Working With Rivers Trainee Placement: Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries - Trainee Blog 2022
Hello! I’m Ross, the Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries newest team member. I am here on a Working with Rivers Trainee Placement through NatureScot, with National Transition Training Fund support from Skills Development Scotland.
I grew up and still live in the village of Edderton on the shores of the Dornoch Firth. I have always had a keen interest in environmental matters and went on to pursue this at the University of Glasgow through a degree in Geography with specific focus on geomorphology.
I have worked in various sectors, including forestry, agriculture, and more recently freshwater fisheries as a seasonal bailiff for the Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries Board. The Working with Rivers Trainee Placement scheme has provided the perfect opportunity for me to further improve skills specific to river management and riparian woodland creation, all of which will go some way in helping tackle the climate emergency.
The first six weeks of placement have been very busy with plenty of exciting projects and fieldwork. After completing my A2 Certificate of Competency for drone operation, we conducted several habitat surveys using UAS aerial photography. Drone work was undertaken on a section of the upper Shin, above the site of an upcoming river restoration project. Image processing software produced a large-scale aerial map of the site, ideal for future habitat monitoring.
April signalled the commencement of the smolt trapping and tagging season. A slow start due to variable water levels and the loss of traps in a now infamous spate, gave way to a hectic finish with plenty of Salmon Smolt acoustically tagged for the Atlantic Salmon Trust Moray Firth Tracking Project.
Brief quiet spells allowed me to attend several River Restoration Centre online courses and an in-person Riverwoods workshops which were all of great value. I also managed to fit in a visit to the tree nursery at Alladale Wilderness Reserve to help Mossy Earth with some native tree potting for future planting projects.
A big thanks goes to Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries for having me onboard and to NatureScot and Skills Development Scotland for the relevant funding. You can follow what myself and the rest of the team are up to across the Kyle Fisheries social media channels.
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