An expert angler says a change in the outflow from Peterhead Power Station has hit fishermen who visit the area to catch bass.
The fish are not commonly found in the North East but Bait and Tackle Shop owner Tony Miller says they are drawn to the warm water from the power plant.
The plant’s outflow releases warm water into Sandford Bay and has proven a big draw for anglers across the region.
But a new agreement between National Grid and station operators Southern Electricity Generation (SSE) has reduced the plant’s useage.
Now Mr Miller is seeing a drop in trade. He said: “We’ve got guys coming from miles around who wouldn’t otherwise fish in Peterhead but several anglers have come to me and said the outflow’s stopped.
“Usually they stand near it and use the flow of water to carry their floats across the bay.
“If the hot water stays off for a long time it is concievable the bass could leave altogether.”
Mr Miller is also concerned that the temperature drop in Sandford Bay could impact upon the levels of other popular fish.
The plankton upon which mullet, an attraction for more experienced anglers, feed are also drawn to the warm water.
Mr Miller added: “It’s a unique bit of water and it would be a shame to see it go.”
An SSE spokesperson explained: “SSE signed a one year contract with National Grid in May for Peterhead power station to provide ancillary support services to the electricity system in the north of Scotland.
“This contract means that the power station will only operate when it is called upon by National Grid and it is not known how often this will be required.”
Last month the Buchanie reported that the station could effectively be mothballed for 12 months under the new National Grid agreement.