Fish farmer transfers smolt via chopper

Kames Fish Farm uses expensive method to transport fish as roads up to hill lochs are windy and narrow.

Kames Fish Farm has posted on social media the unique way the company transfers smolts from freshwater to seawater.

The family-run fish farm has been growing steelhead trout in the remote waters off the West Coast of Scotland since 1972.

PHOTO: Kames

Kames explained that they use a helicopter in spring and autumn because: “it’s fast, efficient, and the fish have minimal time in the buckets until they are released into the wellboat, waiting for them down at the sea”.

“It’s always slightly nail-biting for us on the ground – it’s an expensive day and we’re all relieved when it doesn’t get called off in the famous West Coast mist or high winds,” wrote Kames.

Wellboat waiting. PHOTO: Kames

Kames has five sites and produces 2,500 tonnes of fish a year.

According to, the average cost of a helicopter rental starts at EUR 500 per hour. But this can go up depending on the chopper model and the type of job.


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