Barbatula replies, "Top end of Harlaw".
Exciting news this week as a new micro species is discovered in Harlaw. The pretty common, but previously unknown to inhabit Harlaw (well, unknown to me) is the Stone Loach (Barbatula barbatula).
Through the haze of second hand information and forgotten details came to me the account of Helen, currently working towards PhD at St Andrews. Helen has been conducting some research work based around the three spined stickleback, a very common species at Harlaw. Helen's work involved trapping the stickleback. In one of the traps, in the stream inflow to Harlaw from Threipmuir she discovered a Stone Loach.
Helen completed a catch return of about 900 fish. Total weight about 3oz!
Good luck Helen with the research we hope the Barbatula barbatula are as interesting to you as Salmo trutta (Brown Trout) and Oncorhynchus mykiss (Rainbow Trout) are to us. Anyway that's what I call exciting news and never mind that, what about the headline?!?!
16th to 30th June 2019
Rainbow/Blue trout : taken 53 : returned 80 : total 133
Brown trout : taken 7 : returned 4 : total 11
Total fish caught : 144
Total number of anglers: 228
The numbers are as accurate as possible, all anglers must complete a catch return, but sometimes there are errors or omissions.
A very odd couple of weeks in terms of weather, sunshine and heavy rainfall. We've seen the water levels rise several feet and a lot of colour wash in. More settled weather should see the fishing improve.
Congratulations David Waterston of Edinburgh who fished at the reservoirs and completed a catch return in June 2019. David has won a free permit to fly fish at Harlaw and/or Threipmuir reservoirs in Edinburgh. The draw was made on 1st July in the bailiff's bothy by MA bailiff Eddie Hiroz and the draw box was held by MA bailiff Jim Flynn.
Following the slightly destructive and certainly impressive downpour earlier this week the reservoirs are full and overflowing. Unfortunately the deluge and recent sun hasn't been good for the fishing - its really hard fishing this week.
Harlaw is to the top of the banks and you'll find your back cast severely hampered. We've temporarily stopped fishing from the dam wall as this area is very close to the path. We expect fishing to be available there later next week as the level drops. The south shore of Harlaw is heavily wooded and there is shade and deep water close in. Wellies would be a good idea, but wading would be dangerous as the banks really drop away steeply. You should be able to cover plenty of fish by roll casting. However, they are very difficult at the moment.
We expect conditions to improve as the colour drops out of the water and the returns to normal. The levels of the reservoirs are managed for various purposes, such as flood prevention and energy generation, see Harlaw Hydro. Due to active management we've seen a drop of about a foot over the last 4 days.
Harlaw, looks pretty when its full, but the fishing can be a challenge!
Thanks to Nigel Duncan for the video.
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