2015: A Season to Remember?

13 Apr

If as a game angler you found the last two seasons difficult and failed to catch what you hoped for, have a look at the following Environment Agency statistics for 2015. The average increase in net catches compared to the decrease in rod catches stands out. Of course the weather had apart to play as most rivers were affected by a lack of water at some time. The success of the nets however is a real cause for concern. Catches like this are not sustainable over the long term.

Comparison between number of Salmon and Sea Trout caught by Nets and Rods, 2014/2015, in the North East Fisheries Area.

  • Nets: Salmon.
2015 2014 5 year avg 2014/2015 Avg  +/-
15,863 10,800 15,783 + 47% 0%
  • Rods: Salmon 
2,934 4,269 6,705 -31% -56%
  • Nets: Sea Trout 
2015 2014 5 year avg 2014/2015 Avg  +/-
60,696 46,116 38,489 + 32% +58%
  • Rods: Sea Trout 
2,477 3,524 4,365 -30% -43%
  • 61 net licences produced income of £55,318.
  • 5,875 game licences produced income of £169,000.

 Totals for England and Wales 2014/2015; Caught/Retained/Released. 

Nets Salmon Sea trout Rods Salmon Sea Trout
Caught 17,132 64,468 Caught 10,261 27,851
Retained 16,926 64,448 Retained 2,150 6,384
Released 206 (1%) 20(0%) Released 8,111(79%) 21,503(77%)

The number of rod licences issued nationally in 2015 fell by 11%.

 Source: Environment Agency: Salmonid and Freshwater Fisheries Statistics for England and Wales 2015.

Salmon & Trout Conservation UK – Meeting

11 Apr

There is a further significant meeting with regard to the conservation of wild fish stocks to be held on 17th May 2017 at:-

Northern Football Club,
Great North Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne.
NE3 2DT.

The meeting begins at 7.00pm and will be held in the McCracken Suite.

The first item on the agenda is a presentation by Jon Shelley of the Environment Agency under the heading:-

  • Salmon and sea trout exploitation: what do we want from changes to the regulations?

This meeting is 7 days after the North East Fisheries Forum (Tyne) to be held at the Marriott Hotel, Metro Centre, Gateshead.

No doubt the discussion will centre around the same subject, the Net Limitation Order, so it will be interesting to see how the issue develops over the two meetings.


Sea Trout, a cause for concern

10 Apr
  • In the Angling Trusts current ‘Save our Salmon’ (SOS) campaign there is no mention anywhere about the need to safeguard declining sea trout stocks. Sadly the acronym ‘SOS’ has left sea trout behind somewhere.
  • In the May 2017 edition of the Trout and Salmon magazine, there are clear references to the Environment Agency and the Angling Trust’s desire to finally end mixed stock fishing. The proposal to withdraw all drift net licences in the north east fisheries area at the beginning of the 2018 season is a step in the right direction, but only deals with part of the problem.
  • Since 1993 it has been government policy to phase out mixed stock fisheries. Unfortunately, informed sources suggest that there is a possibility that the T&J netting of sea trout will be allowed to continue, with salmon caught in the same net having to be returned.
  • This is hardly the way to end mixed stock fishing.
  • T&J nets cannot differentiate between salmon and sea trout nor can they know which particular river the fish is trying to return to. It is also conceivable that retained T&J nets will be allowed to continue netting in close proximity to rivers classified as being either ‘at risk’ or ‘probably at risk’.
  • To outline their efficiency, in the season 2010 (a year of abundance?) T&J nets, off the north east coast, caught 12,000 salmon, more than half the total net catch for England and Wales. In 2015 the nets accounted for 60,000 sea trout and 16,500 salmon. A sustainable source? Perhaps, but not for long!
  • There is also the issue of netted salmon being so damaged as to make returning a fish to the water simply not viable, a financial consideration for both net operators and the market for wild fish.
  • By stopping drift netting, over 16,500 salmon will no longer enter the food chain. Is this the real reason behind allowing T&J netting to continue? Will sea trout replace salmon on the menu in pubs and restaurants? And in five years time will the acronym ‘SOS’ actually come to mean ‘Save our Sea Trout’?
  • The NRAA believe that all mixed stock netting should stop now, before it becomes too late.
  • If you share the same opinion, please attend the North East Fisheries Forum (Tyne) on the 10th May 2017 at the Marriott Hotel, Metro Centre, Gateshead, and make your voice heard.

Notice of Important Meeting

10 Apr

North East Fisheries Forum (Tyne)

One of the most significant angling meetings held in the northern region will take place at 7.00pm on the 10th May 2017 at the:-

Newcastle Gateshead Marriott Hotel
Metro Centre
Marconi Way
Metro Centre
Tyne and Wear
NE11 9XF                                                                                                       

The agenda, not yet in circulation, is likely to include two key issues that over the next ten years will have a major impact on all game anglers:-

  • The Environment Agency review of the 2017 Net Limitation Order.
  • The Angling Trusts – Salmon conservation, 5 stage approach.

Both are fundamental to the future conservation of wild migratory fish stocks and this forum gives every angler the opportunity to take part in the consultation process.

If you care about your fishing, then you need to be there!!