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Tweed BioBlog – the end of fieldwork for 2015

14th -30th November 2015 : The end of fieldwork, the trout traps finishing with the end of spawning. Unusually, both the Peebles and Tweedsmuir traps had the odd Salmon in them this year as well. The Tweedsmuir result was minimum estimate of 48 big Brown-trout going up to spawn – an estimate because the trap got swamped with water a couple of times and my joinery failure with the new trapdoor, which broke twice. We know that fish got up that we didn’t trap because we got some of them going down – their sizes had not been recorded going up.

Otherwise, it’s been a time of report writing and also of beginning to download the MSS temperature dataloggers that have been set up in the Tweed catchment. With the announcement that this has been the warmest year on record for the world, the whole issue of water temperatures and its effects is becoming ever more critical. Yet, also this year, record low temperatures were recorded in the North-west Atlantic in Spring, a result of the melt water from the Greenland ice cap – what this will do, if anything, to salmon migrating through and feeding in these waters is uncertain.

A new page is shortly to be added to the TF website, through which reports can be made of sightings of events and things that we need to know about: lamprey spawning; alien fish species; fallen trees blocking burns etc. Though the biologists and the bailiffs spend a lot of time out and about, it is a 5,000 km2 catchment and help is needed to keep a good eye on it.

This blog will now go in to its usual Winter recess – there’s not much in interest in report on data entry and analyses – till action starts again next Spring.