introducing children to river life

introducing children to river life

Imagekick sampling for invertebrates

kick sampling for invertebrates

ImageLochaline pupils identifying fish

Lochaline pupils identifying fish

ImageLochaber High School pupils measuring river flows

Lochaber High School pupils measuring river flows


At the Trust we see education as one of our most important roles. This includes specific education projects with school children, raising awareness of fisheries issues generally within the community and running practical events to involve fisheries managers and the public in freshwater environments.

Go with the Flow

In 2013 we started our new education project, Go with the Flow with 15 schools across Lochaber. The project starts off with an aquatic animal which will undergo some sort of life-transformation in the classroom . As it was the first year of the project we had pre-run trial in the office to make sure we could keep the animals happy and healthy, and give advice to schools. This year we worked with tadpoles, mayfly larvae, dragonfly larvae and salmon eggs. Next year we'll add caddis fly larvae and sticklebacks in breeding colour. The pupils were really excited about looking after a river animal, and they took the responsibilty seriously and did a wonderful job.

The fieldwork gave the pupils the opportunity to undertake physical and biological surveys of rivers and burns near to their schools, and to study the effect of factors such as flow and depth of the river on the type of animals that it supported. We now have a small army of experts in fish and invertebrate identification and Diane and I are feeling quite nervous about having our jobs stolen!

Thank you to all the teachers who helped us to fine-tune the project, and all the schools which took part! Also thank you

The Power of Water

Since 2011 we have been working with Lochaber’s Secondary schools to deliver a project examining hydro-electric schemes, and the way they interact with the environment. During the project students will take on the role of a hydro scheme developer assessing the energy potential and environmental value of a river and using this information to decide if a scheme would be appropriate in the location.

After an introductory presentation we go on a field trip to a local burn where the pupils take all the measurements they’ll need to calculate how much electricity can be generated at that site. They also undertake biological surveys as part of the impact assessment of their scheme.Finally they take all this information back to school, and with some help from the teachers and LFT, each group delivers a powerpoint presentation on how much electricity their scheme could make, what effect it would have on the local environment and whether they think a scheme should be built at the site.

The presentations have been very positive, and the teachers have been pleased with how much the children have achieved. The pupils all enjoy the fieldwork, and appreciate the opportunity to learn in a practical way, outdoors.

Other educational work

The Lochaber Fisheries Trust run practical event days on local rivers to help raise awareness of riparian life. Recent events have included:

  • Redd count training days, where the public and river managers could come and receive expert advice on how to identify redds (salmon spawning grounds)
  • Electrofishing sessions, looking at the variety of fish life in our rivers and how to identify different species.
  • Invertebrate sampling, where the public can actively involved in collecting the bugs and beasts that live in the river; bring wellies!

The Trust also gives talks at local interest groups such as Angling Club AGMS, and occasionally run workshops on fishery issues.

For details of upcoming events see our news section (homepage).

Lochaber Fisheries Trust