Diageo has invested £550,000 ($752,000 USD) into the construction of a weir in efforts to increase biodiversity and the sustainability of fish stocks in Scotland’s river Dullan and Spey water catchment. The spirits giant collaborated with the Spey Fishery Board on the construction of the low dam on the river Dullan, part of the river Spey catchment that is crucial to Speyside’s Scotch Whisky industry.
It took three and a half years to complete the project, which replaced a damaged weir. The hope is that the new weir will improve upstream biodiversity and increase the opportunity for spawning trout and salmon in the river.
“The Spey Fishery Board was delighted to be able to work with Diageo, and their team, to bring about this inspiring renovation of the weir and fish pass,” said Brian Shaw, senior biologist at Spey Fishery Board. “We like it. More importantly, so do the fish. The number of spawning redds counted above the weir last autumn was the highest we have recorded.
“The fish pass allows a range of species to migrate upstream, and downstream, including eels and represents the ‘gold standard’ for fish passage in the catchment. We look forward to the Dullan water fulfilling its potential to become one of the most productive rivers in the Spey catchment.”
Hopefully, the new weir will bring environmental benefits to the entire Spey water catchment area which is home to 11 Diageo single malt distilleries.
“The design of the new fish pass is a vast improvement on the old, damaged weir at Dufftown and takes into account free passage for all fish species as well as different flow conditions,” said Lee Oliver, environment manager at Diageo. “We have worked closely with the Spey Fishery Board to develop a weir system that will benefit all river users and in turn the local community. I am delighted to see the project complete and look forward to monitoring the results on fish populations over the next few years.”