national electrofishing programme for scotland (Neps)
Electrofishing surveys are performed annually by the Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust (LLFT) throughout the catchment area under varying methods. The National Electrofishing Programme for Scotland (NEPS) creates a specific protocol from Marine Scotland Scientists (MSS) and in consultation with Scottish Fisheries Coordination Centre (SFCC). All fishery Trusts and salmon district fishery boards across Scotland contribute to this dataset, following the same protocols and making it comparable between districts. This annual survey provides vital juvenile stock data for MSS and aids in the categorization of rivers for angling pressures.
Protocols and survey design has provided the Trust 12 random sites in the catchment which are accessible to migratory fish. NEPS has taken the Trusts team to remote areas in the catchment, from hillside burns on the Falloch Water, down to urban burns on the Leven Water. Between 2018, 2019, 2021 and again in 2023 the electrofishing sites have collected valuable data, including scale and genetic samples, from various regions of the Loch Lomond catchment. Some of the locations electrofished appear unsuitable locations for salmon and trout spawning and nursery habitat but many have shown surprising results.
Here are some of our 2023 sites, with some definitely more suitable than others!