sample the bottom of the loch for invertebrates and mollusks which the trout might come to feed on at some point… Food was scarce, so early in the season, but there’s no doubt the fry will grow into very healthy brown trout!

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