Smolt trap update

Quick update on the Tommore and Avon traps

Tommore

Catches have declined since the big catch last Tuesday along with water levels.

Tommore Burn trap daily catch related to river level

Tommore Burn trap daily catch related to river level.The total presmolt/smolt catch to date is 307, well ahead of last year although the trap was deployed much earlier this year. On a like for like basis the catch this year is lower than in 2015 although we will never know if we missed a similar early run last year.

One interesting feature is the capture of 59 fin-clipped one year old parr (only 2 during the whole deployment in 2015). These are generally between 55 to 70mm and will not smolt this year. The trout catch in the Tommore is also well ahead of 2015; 82 trout have been caught so far compared to 7 at the same date last year (virtually none during the earlier deployment period this year). The same high trout catch has been recorded in the Avon trap and the Deveron guys report similar in the Fiddich and Deveron traps.

Tommore trap running total salmon presmolt/smolt 2015/16

2015/16 Tommore trap running total salmon presmolt/smolt

Avon

Catches have been steady over the last week. Two recapture trials have been completed with low recapture rates between 2.5 to 10%. The running total for salmon presmolt/smolt so far is 255 compared to 275 at the same date in 2015. The trout catch is much higher for the same date; 136 trout have been caught in the traps compared to 50 last year. Something different is occurring with the trout this year.

We are inspecting all the salmon careful for fin-clipped fish and on the 10th April four fin-clipped one year old parr were caught in the Avon traps. So far only 59 fin-clipped 1+ parr have been caught in the Tommore trap, including 11 on the 9th. Of course parr are likely to have been migrating out of the Tommore all winter so will not know if these were recent emigrants or fish which have been sitting in the Avon for a while. Four out of eleven recaptures seems improbably high compared to our smolt recapture trials, so it is unlikely that these were all released from the Tommore trap the previous day.

I’ll try to provide a further update before the weekend.

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