Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board

Protecting and Improving The Tay System

Hymalayan Balsam Flower and Seed pods



Certain species of non-native plants, notably Himalayan balsam, Japanese knotweed and to a lesser extent giant hogweed are making rapid encroachments on parts of the Tay system, as in many other Scottish rivers. These species are aggressive and spread rapidly, crowding out native plant species and have a general detrimental effect on river ecology. Japanese knotweed in particular is not easy to control. Before, these species become even more dominant than they currently are, management is urgently required. The Board is a partner in the Scottish Invasive Species (SISI) project which aims to control invasive plants and other species like mink in northern Scotland. Other partners in this 4 year Heritage Lottery funded project include SNH and other fishery boards and trusts. The Tay shares an officer, Mark Purman Charles, with the neighbouring Esk board. Mark is busy organising and training volunteers and where necessary, contractors. However, SISI only covers the eastern half of the Tay catchment and does not cover the Earn or Fife. If you live in this area and wish to participate in invasives control or have work done on your land please contact Mark at markeskrivers@gmail.com. Further details of the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative can be found at here. Of course, there are invasives out with the SISI project area too. Japanese knotweed is actually most abundant of all along the River Earn. Working with volunteers from the River Earn Improvement Assocation, board staff identified a total surface area of over 50,000 square metres of Japanese knotweed between St Fillans and Crieff alone in the summer of 2019. The Board is keen to work with REIA and the Tay Rivers Trust to produce a sustainable strategy for managing this major problem on the River Earn and other areas out-with SISI.

Spraying Knotweed on the Earn catchment