Sea Trout Net Trials

29 Jul
The Environment Agency have kindly provided an update on the progress of the revised ‘T’ net, trials. Below is a summary of progress, results to-date and a forward look to next week, as the EA begins (week 6) of the sea trout netting trial.
Trial activity
The trial commenced on Monday 17 June 2019 since which time there have been 31 fishing days available.
Over this period, there have been 65 separate netting events, of various durations. Logbook data from 41 netting days have been recovered and the EA have undertaken 19 fisheries observations by boat, totalling 63 hours of direct boat-based fisheries observations in the field.
The total hours fished by licensees in the trial to date is around 500 (estimated, as some recent logbook data remain to be collected).  The total hours of fisheries observations is 63, or about 12% of all time spent fishing. The EA have gathered good quality still photography and video (aerial, underwater & shot from boats) during the trials.
Catch data
From logbook data collected and fisheries observations made to-date, the nets intercept far more sea trout than salmon, with very few salmon being entangled. Data secured to-date provide the following results:
Of the 7 salmon observed by fisheries staff being released the majority had been lightly snagged, and all were released alive. Of the 18 fisheries observations made, salmon have been observed to become entangled on 3 occasions.
Forward look
The EA will continue the trial, closely monitoring the performance of the modified nets, and their mode of operation on salmon and sea trout.

Editors note

A preliminary assessment suggests that the nets appear to be working with netted salmon released and sea trout retained, which is good news if you are a salmon, and bad news if you are a sea trout or sea trout angler.
Further progress news will follow in due course.