All the hard work of the past few months were forgotten as members of Newton Stewart and District Angling Association and volunteers returned the first of many fry from the new River Cree Hatchery into several of the feeder burns which run into the Penkiln Burn on which the hatchery is situated.
Considering that this time last year the hatchery building was still under construction, this represents a significant event in the development of the project. Murdo Crosbie, the hatchery co-ordinator, thanked Dumfries and Galloway Council for the grant funding which will assist to further equip the hatchery. He also thanked all those members of the Angling Association and the local community who had given so much of their time on a voluntary basis and all those who had donated both financially and in kind to ensure the success of the project.
He went on to say that this year had been a pilot scheme to trial the running of the hatchery. And what a year it had been! There were a number of unforeseen circumstances which certainly tested our resolve and determination to succeed. The main one being the very severe winter which accounted for enough ice to probably save the ice flows in Antarctica having to be shovelled out the door on a number of occasions. A recent power cut also added to the excitement of our first year in existence but the return of approximately 60,000 fry to the feeder burns is testament to the success of the hatchery project.