Biosecurity is not just about removing species that have arrived in the catchment, it is also about stopping new, potentially damaging species from arriving. The Trust has a Biosecurity plan that can be viewed at We have also, in conjunction with colleagues in SNH and the Clyde Foundation erected a barrier to stop the infestation of the catchment with signal crayfish, a crustacean that is known to severely deplete fisheries potential wherever it goes. The barrier we have built is thought to be the first of its type in Europe and, assuming it works, may well be replicated elsewhere. Any sightings of crayfish in the Annan catchment should be reported as soon as is practically possible, preferably with a dead specimen as evidence, it is illegal to be in possession of a live one under Scottish law. For more information on how to we are trying to tackle 'invasives' and keep the Annan clear on unwanted species please follow this link
One of the biggest issues when managing a fishery is the collection of large amounts of good quality data. This project seeks to harness the capacity of trained volunteers and get a better understanding of the invertebrate populations in the burns around the catchment. The use of invertebrates to measure water quality has long been understood and using simple methods developed by the River Fly Partnership (http://www.riverflies.org/) enables rivers trusts to understand where the problems are and investigate solutions.
Fishing for Knowledge:
Working with local schools and a local charity http://www.borderlines.org.uk the trust is helping children in local primary schools to gain a better understanding of the freshwater environment and introduce them to the sport of angling. The trust introduces the children to water life, the fish, the invertebrates and the habitats that they live in whilst Borderlines coaches the children on angling methods and arranges a school trip to the river to undertake an angling day. The project is being piloted this year and will seek to gain funding to make it a permanent feature of the schools in Annandale. The majority of the activities take place in an after school club.
The River Annan Small Stream Passport has been developed to increase the access to unknown parts of the river in an affordable yet sustainable way. The project means that small amounts of income can be generated by farmers which will make the river at the bottom of their fields more valuable. Please go here
for more information.
RAT is engaged with a number of organisations at the moment to build its capacity to deliver habitat improvement schemes; historically on the Annan, prior to the formation of the Trust, we have spent some £800,000 through the Fisheries Board and partners or so in the last few years on fencing river banks and removing barriers.
. This work needs to continue as the benefits to the local ecosystem, the fish and angling are huge. In particular we want to concentrate on the tiny burns, unfortunately often called ditches. These burns are extremely important for sea trout in particular and whilst the river is generally in good heart for brown trout and salmon it is no secret that sea trout numbers have slumped in recent years.
We always need and welcome help be it financial, labour or advice. If you want to join the trust please contact email@example.com for more information.