The socioeconomic value of the river, with its hatchery, the Angling Club and the income generated should not be underestimated. Apart from local income and enjoyment, there is an opportunity to use the river to nurture an interest and therefore an appreciation for biodiversity.
EDUCATION & ENGAGEMENT
Fry being taken on to Smolting
Keiss School at The Hatchery
Almost, it seems, by accident we have created a most useful educational resource and we have begun, with the help of the Angling Club, to introduce Open Days involving hatchery demonstrations and guided river walks by which children can get an idea of the fascinating life cycle of Salmo salar and the ecological and socioeconomic importance of rivers like the Dunbeath Water.
The Dunbeath salmon hatchery has excellent potential for engaging with the general public about salmon biology and conservation, and the importance of wild salmon for local communities in rural North Scotland. Accordingly, the hatchery has been used numerous times each year since 2012 to allow presentations to the local angling club, visitors, and a number of primary school visit days. Demonstrations of stripping and fertilisation allow ‘hands-on’ education about the ‘king of the fishes’, in conjunction with presentations from the Dunbeath Management Team, in an attempt to foster an early interest in salmon and the natural environment.