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Tweed BioBlog: First Springers tagged

Monday 18th – Friday 22nd May 2015: Some action at the Paxton nets this week.  On Monday James got three Whitling and a Sea-trout and on Tuesday he got six Whitling, a Sea-trout and two Salmon, the first of the year – look out for yellow tags! I was there on the Wednesday, and got another Salmon, a couple of Whitling and what should have been a superb Sea-trout of about 10lbs, not fresh but only slightly coloured and very fat – but with severe damage to both snout and tail. This looked quite recent, something that had happened in fresh water, probably an Otter or a up-river Seal. It’s interesting to see how the things have built up in terms of fish caught per net shot:

Month             Salmon           Sea-trout

March                0.0                    0.04

April                   0.0                    0.14

May                    0.17                    0.70

When James was at Paxton on the Tuesday he was able to get some good film of a mixed crowd of a hundred or so male Goosanders and Cormorants feeding on smolts a bit further downstream. Both species were zig-zagging across the river, chasing the smolts in to the shallow water at the sides where they dived on them – Herons on the bank getting in on the action too. We didn’t pick up this group during the May piscivorous bird count on Wednesday morning though, as the Goosanders would be roosting off-river till the right stage of the tide to get at the smolts.  Hopefully we’ll be able to get some of this film on to the website.

More reports of good numbers of Whitling up the Till, and salmon as well, but also of fish with fungus on the lower Till, from which I will try and get some samples next week.