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OTFA/AFYD Junior Competition – 31st May 2013 – Full report June 5, 2013

Posted by Mr Pietri in : Fishing, General info, Kirkwall Grammar School, Stronsay , add a comment

With a very late spring and strong winds battering the islands the previous week, there was no doubt that the Kirbister Loch would struggle living up to its reputation as a “beginner’s water”… From the information that could be gathered, Harray had been very cloudy lately, the competition on Hundland had been won by fishing “on the stones” where the water was just clear enough for the fish to see the flies and the near gale force winds had not spared Kirbister either.

On the Wednesday and Thursday, the Kirkwall Grammar School pupils were out on their annual angling trip, part of their end of term activities and they tackled the east shore of the loch. The going was tough and the Kirbister brownies were shunning flies and bait alike resulting in baskets which were certainly not what you would expect from this lovely little fishery at this time of year.. The shore which was chosen on the day of the competition was the west shore even though the wind direction was yet again uncertain, just like last year, and what was supposed to be a WNW ended up more like N…

At 10:30, after the 13 pupils from KGS and the Stronsay School gathered by the shore and were instructed about the rules and safety, the young fishermen started spreading along the bank; the fish were active and a few opportunistic fly-fishers made the most of it, like Craig Stout who landed two fish in the first ten minutes! However, this bonanza was to be short lived and soon after, the trout disappeared, not to be seen again for the rest of the day! It was interesting to see our young anglers using an array of different techniques: bait with bubble-floats, flies using spinning tackle and torpedo floats, flies on fly tackle, etc…

At 2:15, the whistle was blown and it was time to put away the rods and head for the weigh-in where Stuart Topp, the OTFA secretary, had set the scales. The competitors were split into 4 categories depending on age and fishing technique: Marcus Scholes was the winner of the Junior Bait section for the second time and his basket included a beautiful 1lb2 sea-trout. Logan Harcus won the Junior Fly section, Gareth Holmes won the Senior Bait section and Craig Stout was the Senior Fly section winner for the second year, with yet again a basket of 7 fish!

Congratulations to the young fishermen who had to show perseverance to land a few of those moody brownies! Thank you to all the helpers, volunteers and leaders: Mr. Erskine, Dr. Hall, Mrs. Heggarty, Jim Pettit and Stuart Topp. We also want to thank our sponsors for the prizes: WS Sinclair’s, Stockan’s and William Shearer’s.

Another angling trip is planned next week for 13th & 14th June on Harray and Kirbister with a group of anglers from the Stronsay School (including some S5s who recently transferred to KGS).


Results of OTFA / AFYD Junior Competition at Kirbister Loch (31st May 2013) May 31, 2013

Posted by Mr Pietri in : Fishing, General info, Kirkwall Grammar School, Stronsay , add a comment

Here are the results of the OTFA / AFYD Junior Competition which was held on the Kirbister Loch on Friday 31st May 2013. A detailed report will be published shortly.

OTFA / AFYD Junior Angling Competition (31st May 2013)

Project still running at St.Andrews! February 26, 2013

Posted by Mr Pietri in : Alevins, Kirkwall Grammar School, St.Andrews Primary , 3comments

Mr.Ewing and Mr.McIntosh releasing the new batch of alevins.

After the very sad news we received last week from St. Andrews Primary, where all the alevins died over the week-end, the Troot in the Shed team and the Orkney Trout Fishing Association were on the case right away! Sourcing some alevins was the a priority as  so much work had already been put in by the pupils, their teacher Mr. McIntosh (see the posters below) and Conrad the janitor. Mr. Ewing came up with the quickest solution and arranged to transfer some of the Kirkwall Grammar alevins to the St.Andrews tank in order to keep the project going and provide the children with the experience of seeing the alevins slowly turn into miniature trout and eventually releasing them into the nearby Burn of Quoykea.

Over 100 alevins made the trip from KGS to St.Andrews and after measures were taken to prevent alevins from being sucked up by the pump, the tank was buzzing with life again!


Click on picture for full screen view!

OTFA/AFYD Junior Competition (1st June 2012) June 9, 2012

Posted by Mr Pietri in : Fishing, Kirkwall Grammar School, Stronsay , 1 comment so far

It all started as a headache for the organisers… The wind forecast was very uncertain and Orkney Harbours, the BBC and Magicseaweed wouldn’t agree on a definite wind direction for Friday 1st June… NNW, NW or N? Decision had to be delayed until the very morning when the east shore was the chosen option.

The KGS and Stronsay anglers met at the hatchery and, very promptly, the rods were put together and the 18 young competitors were ready for the 10:00 start. The section of bank which was to see the action for the next four hours stretched from the Hatchery to the north end of the Loch and the anglers were split into four different sections: Junior Fly, Junior Bait (including spinning with flies), Senior Fly and Senior Bait. Very soon, it became obvious that the baskets would be a lot heavier than last year’s, as rumours of fish being caught started spreading along the bank… The bait boys were doing well but the Kirbister trout were also taking well presented flies in the slightly broken water. It was good to see 8 members of staff from KGS and Stronsay having made the trip to support their pupils in weather conditions which were not as inviting as in the previous days. Two o’clock came and the last anglers arrived at the Hatchery for the weigh-in where Norman Irvine had set his scales, helped by Ken Kennedy and Stuart Topp from the OTFA. Some very good baskets reached the scales and it was good to see that the fish were well spread into the different sections. Eventually the results were announced with Marcus Scholes winning the Junior Bait section with a basket of 8 fish for 3 ¼ (the heaviest basket on the day), Fergus McIvor in the Junior Fly section, Cameron Singh-Johnstone in the Senior Bait section and Craig Stout in the Senior Fly section.

We want to say a special thank you to Mr. Erskine who helped the Stronsay pupils hone their skills on Kirbister and Harray during the whole two previous days, to the OTFA members who helped with the organisation of the competition and attended the event and to local businesses W. Shearer’s, WS Sinclair’s and Wisebuy’s for their generosity in providing great prizes and vouchers. For more details on the results, click on the table below:

Results of the 2012 OTFA / AFYD Junior Competition.

Mr. P.

“Troot in the Shed” in the Orcadian May 15, 2012

Posted by Mr Pietri in : General info, Kirkwall Grammar School, Sanday, Stronsay , 1 comment so far

Following the release of the alevins hatched at the Sanday school, Stronsay School  and Kirkwall Grammar, the Orcadian (19th April issue) dedicated half a page to the “Troot in the Shed” project.

(Click on the picture to zoom in)

The Orcadian, 19th April 2012

KGS release their alevins in the Wideford Burn (Inganess) March 28, 2012

Posted by Mr Pietri in : Alevins, General info, Kirkwall Grammar School, Trout life cycle , add a comment

The KGS pupils and their teacher releasing the alevins in the Wideford Burn.

It was on March 18th that Mr. Ewing and his dedicated team from KGS met at Inganess Beach to release the  alevins they hatched in the school shed. Spring was in the air and it was a glorious day which seemed just perfect to set the small trout  free in the crystal clear water of the Wideford Burn. This burn not only holds a small population of  brown trout but is also one of the main spawning burns for our migratory sea-trout.  

However, what should have been a great start for the small trout ended in a rather tragic way when last Monday night, merely a week after the fish were released, we were alerted about a severe case of pollution in this very burn. Most if not all of the fish population in the Wideford Burn was wiped out and the source of the pollution is still being investigated. This is a serious blow to the environment but also  to our project as we were planning to come back in June or September to monitor the growth of our trout using electro-fishing equipment.  

One of the casualties of pollution at the Wideford Burn (27/03/12).

All eggs hatched at Kirkwall Grammar! February 16, 2012

Posted by Mr Pietri in : Alevins, Kirkwall Grammar School , 1 comment so far

That is some serious amount of froth! A good indicator that a lot is happening down there!

Not many eggs left out of the 800 delivered a few weeks ago...

Most of the eggs have now hatched at KGS, apart from a dozen or so. Froth is always an indicator that the hatching process is under way, but have a look at the picture, it’s as if somebody poured in half a bottle of Fairy liquid into the tank!

On the other picture, we can see the dark orange alevins sitting on the green mesh but the majority of the young trout are probably hiding underneath.

Well done to the KGS pupils and staff for successfully hatching about 95% of their eggs!

First alevins on Stronsay and at Kirkwall Grammar!!! February 15, 2012

Posted by Mr Pietri in : Alevins, Kirkwall Grammar School, Stronsay , 8comments

BIG DAY TODAY!!! On the “Troot in the Shed 2012” Homepage, reports have been coming in this morning that the first ova have hatched on Stronsay and in KGS! From Stronsay, Keith and Craig reported about two dozen alevins first, and shortly after Mr. Ewing from KGS, reported a lot of froth in their tank and the first alevins!

Just wondering what’s happening on Sanday??? I’m sure it won’t be long before we hear from them… Breaktime at the Sanday School is in about an hour’s time at 11:00 and they may be in for a surprise when they check their tank! Let’s wait and see…

Mr. P

Newly hatched alevin

KGS on track for a bumper hatch! February 3, 2012

Posted by Mr Pietri in : Kirkwall Grammar School, ova / eggs , 2comments

KGS are preparing themselves for a bumper hatch as they were issued with around 800 brown trout ova! They have done such a good job at removing the odd dead ovum and maintaining the water quality that there has been very few casualties and everything is looking  promising! A couple of weeks to go before the alevins start coming out of their shells…

Well done to all those involved in the project!


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