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A Tweed Fisheries Biologist’s Week – Saturday 21st November

Saturday 21st November: On trap duty this weekend, was able to get to the traps and start the cleaning up but not much more.

Sunday 22nd November: Water too high to do anything at the traps. For the first time, we are just going to have to give up on trapping, there’s just too much water and the fish are getting over and around them.

Monday 23rd November : On leave

Tuesday 24th November: Spent the whole day revising the Brown-trout and Sea-trout sections of the Management Plan for its new edition.

Wednesday 25th November: Catching up on e-mails and admin and writing my bits for the Newsletter, also preparing a talk for the Galashiels Rotary. In the afternoon did a formal identification  of the little 10oz Grilse that was caught last month and it certainly came out as a salmon on all counts apart from the shape of the tail. The number of rows of scales, number of fin rays, shape of the Anal Fin and the tooth pattern all came out as Salmon. It was also a maturing female rather than the little male I had expected. It’s possible, however, that Salmon though it is, it does have trout somewhere in its ancestry. With so much hybridisation on the Tweed and the possibility of back-crosses to either parent species there must be salmon – and trout – with  strangers in their ancestries. We have a genetics sample from this fish, so any questions will be settled when that is analysed.

Thursday 26th November:  Most of the day putting together the evidence for the annual licence application to control Goosanders and Cormorants. The point about this that is often overlooked is that these licences are granted to limit economic damage to fisheries, not biological damage to fish stocks. On a river like the Tweed, where salmon for sport fishing are so valuable, the former is definitely significant though there is little or no damage to the  stock overall, which is at good levels.  On rivers where salmon stocks are reduced however, predation will cause biological as well as economic damage. Kenny on traps this week – the Peebles trap is still catching fish even though most of it has been removed because of the high water levels, which is a bit of a surprise.

Friday 27th November: Weekly meeting in the morning