28 Jul

Many of you will remember that as part of the recent Salmon Exploitation Review conducted by the EA all salmon stocks in English  rivers were categorised as either At Risk, Probably at Risk, Probably Not at Risk or Not at Risk. In the north east a similar exercise has now been conducted by the EA for sea trout stocks. The results are as follows:-

  •  River               Salmon                        Sea Trout
  • Coquet             Probably at Risk            At Risk
  • Tyne                 Probably not at Risk      Probably at Risk
  • Wear                Probably not at Risk      Probably at Risk
  • Tees                 Probably at Risk            Probably at Risk
  • Yorkshire Esk   Probably not at Risk      Probably at Risk

As you can see the assessment of sea trout stocks is worse than that of salmon. It is inevitable that this will lead to some organisations and individuals calling for compulsory Catch and Release (C&R). The Wear Anglers Association (WAA) do not believe compulsory C&R is the best way forward and that voluntary C&R is a much better approach. Rod anglers are not the problem here. Over recent years rod anglers have responded responsibly and rapidly to the EA and Angling Trust request to release more fish. Whereas at one time anglers might have been killing significant numbers of fish that is no longer the case with Wear Anglers safely releasing 81% of salmon and 78% of sea trout caught; this corresponds to zero fish being released by the offshore nets (2017 EA Statistics). In 2017 all the nets in the North East Region caught over 35,000 sea trout whilst anglers caught less than 10% of this (3,200). Of these they safely released  2263. 

Nevertheless anglers’ C&R statistics could be improved and we would ask all anglers to help support the WAA argument that voluntary C&R is the way forward by safely releasing as many sea trout and salmon as possible. Please help demonstrate our responsibility as conservation minded anglers.

Conservation Minded Wear Anglers Lead the Way

11 May

2018 saw the lowest number of migratory fish moving through the two fish passes on the River Wear at Durham since records began with 8,669 recorded through the two counters.This compares with a peak run in 1999 of nearly 28,000 and a current 5 year average of just under 16,000.

Conscious of the reducing stocks off salmon and sea trout in all the North East rivers Wear anglers are to be congratulated on leading the way in helping conserve salmon and sea trout stocks such that in 2017 they safely released 81% of salmon and 78% of sea trout caught. Responsible angling such as this vital in the coming years to help salmon and sea trout numbers to increase. Please keep up this excellent work.

Durham – Freeman’s Reach Archimedes Screw Protective Curtain

22 Apr

Over recent weeks many of you will have seen the plastic protective curtain installed by Durham County Council, the screw operators. The purpose of this curtain is to help protect any jumping fish from damage caused from striking the rotating blade. This curtain comprising of a number of black vertical plastic slats was a “proof of concept” installation with the plastic slats fastened to the wire cage by cable ties. A permanent curtain has now been installed comprising of two layers of black plastic slats; a longer front layer and a shorter, 300mm, rear layer. This rear layer is about 30mm in front of the blade. In low water both slats hang vertically down whilst in higher water the front flap will be swept forward by the water leaving the shorter rear curtain to hang vertically down to protect jumping fish form striking the blade. In addition two underwater cameras have been installed to help monitor the behaviour of any fish entering the chamber. The attached photograph shows the new screen, and yes, all you can see is a black ”wall” in front of the screw, this is the curtain.