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Our History

Our Background

The Tweed Foundation is a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee set up by the RTC to promote the understanding and development of fish stocks in the Tweed River system.

The Foundation was established in 1983, and has long been at the forefront of a professional, objective, scientific approach to salmonid management. It is engaged in an extensive programme of biological research, monitoring and habitat enhancement to understand and protect Tweed’s valuable fish stocks and to maximise the river’s natural productivity.

The Foundation’s remit not only covers that of the old RTC Experimental Committee of the 1860’s but also has the broader job of advising the RTC on fisheries management matters. In order to be able to do this, the Foundation:

  • a) Surveys fish populations, to discover what species use which areas to breed
  • Surveys fish habitat quantity and quality
  • Monitors juvenile populations of Salmon and Trout to find if there are changes in their numbers
  • Monitors adult populations with fish counters and traps
  •  Analyses catch records to understand trends and find the environmental or other causes for these
  • Researches the stock structure of Salmon and Trout to find age and growth patterns and to identify any local sub-stocks within the system

and investigates many other facets of fish biology and ecology.  These can be seen in the Management Plan for the Foundation, and are the responsibility of the Foundation. The RTC has also devolved the “increase” part of its remit to the Foundation, which essentially means improving the quantity (through the removal of obstacles) and quality of fish habitats in the catchment.

A Board of Directors regulates The Foundation’s affairs, and the RTC’s Chairman  is also Chairman of the Foundation. Funding of the Tweed Foundation’s activities comes from a variety of sources: a contribution from the RTC, membership, donations (from private individuals and other charities, etc.) and, in the past, through various grants - most notably from the European Union’s Objective 5(b) programme (from 1993-1999), Scottish Natural Heritage, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the European Union’s Conservation of Atlantic Salmon in Scotland LIFE project (for the Foundation’s Gala fish counter), the Scottish Borders Leader + Programme (for the Tweed Trout & Grayling Initiative), and, most recently (2010-2012), a European Union study, ‘Living North Sea’, in conjunction with a number of European partners. The Foundation’s current annual spend is around £320,000.

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