In 2005/06, with support from Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Executive and the Highland Council, the Board commissioned a Juvenile Salmon Population Survey covering the most important rivers in Skye.
The survey report made a number of recommendations ranging from further, more detailed habitat surveys through improvements in riparian management to targeted re-stocking. Overall the water quality of Skye’s rivers is very high, but none of them are supporting their full potential juvenile salmonid population.
The Scottish Executive recognised the potential for the aquaculture sector and wild fisheries to co-operate on matters of conservation and established the Tripartite Working Group (TWG) as a vehicle for delivering improvements.
Sadly the Government withdrew funding for the TWG in 2010 but not before Area Management Agreements (AMA’s) were put in place in 2007. The TWG did this by encouraging local partners to enter into Area Management Agreements that were implemented with the support of Regional Development Officers (RDOs). The purpose of such agreements was to encourage greater cooperation between the aquaculture industry and wild fisheries interests to maintain and further develop collaborative projects aimed at the preservation or conservation of stocks of wild salmonids.
Some restoration projects had already begun, operated by individual river proprietors. For example, broodstock from the River Snizort have been stripped each winter and their eggs incubated and released each Sping as fry.