Important Meeting.

3 Oct

The Angling Trust in conjunction with the Environment Agency will be holding a North East Fisheries Forum on Wednesday 23rd October at The Comrades Club, Sanderson Arcade, 4C Market Place, Morpeth. NE61 1HG. The meeting starts at 7:15pm.

The agenda includes:-

T & J Net Trials: Preliminary results.

Angling Trust News

Catch & Release Guidelines

Local Environment Agency Fisheries Team Updates.

What should be of interest to all anglers is not whether the net trial has been a success but more importantly how many fish the nets have intercepted, particularly salmon. Reports from all north east rivers suggest that the number of migratory fish in the system is low, this is particularly relevant to the River Wear as numbers reported as passing through the Durham fish passes at the end of August were 15% below the 2018 figure which as all Wear anglers know was the lowest ever recorded. The River Tyne has to a certain extent held its own with a 7% reduction. Although reports from the upper reaches suggest that the number of fish visible is worryingly low.

The situation is not good and perhaps the inclusion on the agenda of ‘Catch and Release Guidelines’ is an omen for the future.

‘T Net’ Trials – Further Information.

18 Sep
The Environment Agency have released a further updated on the ‘T net’ trials:-
To-date there have been 91 separate netting events. Logbook records collected in NE area so far provide the following results:-
Month
Hrs
ST
SA
ST:SA
June
160
566
8
70.75
July
485
2673
26
102.81
August
64
116
6
19.33
All months
709
3355
40
83.88
These figures cover 11 of the 12 week trial period and therefore not complete.
During this period there have been 29 separate patrols, which has culminated in 96.16 hours of observations. The net trial in Yorkshire is not included in these figures
Throughout the trial the EA has taken underwater and surface footage using GoPro cameras to better record fish interacting with the net and being released.
What is interesting and at the same time very worrying is the small number of fish caught during the August period, particularly salmon. In fact the number of salmon caught during the 11 week trial period at 40 is shocking!
This to some extent mirror’s the situation in most northern rivers where some fish are being reported but only in very small numbers. Numbers in the Wear in particular appear to be very low and unless there is a significant improvement could be worse than the lowest ever figure recorded in 2018.
These figures can only lead to the introduction of compulsory catch and release and further angling restrictions.

Lunch at the Shard!

9 Sep

During a recent trip to London, my wife and I were invited for lunch at the Shard, currently London’s tallest building.  The restaurant on the 32nd floor is called ‘The Aqua’ and is well worth a visit if you are in that neck of the woods.The views are fantastic.

On opening the menu I was surprised to see one of the main dishes was not salmon as you usually might expect but Sea – trout and I am somewhat ashamed to say I tried it and it was very nice.  So has wild Sea – trout now become the fish to serve in posh restaurants and is this because of the dearth of wild salmon and perhaps changing attitudes to farmed salmon who knows, only time will tell?

On a slightly more intoxicating level after our second bottle of wine (shocking price!!) I felt in need of a trip to the loo for a ‘p’.  My word, the views from the urinal stall, overlooking London through the clear glass cladding were simply breathtaking, I don’t think I’ve ever taken so long to empty my bladder!

Three nights later we were at it again, on the razzle-dazzle in Wimbledon.  This time a slightly more low key affair in a local restaurant and guess what was on the menu? Salmon, no! Sea – trout yes! and was it as good as the Shard’s offering, unfortunately no.

Local anglers often question where the thousands of Sea – trout taken by the north east net fishery go? Now you know!

Of course the big danger is that Sea – trout will replace  the endangered wild salmon on restaurant menus causing even greater demand for the fish with severe consequences for yet another declining wild resource. The ‘Save our Salmon’ campaign rapidly needs to re-focus and become ‘Save our Sea-trout’ before it is too late.

On another more personal gloomy note, a trip to the local boozer one night cost me £11.95 for two pints. I.P.A was £6.00 a pint. Guess how many I had?

Great trip, but my word, bloody expensive!!!!

 

How’s it going?

7 Aug

What constitutes a good, bad or average season?

When trying to decide whether you are having a good bad or indifferent season, it is quite natural to quiz other anglers to try and determine how they are doing in terms of the number of fish caught/ killed or returned. Sometimes if you are doing really badly you begin to question your own ability, the methods you use and of course your luck. You then question whether or not there are actually any fish in the river, and believe quite naturally, if you are doing badly, that there are not,  so what chance have you got?

Of course any self respecting game angler knows very well that to be successful you have to be in the right place at the right time, or at the very least, try and be in the right place at the right time. But it doesn’t always work!

Confidence can be further undermined when the Environment Agency release figures showing that in the previous month when you caught 1, over 3,000 fish went through the counter, another body blow! But that’s the nature of game fishing, it’s never easy.

So for purely guidance purposes and as a measure for both your own and the rivers performance you may find the following useful.

Migratory Average Fish Counts on the River Wear.

The table below shows the combined average monthly counts for salmon and sea trout at the Environment Agency fish pass counter at Framwellgate Weir and Freemans Reach in Durham, between 1994 and 2017. The table excludes years-

1994; 2004; 2005; 2006; due to incomplete information. The Freemans Reach counter became operational in February 2015.

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apl

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Total

20

20

22

44

281

1,991

4,710

3,106

2,901

3,784

1,595

103

18,577

The spring (Jan – May) run total average is 387 fish.

The summer (Jun – Aug) run total average is 9,807 fish.

The autumn/winter (Sept – Dec) run total average is 8,383 fish.

The yearly average is 18,577 fish.

Migratory Average Fish Counts on the River Tyne.

The table below shows the combined average monthly counts for salmon and sea trout at the Environment Agency fish counter at Riding Mill between 1997 and 2017.

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apl

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Total

21

10

46

170

653

2,663

5,567

5,213

6,834

8,220

2,463

217

32,077

The spring (Jan – May) run total average is 900 fish.

The summer (Jun – Aug) run total average is 13,443 fish.

The autumn/winter (Sept – Dec) run total average is 17,734 fish.

The yearly average is 32,077 fish.

These figures are not totally accurate due to technical problems associated with either the malfunction or maintenance of the respective counters at various times. They are however the only figures available and do give a general picture of the average stocks for both rivers over the last 20 plus years on a month by month basis. Figures that may change substantially should the North East Net Fishery be finally closed.

Source: Environment Agency Fish Counter Information.