Spotting Redds in the Allan Water Catchment

By Lawrence Belleni

I paid a visit to the headwaters of the Allan Water system yesterday and decided to take a peak at a small upland tributary I’d heard salmon used for spawning. It was great to discover that the rumours were true!

I came to a small pool in the tributary immediately below the hills of Highland Perthshire that had two salmon (possibly three) throwing wakes and ripples around as they harassed and chased one another. It was a stunning and beautiful sight in such a small upland tributary. I also saw three redds over a short section of watercourse closeby to the salmon. One of which (see photos), looked rather small for what I thought the size of a salmon redd should be. Possibly this is a trout redd or maybe it is a salmon redd and they just make do with what is available in this tributary. I’ll need to consult the Trust biologists further on that one!

I couldn’t help but think how amazing it is these salmon choose to overcome all the obstacles to make it to this upland stream to spawn, instead of spawning at suitable locations downstream. It really highlights how these animals are capable of utilising full river systems, as long as the access and habitat opportunities are there. It also provides an inspiring vision of how all our upland tributaries should be.

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