Norwegian River managers & Proprietors visit
The River Office staff spent a number of days with 20 visiting delegates from the rivers of the Trøndelag Region of Norway giving presentations on how the River Dee is managed throughout the year. The visit was organised by the River Office staff and Harald Øyen from Fish Norway. Presentations were made by Lorraine Hawkins and Adrian Hudson, Edwin Third and Ken Reid with field visits made throughout the catchment to demonstrate how their work is carried out. Sean Stanton from Ballogie Estates made an entertaining presentation to the group at the Potarch Hotel and Ian Murray entertained the visitors at Lower Invercauld providing a long term view on the River Dee's fortunes.
Topics covered were during the visit were:
- The role science has in modern river management
- River Security and Protection
- Habitat improvement work
- Marketing and promotion of Deeside to a global audience
- Fishery infrastructure development
The group of visitors were very interested in how the River Dee has seen its fortunes improve over the last 10 years as many of the problems the Norwegian rivers are currently facing are ones that have been addressed on the River Dee. Whilst there are differences in the way the rivers operate in Norway there were common themes that were relevant to all the delegates. The River Office have been grateful to the support from Mr Øyen who was extremely generous in providing a super auction lot for the recent River Dee Trust auction held in London which raised much needed funds for the River Dee.
The River Dee enjoys good relations with our Scandinavian visitors who come to Deeside in large numbers during the spring months before their own rivers commence salmon fishing. Many of the visitors come back year after year and provide much needed income to support our local economy.
Jon Kjelden, chairman of ErT (Elvene rundt Trondheimsfjorden/Rivers on the Trondheimfjord) said: “This is the third trip that ErT has arranged for its member rivers. Each time we realise more and more the importance of following the lead of the River Dee management regarding habitat improvement combined with catch and release - and the support from scientific evidence of what works best. The Dee board and staff have set the world benchmark in river management terms.”
At the end of their comfortable stay at the Tor Na Coille Hotel in Banchory the delegates enjoyed a super farewell dinner with the River Office staff as their guests. Harald wrote a nice e-mail on the parties return to Norway advising ‘I have never had a visiting group to Scotland absorbing so much valuable information. After each of your appearances it was a buzz of comments and discussions and our afternoon summary sessions confirmed very clearly how they had absorbed the presented topics. It is my expectation that this visit will be a marvellous start to processes within the 5 participating rivers to ‘copy’ the River Dee success story and many thanks to the River Dee staff.’