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Although the different runs of Tweed Salmon and grilse – Spring, Summer and Autumn – come in at different times of year, they mix in the main river as they move more slowly up to their home areas.
This does not mean however, that the rod fishery catches a mix of different stocks throughout the season as is shown very clearly in the sizes (lengths) of fish caught in the main channel through the fishing season.
There are several questions around hatcheries and stocking rivers, some of which are looked at in more depth here.
Yes. Beavers are interesting animals particularly because they have a great capacity to change habitat that does not suit them into habitat that does. This mainly involves changing shallow water into deeper pools by damming streams. These dams can then prevent or restrict spawning fish from getting further upstream in autumn.
A more in-depth look at issues concerning the reintroduction of beavers and fish can be seen here.
The proportion of the Tweed's Salmon that get caught by anglers varies between years, but averages out at approximately 5%. The recapture rates of these "caught" fish can also vary but on average 2.64% are caught twice or more.
A more in depth look at the catch and recapture rates of Tweed Salmon can be seen here.
Overall, 58% of tagged fish were caught within 30 days of tagging and 89% within 60 days so assuming that there is no difference in catchability between tagged and untagged fish this means that 58% of the fish that are caught by anglers on the Tweed are captured within 30 days of entering the river and 89% within 60 days. A fish that has been in the river for two months or more is therefore very unlikely to be caught.
Salmon in large rivers such as the Tweed generally die after spawning, only 1 or 2% surviving to return and spawn again.
The re-entry into freshwater and the development of spawning maturity are stressful times for Salmon. Hormone changes linked to sexual maturation appear to cause a reduction in the efficiency of the immune system (the defence mechanisms of a living body against infection).
The spores of aquatic funguses are everywhere in freshwaters. They are usually prevented from infecting fish by the barrier made by the fish's skin, scales and mucus (glaur/slime), but if the skin surface is broken, the spores can take hold and develop into fungus. Fungus can therefore appear on fish whose defences of skin and scales have been broken because of some physical damage - or because the processes of sexual maturation have so altered the structure of the skin that the spores can invade.
It is clear to everyone on the River that great changes are taking place in the runs of Atlantic Salmon: recent Autumn catches are declining, Summer catches are generally increasing but with considerable annual variation, and Spring catches are staying much the same. While both Autumn Salmon and Grilse are declining, it is only Summer Salmon that are increasing, Summer Grilse are not. The key points about these changes are:
More information on these changes can be seen here.