Spying on Salmon
Friday, November 30th, 2007
We came across the Philiphaugh Salmon Viewing Centre by chance when we saw the new log-cabin tea shop they have just built next door and thought we’d kill some time and grab a cuppa. Our mobile country home obviously caught the eye of the owner of the Philiphaugh Estate, Sir Michael Strang Steel, and he managed to catch us on our way out and persuade us to stay and take a look round.
Just outside Selkirk, the centre was built in 2005 and is a child-friendly but ‘adult-interesting’ information centre dedicated to the life of a salmon. It’s fascinating how they live most of their life in the sea but reproduce in fresh water, travelling many miles to return to the very pool they were born in. Nobody really knows how they do it – supposedly it’s a combination of ocean currents, water temperature, the earth’s magnetic field and possibly even the North Star. Once they get close to their home river, they are also thought to be guided by smell.
The centre operates a number of underwater cameras and shows live footage of all the underwater action as the salmon make their way up the river and have to leap at the cauld. They are even making a highlights DVD! You can also stroll up to the cauld yourself and watch the salmon leaping, which looks great but is very hard to photograph (as our effort below shows)!
That is a salmon…promise!
The centre is open all year round, but the best time to catch the salmon jumping is from October to the end of November.
Philiphaugh Salmon Viewing Centre