Culter Burn Fish Counter

December 14, 2018

As Christmas is around the corner, the spawning migration season is drawing to a close on the River Dee. A good time to briefly reflect on the past years of monitoring of fish movements up the Culter Burn fish ladder by the River Dee Trust. Back in the autumn of 2014, a fish pass was installed on the Culter Burn. In that first year 38 salmon migrated up the fish pass into the Culter Burn. This was good news and for the first time in 250 years, salmon could spawn again in the upper parts of the Culter catchment. Yet, the following years showed lower numbers of salmon, with between 9 and 15 fish moving up in the years between 2015-2017.

In 2018, despite the challenging conditions in the river, we recorded a marked increase in movement upstream with 27 salmon migrating through the fish pass! The biggest fish, shown in the silhouette from the fish counter, was a large 32.5 inch (13 pound) cock. The silhouette is created using information from infrared diodes in the fish counter, which gives us the shape, depth, length, and swim speed of the fish.

The River Dee Trust will continue to monitor fish movements up the Culter Burn fish pass, as well as movements into the Dinnet Burn and up past the Linn of Muick. Interested to learn more? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch and send your questions to