Impact on Loch Awe of Rainbow Trout escapees

There are two fish farms on Loch Awe in Argyll – one at the south end near Ford, the other in the Pass of Brander opposite the Cruachan Power Station. From time to time large numbers of rainbow trout escape from these farms, either by carelessness or accident. The presence of this non-indigenous species is not welcomed by most anglers on the loch. It has affected the resident population of wild brown trout.

Additionally, some large rainbow trout have recently entered the River Awe from a fish farm in Loch Etive. It is known that the large rainbows will eat salmon and trout fry. This is not good news for the regeneration of the loch. Of course most fish, given the opportunity, will eat other fish but usually on individual lochs a balance is reached. A sudden influx of large predators as in Loch Awe and the River Awe, upsets that balance.