Opposition to wind projects on land and offshore continues to increase worldwide due to significant economic, environmental, and safety issues with construction and operation (see 1, 2, 3, 4). In the U.S., it has recently been reported that whales are being severely affected (see 1, 2). In Scotland, it’s trout.
‘Unprecedented’ lack of trout in Burn of Lunklet following wind farm construction
Concern has been raised after a new report suggested there may no longer be any trout in the Burn of Lunklet following the construction of the Viking Energy wind farm.
The fish monitoring report also said remedial action was “urgently required” at a nearby wind farm borrow pit to curtail pollution in the burn, which has been “substantially impacted by very low pH and high concentrations of a number of metals”.
It said the lack of trout in an August survey was “unprecedented”, as previous data from as far back as 2008 showed fish being present.
The report said the trout appearing to be absent from the Burn of Lunklet – a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) – was likely to be a result of changes to water and habitat quality.
Last year mitigation work was undertaken after an increase in metals/minerals was recorded in water in the Burn of Lunklet during the Viking Energy wind farm construction. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) was informed.
The latest fish monitoring report said: “The data clearly indicate that by August 2022, when the fish surveys took place, conditions in Burn of Lunklet were unsuited to trout.
“This lack of trout is unprecedented as data show that trout were present at all sites previously sampled in this stream (Waterside Ecology 2008, 2020, 2021).