The River Tweed Commission’s (RTC) 2018 Annual Report confirms that last season’s official overall Salmon catch figure was 6,129. The Salmon rod catch, at 5,644, represented a further fall in catches for the fourth year running. The Spring catch last season had also been low, with 1,083 Salmon being caught by the rods. Similar data and conditions were recorded on other rivers across Scotland, excepting the far north, and with English rivers being in a much poorer condition than those north of the Border.
The RTC’s Chairman, Douglas Dobie, noted, “With 2018 seeing another year of low Salmon and Sea-trout catches, this will inevitably lead to fewer rod days let in advance and pressure on rental levels. It is a bleak picture, and the RTC has had to respond positively to very challenging circumstances.
“Fishing conditions, coupled with lack of fishing effort – especially early on in the season, made it difficult to assess how many fish may have entered the river, and sea survival certainly impacted on the catch.
Mr Dobie went on, “Our stocks of Salmon, Sea-trout, Brown trout and Grayling – along with other species – need increasing levels of protection at all stages of their life cycle. Whilst a decline in fish stocks, particularly migratory, is unlikely to be attributable to a single cause, the RTC is doing all it can to lessen the impacts on fish – in the river – and in particular those associated with predation. Predation is now recognised as a very significant problem across Scotland. The Tweed Fisheries Management bodies of the RTC and Tweed Foundation are working to address this problem as far as possible. We are joined in this by other river boards and trusts, Marine Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and Fisheries Management Scotland. With numbers of Atlantic Salmon now in major decline in many areas, more support and change to the licensing system is required to make it more responsive to rivers needs to strike a better balance between protected species.”
Whilst Brown Trout and Grayling fishing catches were below average on the main river, angling on the tributaries was more promising.
The full 2018 River Tweed Commission Annual Report & Account can be viewed here.