An unknown number of rainbow trout escaped through a hole in a net at a Dawnfresh site on Loch Etive. Photo: File picture.

Dawnfresh reports Loch Etive trout escape

Scotland's biggest trout farmer, Dawnfresh, has reported a fish escape at one of its sites on Loch Etive.

An unknown number of 14-month-old rainbow trout with an average weight of 3.1kg escaped due to a hole in a net at the Etive 6 site on August 18, according to information provided to Marine Scotland.

A spokesperson for Dawnfresh said: “Last week, we notified the Fish Health Inspectorate of Marine Scotland that we had found and repaired a very small hole (approximately 9cm long and 4cm across at its widest part) in a net at our Sailean Ruadh farm on Loch Etive.

“We believe the hole was likely caused by a seal or spurdog and, although immediately fixed when found, a small number of fish will have got through the hole and into the loch in the meantime. Cages and nets are checked and fish counted on a regular basis so we are confident that any fish which did go through would only be a tiny fraction of what was in the net and are working to find out precisely how many.

“The fish were in good health at the time so we do not believe there is any risk to the public or local ecosystem and any fish are safe to eat if caught. We will continue to update Marine Scotland on any new developments.”

‘Minor reduction in numbers’

Sunbeam Aquaculture Ltd has also reported an escape, from its Kinlochmoidart hatchery.

An unknown number of Atlantic salmon parr with an average weight of 50g escaped overnight on August 29/30. The escape was attributed to a screen failure.

Sunbeam was acquired earlier this year by the Scottish Salmon Company, which itself lost an unknown number of 2.8kg salmon from its Geasgill site off the Isle of Mull in the middle of last month. The escape was discovered during a routine count and the cause is unknown.

A spokesperson for SSC said: “We recently identified a minor reduction in salmon numbers at our site at Kinlochmoidart. This has been reported to Marine Scotland and we are investigating locally in line with standard procedure.”

Published: 11/09/2017 at 2:56 pm

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