Trout catch records are an indication for the Tweed Foundation as to how many trout are in the Tweed system. However, with catch and release now prevalent throughout the catchment, it is important to understand the recapture rates of individual trout. By using spot pattern recognition software, we are able to identify and record individual trout caught by anglers and monitor the recapture rates.
The spot pattern recognition study started to pick up speed in 2017 with Brown trout anglers throughout the catchment sending in pictures of the Brown trout they catch. We have been able to build up a photographic database of over 1,000 individual Brown trout. As new pictures are sent in, they are passed through the spot pattern recognition software which searches the database to see if that fish has been previously recorded.
Results so far have indicated relatively high rates of recapture in some areas. This has important implications for managing the Tweed Brown trout fishery, highlighting the importance of a catch and release system in keeping the large trout that people like to catch in the river.
If you are a Trout angler fishing in the Tweed system and would like to get involved with the spot pattern recognition study, we are always grateful for pictures of trout being sent in. Please see the guidance on how to picture trout for the study.