The Tweed Foundation’s monitoring work shows promising recovery of juvenile Salmon after last season’s results…
Following the very poor results for Salmon fry throughout the majority of the system in 2016*, and with widespread decreases recorded in the Teviot, Till, Leader, Gala and Upper Tweed where surveys were carried out, the Foundation has started revisiting some of those sites this summer in addition to its usual cycle of electro-fishing sites. Such widespread decreases last year had never been recorded previously, as noted in our 2016 Annual Report, and the cause needed further investigation. The one exception to last year’s trend was on the Ettrick Water, where fry numbers were as numerous as in previous years.
The good news (so far) is that we are only into the second week of monitoring but the results look very promising, with good numbers of Salmon fry recorded at the nine sites that we have visited to date. The sites we are visiting are ‘quantitative’, which means we sample a defined area of river three times to produce an estimate of fish density. The picture below shows a typical site on the Kale Water :
Whilst the results have yet to be fully analysed, the short video clip below graphically demonstrates the numbers of Salmon fry that we are finding at some of these sites. It is difficult to appreciate the natural productivity of the Tweed system for juvenile Salmon without witnessing electro-fishing in action, so please Contact Us if you would like to join us on one of our monitoring days this summer.
*The Tweed Foundation carries an extensive electro-fishing programme every summer to monitor numbers of juvenile Salmon and Trout in the Tweed system. Without this monitoring programme, we would have no understanding of whether the Tweed is fully stocked with juvenile Salmonids and whether human or natural factors such as pollution or flooding can affect numbers at a local or catchment scale. The frequent and extensive flooding that occurred in the Winter period of 2015 and into 2016 causing Redd wash out and possible disruption of spawning was believed to be most likely explanation for last year’s poor results.
If results in 2017 are similar to pre-2016 levels, then we can be more certain that the winter floods of 2015 were the cause of the poor fry results in 2016, rather a lack of spawning adults, or some other problem.