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SFCC/IFM Scale Reading Workshop
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SFCC Scale Reading Training Course Success

2 May 2016

Fisheries biologists attended the scale reading course at Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries Trust on April 25th & 26th 2016, delivered by Ronald Campbell, The Tweed Foundation.

Course attendees outside Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries Trust offices. Thanks are extended to Audrey Campbell, Keith Williams & John Audsley for hosting the event.

Below photos: From left: Keith Williams (Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries Trust), Paul Hopper, (Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust) Reuben Sweeting, (Strath Halladale Partnership) John Audsley, (Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries Trust) Ronald Campbell, (The Tweed Foundation) Adam Beynon-Jones, (West Sutherland Fisheries Trust) Donnie Maciver, (Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust) Steve Burns (The Spey Foundation).


Course tutor Ronald Campbell discussing options for determining wild fish from farmed escapees.

Adam Beynon-Jones (West Sutherland Fisheries Trust) viewing sea trout smolt scales using a digital SLR camera.

Ronald delivered a series of lectures and practical sessions on the following themes:

  • Origins & history of scale reading
  • Structure of scales & why they can be read
  • Salmon scales notation: recording what can be read

How to take scales

  • Scale packets & storage
  • Data to collect along with scales


  • Impressing equipment
  • Reading equipment
  • Sources of equipment

Fish Scale Databases

  • An example of how to store and manipulate scale reading data

Management uses & collection strategies

  • Recognising fish originating from fish farms
  • Back-calculation of lengths at ages from scales.


On day 2 we also held a live interactive scale reading session using a projector and digital SLR camera. Attendees brought scales to be read ranging from 3 sea-winter salmon to farmed escapee smolts.

All attendees will be issued with an SFCC Scale Reading certificate.

For those unable to attend, the training material and scale photograph collections are avaliable on the SFCC website for SFCC members. Please contact Sean @ SFCC for login details.



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