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Tweed BioBlog Wednesday and Thursday, 16th & 17th October 2013

Wednesday 16th October: Working all day on the report on the lamprey survey of the lower Tweed and the Till made for Natural England last month

Thursday 17th October: As all but one day of the usual September netting was washed out and as the river is still at summer levels, three more days of netting have been arranged, this afternoon being the start of these. Although the Teviot and other lower tributaries had risen over night, the rise would not get down as far as Paxton during the afternoon, so netting could go ahead.  On arrival, found a very calm surface so fish coming up river could be seen over the fords downstream.  The first shot netted 22 fish, 13 trout and 9 salmon, which brought things to a halt as I could not process so many fish before another shot was made, so netting had to stop for a while. When this happens, I just measure and tag the fish and take a scale sample, the examinations for wounds, Sea-lice, Red-vent etc. are not made as they take up too much time. As a good example of how variable netting can be, when the next shot was made it was a blank. The third shot had three trout and one Grilse and the fourth and last, one salmon and five Sea-trout.

Two of the Salmon were real, tartan, males and must have been old Springers that had either dropped down or had just been hanging around in the lower river for months. It’s only male Springers that go all the way to being real, tartan, fish – later runs are just not in the river long enough to get like that. The kypes on these two fish were tremendous as well. All the Sea-trout were brown, none were silver, though one of the ones I did examine  had Sea-lice – the netsmen say that Sea-trout can go brown while still in the sea due to hanging around in the kelp beds. To get so many trout when netting so late on in the season is characteristic of a dry summer -when summers are wet, the trout are all well upstream by this time and  don’t turn up in a late netting.

James and Kenny had planned to trap in the Gala fish counter today, mainly to get fish to measure to check the accuracy of the fish counter’s measuring and sex-ratios for the population modelling, but the Gala was just too dirty for the fish to run.