January normally heralds the more severe winter weather but that has not (so far) been the case. Although water has frequently been coloured due to rainfall and saturated ground our Brown Trout have grown steadily throughout the autumn and into the winter and are now in advance of the size expected going into the spring. Customers can expect well-conditioned fish in excess of the size ordered and at no extra charge if already ordered!
The hatchery was filled to capacity by mid December and egg quality has been excellent. Early batches of eggs laid down in November have now hatched and the alevins are slowly absorbing their yolk sacs and will be ready to first feed in late February. We have produced significantly more all female tripoid eggs than normal this year with a view to gradually increasing the numbers of triploid fish available for sale as yearlings and 2 year olds. Although Scottish Government have not yet provided a framework for producers to work to (as is the case in England and Wales) it is inevitable that future re-stocking will have to be with all female triploids.
There may still be some bite left in winter as February comes in but with each lengthening day brings hope of spring. What suits fish is a steady progression from winter into spring. Transport equipment will need to be checked all too soon and with this the start of a new season.
Good luck to all in 2014!