The weather in Helmsdale: 8°C / Overcast clouds

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Kainer’s Telescope

The River Helmsdale is a famous salmon fishing river which has its source in the three interconnecting lochs of  Loch Badanloch, Loch nan Clàr and Loch Rimsdale. The river’s course stretches 21 miles, winding along the Strath of Kildonan, before reaching the mouth at Helmsdale, where it spills out into the Moray Firth, in the North Sea.

During the second half of the nineteenth century the river was a source of income for the Sutherland landowners, who created large sporting estates to attract wealthy visitors to the area.   

The salmon fishery was managed by the ‘Kanier’, who was responsible for maintaining fish stocks and monitoring the river for poachers who would steal the salmon. The telescope on display was used by a Kainer at Helmsdale, it has a long barrel that can be extended or retracted to focus the view. It dates to the mid nineteenth century and the leather case is inscribed “Kanier Helmsdale”.
The official river opening ceremony takes place annually on 11th of January, when a local angler is chosen to make the ceremonial first cast into the river.

The effects of climate change on the river includes the presence of microplastics in river water and global warming and rising temperatures affecting fish health and breeding cycles. The river’s sensitive ecosystem is a valuable indicator of the effects of  environmental change on micro-organisms, plants and animals living in the area.

The River Helmsdale is a famous salmon fishing river which has its source in the three interconnecting lochs of  Loch Badanloch, Loch nan Clàr and Loch Rimsdale. The river’s course stretches 21 miles, winding along the Strath of Kildonan, before reaching the mouth at Helmsdale, where it spills out into the Moray Firth, in the North Sea.

During the second half of the nineteenth century the river was a source of income for the Sutherland landowners, who created large sporting estates to attract wealthy visitors to the area.    

The salmon fishery was managed by the ‘Kanier’, who was responsible for maintaining fish stocks and monitoring the river for poachers who would steal the salmon. The telescope on display was used by a Kainer at Helmsdale, it has a long barrel that can be extended or retracted to focus the view. It dates to the mid nineteenth century and the leather case is inscribed “Kanier Helmsdale”.

The official river opening ceremony takes place annually on 11th of January, when a local angler is chosen to make the ceremonial first cast into the river.

The effects of climate change on the river includes the presence of microplastics in river water and global warming and rising temperatures affecting fish health and breeding cycles. The river’s sensitive ecosystem is a valuable indicator of the effects of  environmental change on micro-organisms, plants and animals living in the area.