Skye Fishery Trust: Sea Trout Tracking Project

Purpose of Grant

To purchase practical and technological equipment and contribute to staff time that enabled the Skye and Lochalsh Fishery Trust to undertake an acoustic telemetry tracking study of adult sea trout.

Project Description

Funding was sought to directly support the Skye and Lochalsh Fishery Trust’s aim to undertake an acoustic telemetry tracking study of adult sea trout in local sea lochs. This study continued the Trust’s existing ongoing programme of sea trout tracking.

The project aimed to fill in knowledge gaps about the temporal and spatial use of sensitive habitats and confined migratory corridors such as sea lochs on the West Coast. The study focussed on two adjacent coastal lochs, Loch Snizort and Loch Greshornish which are situated on the north end of Skye.

The desire to undertake an acoustic telemetry tracking study was influenced by several historic projects. In the first instance, the project built on previous juvenile trout tracking studies conducted in 2017 and led by researchers from the University of Glasgow. This study demonstrated that most sea trout post-smolts remained in their natal sea loch for several months after leaving freshwater, however, very few individuals occupied the coastal area near the Greshornish fish farm. In 2021, the Trust built on this legacy and began to track the movement ecology of late juvenile and adult sea trout life stages (finnock and multi sea winter fish). In Year 1, this project achieved several milestones, including successfully tagging 100 fish, which is among the highest number of sea trout tagged for any telemetry project on the west coast of Scotland. The project that sought funding from the Wild Salmonid Support Fund in 2022 aimed to tag additional adult trout and provide a large multi-year dataset which is crucial to determining the repeatability of migration patterns over time.

Specifically, this grant request was for the Trust to procure 60 Innovasea V9 69 kHz transmitters which were used to provide data on the movements of an individual fish within the receiver array for a minimum of 12 months. Multiple capture methods were used to collect the adult sea trout for tagging, including coastal and riverine netting and angling.

All tagging was carried out by experienced staff within the Trust. Additional expertise was brought in from the Zoological Society of London with whom the Trust have partnered on several long-term tracking projects.

Project activities commenced in June 2022 and will end in October 2023.


The applicant was awarded a grant of £27,720.00 which contributed to the purchase of 60 tags and some staff time. This was a large and ambitious project with an overall budget of £228,160.00, the majority of which was contributed by the Zoological Society of London.

Project Details
Skye Fishery Trust: Sea Trout Tracking Project
Funding received: