Fish (Modified Version)

I was initially pleased to find minnows in Loch Lonachan as it looked like a new record not only for Skye but for the Inner and Outer Hebrides as well. NBN shows  no Hebridean minnow records and nor does the 1983 “Salmon & Freshwater Fishes of the Inner Hebrides” (Campbell & Williamson, Proc. Roy. Soc. Edin. 83B 245-265).

However, Ellie sent me a link to a report on twelve Skye rivers in 2005 that recorded minnows in several parts of the River Snizort system. What is more the author suggests that these are unlikely to be native, having probably been introduced as live bait by anglers. So it is likely that the same applies to Loch Lonachan.  On the bright side, the report also gives detailed records for Brook Lamprey, Eel, Three-spined stickleback and Flounder which I have transcribed and sent to HBRG from where they will be sent to NBN.

Furthermore…. Bill tells me that there are shoals of minnows in Loch Sleadale and that they are thought to be the cause of a catastrophic collapse of the brown trout population, perhaps because they they eat the small fry. There is no small tributary at Loch Sleadale  for the trout to breed where thay  might be safe. Possibly, the shrimp have been eaten as well.

So what we found in Loch Lonachan is probably the introduction of an unwanted locally non-native species that is harming the aquatic ecosystem.

 

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One Response to “Fish (Modified Version)”

  1. Broadford to Loch Loncahan | Plants of Skye, Raasay & The Small Isles Says:

    […] This week has seen the final round of my annual surveys at Loch Lonachan. It is still full of minnows. […]

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