Week Commencing 7th August 2017.

It is going to be a wet week, with some precipitation everyday. It will be the end of the week till the amount of rainfall is significant. The tides have peaked and there will be no new water this week.



Gordon Castle finished the week with almost forty landed. Ian Tennant tells me it was a mixture of fresh fish and old stagers.

Orton finished just short of double figures.


Delfur had a twenty fish week. Thanks to Mark and Grant for the photographs it is nice to see the younger generation enjoying themselves on the river.

Emma Mountain


Emma and her gillie Archie

Rory Mountain



Rory Again

Rothes, Mike tells me he pools are stuffed with fish and it just needs a wee spate to turn them on. They finished with ten for the week.


Although a quiet week at Wester Elchies Bob Kuperman showed all the so-called experts how it ought to be done with his first fish from the Brock. Bob has only had 3 days salmon fishing before this.

Bob Kuperman Wester Elchies

There were just three from Grantown the best a 16 lb fish from Tarric Mor, as someone said, there were more fish seen than anglers.

John Gray had this 5lb sea trout last night.

John Gray’s sea trout Grantown

Kinchurdy continued to fish well for seatrout and I hear that they are still catching some “specimen” fish this week some at 9lb, 5lb. Last week I received a couple of pictures after the report went in so I have saved them for this week.


The second brood of swallows continue to grow, I hope this wet week does not hold them back too much.

Growing well, feed me, feed me.


The post Week Commencing 7th August 2017. appeared first on Spey Fishery Board.

Spey Fishery Board

Spey mainstem surveys update

After eight days of surveying we finished the Spey mainstem salmon fry index surveys today (below Spey dam at least). We usually leave the sites above Spey Dam for a couple more weeks so the results from there will follow in due course.

53 sites were surveyed although only 51 are reported below. The two other sites are an additional site introduced at Kinchurdy in 2015 and an alternative Aviemore site surveyed for the first time today. The results from the Aviemore site will be discussed below these sites are not presently part of our routine reporting network.

The Spey 2012 – 2016 salmon fry index survey classification scheme and the 2017 salmon fry counts are shown in the tables below.

Spey salmon fry index fry and parr classification scheme (based on 442 Spey surveys completed 2012 to 2016).


Of the 51 surveys only four were not in the good or excellent categories. The two sites in the low category were the perennial low fry count site at Phones and the site closest to Spey Dam.

The mean salmon fry count for sites downstream of Spey Dam in 2017 was 32.5/min, the highest mean count recorded during the six year monitoring period. This situation was not unexpected; there were good numbers of spawning fish in the mainstem last year and flows during the critical incubation period were benign. We have yet to do a mainstem survey, downstream of Spey Dam, where no salmon fry were found, but to find such consistently high numbers is unprecedented. The relatively high abundance of fry at present is readily observed by anyone who takes a few steps along the shallow margins. Fry are only the building blocks but our monitoring shows that high fry counts are usually followed by high parr counts in subsequent years; barring population limiting or regulating, events.

These surveys are primarily to assess the salmon fry population but we also catch parr. In 2016 the parr counts were published in the same format for the first time with similar colour coding based on 20% bands.

We start these surveys in the lower river, working upstream, and during the first day or two parr were notable by their relative absence. As we progressed upriver the parr counts improved with some sites producing their highest parr counts (Ballindalloch through Tulchan in particular). The mean parr count  (downstream of Spey Dam) is just below average for the sequence, with the lower river counts probably reflecting the lower fry counts in that part of the river in 2016. The Phones sites may be a low fry count site but it is often above average for parr, as was the case in 2017.  We noticed in 2015, another year with low parr counts in the lower river, the fry grew well, well enough that a proportion would reach the size threshold to become a one year old smolt. This is likely to happen again this year, although the future viability of young, and small, smolts is probably not as good as the normal older and larger type.

Most of the sites surveyed are considered to provide good or excellent habitat for fry, but not all. One example of a site where the habitat is categorised as parr in the Aviemore site S195L1. However, despite the poor habitat we still caught 53 salmon fry in three minutes today; even the poor areas of the Spey support decent numbers this year.

S195L1 survey site at Aviemore. The substrate is mainly sand/pebbles with the sampling done in little runs between weedy mounds. (Photo credit Sean Robertson)

There are few suitable run/riffle habitat sites in this part of the river but we did survey a new site today 1,500m further upstream. The habitat here was excellent resulting in a catch of 224 salmon fry, the highest count from any site this year. It is good to see that suitable habitat is being well used as fry produced in these small patches of good habitat will help populate the entire stretch with parr.

The new Aviemore site surveyed today. The substrate and fast, shallow, flows are ideal for salmon fry. The results from this site have been filed but are not presently used as part of the routine monitoring. (Photo credit Sean Robertson)

It was good to complete the mainstem surveys within a relatively short period during a period with consistent low water conditions. Our attentions will now turn to the Avon, and Livet, where we will repeat some of the surveys from last year to see if fry counts have recovered from the low values recorded in the wake of Storm Frank.

Incidentally volunteers are always welcome on these surveys. If you fancy a hard working day out in a beautiful part of the Spey catchment just get in touch.

The post Spey mainstem surveys update appeared first on Spey Fishery Board.

Spey Fishery Board

Week Commencing 31st July 2017.

It has been an easy summer for weather forecasting, there will be a little of everything with may be more of this or that some days. Thursday forecast heavy rain pushed the river up and it is dropping away nicely and clearing. Next week’s forecast will be pretty similar to every other week, Thursday being the driest and Friday being the wettest.

The tides peak on Tuesday evening.



The Fochabers’ Angling Club continue to catch fish, many thanks to regular Tony Smith for a couple of pictures of his fish this week.

Tony Smith’s fish Fochabers.

Tony Smith’s fish Fochabers.

Gordon Castle. Ian Tennant tells me they finished the week with close to thirty salmon, Monday and Saturday were the best days of the week. Thanks to Ian and his team for the photographs.

Gordon Castle

Gordon Castle

Gordon Castle

Gordon Castle.

Orton David Wood was back at Orton and sent me his usual summery of the week.

Orton did not quite make double figures for the week. Unusually, Cairnty, one of Orton’s most reliable performers did not produce a fish. The smallest of the week was David Wood’s grilse on Monday of a little over 2 lbs. Host

William Haggas left it until late on Saturday afternoon to catch his only salmon of the week, 9lbs in House Pool. 12 year old Daisy Hall landed her first ever salmon, 6lbs in the Willows.

Thanks David for the report and photos.

William Haggas Orton

Daisy Hall 1st fish Orton.

Richard Hold Orton

Delfur just made it into double figures. Mark tells me it was hard going but Saturday’s rise stirred a few up to take.

Tom Mountain Delfur.

Rothes had half a dozen


The rest of the river was pretty quiet, hopefully the rise should bring a few more fish on the take.


Confession time I received this picture from Kinchurdy but after saving the picture I inadvertently deleted the message with the ladies name! Fat fingers and failing eyesight are my only excuses!



Mark sent me this picture of the second brood of swallows at Delfur, hopefully there are plenty of insects about to get them fit for their long flight south in a couple of months.

Second brood of Delfur Swallows.

The post Week Commencing 31st July 2017. appeared first on Spey Fishery Board.

Spey Fishery Board

Spey electrofishing update

The water butts on my greenhouse have been virtually full for the last month, due to frequent top-ups from heavy showers.  Despite this the Spey, and tributaries, remain relatively low? Taking advantage of these good conditions for surveying we have cracked on with the electrofishing, mainly the timed salmon fry index surveys but also some quantitative surveys.

We have completed the repeat timed surveys of  the Avon, and Livet, to assess the population after the very low counts last year in the Storm Frank aftermath. Today we also completed the salmon fry index surveys in the Fiddich and last night we hosted the annual ghillies outing to the two middle monitoring sites in the Burn of Tommore to assess the population of stocked salmon parr in that burn.

It has been a week of contrasts so far; on Tuesday we completed the upper Avon salmon fry index surveys where we usually find the sparsest salmon fry population and the smallest fry, and today we did the Fiddich where in 2014 we achieved out highest salmon fry counts.

The salmon fry index survey results for the Avon catchment are shown in the table below.

It was good to see that the salmon fry counts had recovered to a similar magnitude to those recorded in 2013. The overall pattern is the same with the highest counts in the lower reaches, declining with altitude. The contrast with the very low counts from last year are stark. Take the results from site TA15L1 for example, (this site is just above Greys Run towards the upper end of the Ballindalloch beats). Last year we could only catch 4.3 salmon fry per minute, or 13 during the three minute survey. This year, and in 2013, we managed to catch over 240 in three minutes.

The upper Avon counts are generally low, primarily in our view to low productivity. One interesting site, which was an anomaly in 2013 and in 2017 is site TA84L1, which is downstream of the Allt Loin Bheag. This tributary is only accessible to fish for a short distance and is therefore insignificant as a fish producer itself but it, along with other tributaries in the area,  create a little pocket of productivity in an otherwise very low nutrient environment. In 2013 and 2017 the fry counts at this site were higher than those recorded in sites upstream and downstream. I also had a quick look at the mean size of fry from that site and found that they were 42mm compared to the low to mid 30mm for neighbouring sites.

A little green oasis. This tributary, which joins at the Avon at virtually 2000ft altitude is clearly more chemically rich than the Avon mainstem. In the vicinity of the confluence and for a short distance downstream the river bed supports mosses and, at this time of year, algae. This type of primary production must elevate the invertebrate population a little resulting in larger, and slightly more abundant fry.

The results from the Livet, one of the most productive of the Avon tributaries, were good with the fry counts four times higher than last year (Storm Frank affected).

Salmon fry index results from the Livet. 2016 was the first year that we did this type of survey in the Livet (except for a single survey in 2013) so there is not much of a baseline but the fry counts in 2017 were all in the good to excellent categories with one site in the super abundant category! The mean fry count in 2017 was more than four times higher than in last year.

Today we intended to have a relaxed day and I would have been happy to have made a good start on the Fiddich salmon fry index surveys. However, we were on a roll and in the end we completed all the monitoring sites in the Fiddich, with some pretty impressive results.

The mean fry count in 2017 was lower than in 2014 but the size and biomass of fry present in the sites downstream of Dufftown was incredible. As with the Livet all the Fiddich fry counts were in the good or excellent category with one coloured blue (reserved for counts greater than 100 per minute).

The record sheet for the site below the Balvenie warehouses is shown below (with one of the upper Avon sites for comparison).

Salmon fry index survey record sheet for the Fiddich at Balvenie and the Avon at Faindouran. Hopefully readers will be able to make out the figures. In the Fiddich site we caught 316 salmon fry  (in three minutes), excellent but the most remarkable feature was the size of the fry. The largest was over 100mm (to be confirmed by scale  reading) with all sizes from 50mm to over 95mm represented. A few large parr were also captured. The growth exhibited by the salmon fry in this Fiddich site means that many will potentially be large enough to smolt as one year olds; if they survive the winter. There were about 5 large fry per square metre of the river bed and with such a huge concentration of prey it was a wonder the place wasn’t infested with predators. Note the small size of the upper Avon fry in comparison, in fact all the Avon site parr, some of which could be three year old, were smaller than the largest of the Fiddich fry, which were only months old. Jim and I have a few years electrofishing experience between us and we agreed that what we witnessed today was unparalleled. There are reasons for this exceptional productivity of course: the temperature of the Fiddich is elevated by all the distillery discharges upstream and there may also be organic enrichment. Whether this is a good thing or not remains to be seen.


A jumbo salmon parr of 147mm from the Fiddich today.

Yesterday evening we completed the remaining two monitoring sites in the stocked Burn of Tommore. Readers will no doubt be aware of the Tommore project. The Tommore is inaccessible to migratory salmonids due to an impassable road culvert and has been stocked since 2012, From 2013 it has been stocked with fin-clipped 0+ salmon parr from the Sandbank Hatchery. The monitoring results from the remaining two sites last night were the best recorded there over the last four years with the salmon parr density at one of the sites reaching 34.5/100m2; high enough to make it into the excellent category in the SFCC Moray Firth Classification scheme.

The mean salmon parr density in the Tommore Burn was almost twice as high a recorded in previous years, with improved densities at all four sites. Explanations for this good result from the Tommore stocking were discussed last night. The trout parr density has remained relativity stable since 2013 but the number stocked in the burn in the autumn of 2016 had been reduced. Perhaps this is a case of less means more? Another factor could be that the number of smolts trapped in 2017, as they emigrated from the burn, was the lowest over the three years of trap operation so it is possible that a higher proportion had remained in the burn for an additional year . although the size distribution didn’t suggest that was the case.


Electrofishing survey sheet from site SA1b in the Burn of Tommore. 29 salmon parr were caught at this site. Note the absence of salmon fry due to the impassable culvert downstream.

The Burn of Tommore appears to be supporting a good population of stocked salmon parr this summer; based on that we would expect the number of smolts to higher next year, potentially significantly higher.






The post Spey electrofishing update appeared first on Spey Fishery Board.

Spey Fishery Board

Week Commencing 17th July 2017

Again the forecast was reasonably accurate but perhaps I under-estimated how warm it was to be at the start of the week. Next week will again be changeable, starting the week sunny, with some rain mid week and overcast towards the weekend. It will be interesting to see whether today’s rain pushes up the river.

The tides continue to build till mid week, then there will be no new water till next week.


There was another Pink Salmon caught at Gordon Castle this week, again I suggest you follow the advice here,  http://www.speyfisheryboard.com/look-pacific-pink-salmon/


I received this interesting picture this week, I was asked what I thought the salmon had encountered. Looking at the picture it is clear it is not the usual seal damage, I believe the marks are too far apart to be a dolphin, so have come to the conclusion that this fish had a close encounter with an orca. I will be happy to be corrected.

Close Encounter with?


Atlantic Salmon Catches.

The Lower River continues to fish well. Tony Smith again was successful on the Fochabers Association water.

Tony Smith Fochabers.

Gordon Castle finished the week with around twenty fish, thanks to Ian Tennant for the picture.

Geordie Gordon Lennox.

Orton had around ten fish.


Delfur Mark tells me they ended up with over twenty for the week, and sent me these pictures.

Nathalie Mountain Delfur.

Charlotte Horn Delfur

Rothes, though lightly fish still finished with double figures.

Craigellachie, Wester Elchies Carron and Laggan all finished with a handful each.

Last week I hear that John Corrister from the Isle Of Man had a 22lb fish from Aberlour, this week , John continued his success this time with a grilse.

Grantown surprisingly was lightly fished and the catches reflect this.

Kinchurdy continued their excellent season with the sea trout landing over 60 this week.

The post Week Commencing 17th July 2017 appeared first on Spey Fishery Board.

Spey Fishery Board

Spey salmon fry index mainstem surveys 2017

Conditions have been perfect this week for the mainstem salmon fry index surveys, low water being one of the most desirable factors.  Therefore we started the 2017 surveys on Monday making good progress reaching as far upstream as Tulchan by the end of play today. The salmon fry index surveys consist of 3 minute timed surveys, primarily in shallow run riffle habitat although for continuity and historical reasons some of the sites are equally suited to parr. We try to do these surveys at the same time of year keeping as many variables as consistent as possible e.g. same sites, staff and equipment.

The draft results to date for salmon fry are shown in the table below (for those not familiar with the colour coding black is absent, red the bottom 20%, followed by amber, yellow, light green, with dark green for the top 20% of Spey results 2012 to 2016)

Spey mainstem salmon fry index results to date.  The results from the lower half of the river have been good with all sites in the moderate to excellent categories. The mean salmon fry count from the sites surveyed so far is the highest in the sequence. Tulchan D remains the only site with 100%  dark green classification, although the counts were actually below average for that site today, perhaps a consequence of the unusually good parr counts (see below). (Note that the Phones & Lower Pitchroy sites have still to be surveyed)

These initial results are encouraging although not unexpected following an excellent spawning and relatively benign flows overwinter. The 8ft spate in early June does not seem have had too much of an impact; thankfully. A feature this year is the consistency of the results, perhaps this is a consequence of the spate which may have evened out the distribution of the fry from their initial clumped distribution arising from proximity to the redds.

The situation for parr is a bit different with low parr counts in the lower reaches, improving greatly as we progressed upstream.

Spey salmon fry index parr counts. Although these surveys are primarily intended to assess salmon fry parr are also captured. Parr were notable by their relative absence in the lower sites but from Aberlour upstream the results are much better. The salmon parr counts from two of the four Tulchan sites were the best recorded with results from the other two being the second highest. The low parr counts in the lower sites are likely to be a consequence of the low fry counts in the river downstream of the Avon confluence in 2016 – remember Storm Frank?


A sample of the typical mixed catch of fry and parr from the Tulchan, Ballindalloch and Knockando sites today.

The June 2017 spate may not have affected fry counts too severely but large scale riverbed movements were apparent almost everywhere downstream of the Avon. The locations of one or two of the survey sites has to be moved slightly due to the riverbed movements. This is not critical with this type of survey where we follow the habitat rather than fixed landmarks. At other sites the surveys may have been completed in the same location but the habitat had changed due to sediment deposition.

Recent deposits of cobbles in a survey site at Knockando. These fresh looking cobbles are recent arrivals, formerly this site was dominated by boulder habitat, some of which protrude above the new cobbles. It was much easier wading than usual today but these cobbles are likely to move during the next few spates.


It doesn’t take long for nature to colonise empty habitat as can be seen by the number of simuliidae larvae on this recently deposited rock.

Few trout have been recorded so far during these surveys, no surprise as they generally spawn in the tributaries, but there does seem to be more eels than in recent years. In the first two sites elvers were present in abundance with the size distribution increasing quickly as we progressed upstream. The concern regarding low eel numbers in recent years seems to have abated a little, which in my view is a good thing. I like to see everything in the river doing well, well nearly everything! Eels, like salmon, are ocean migrants, and whilst their life cycles are quite different both species depend on the health and suitability of a range of different habitat types.

Ultimately today turned out to be a good day; we made good progress with our surveys, spent some quality time with the new Tulchan factor and ghillies and there were lots of juveniles to be counted. Not bad at all considering I was on the point of going back to bed when I got up this morning. A summer cold is a bind but once I was up and about it was forgotten about. I even did some maintenance on the pick-up tailgate – it shuts now, the old 3 in 1 is great stuff.



The post Spey salmon fry index mainstem surveys 2017 appeared first on Spey Fishery Board.

Spey Fishery Board

Week Commencing 10th July 2017.

Bit of a rushed report this week, I’m away back to Norway to see if the Salmon have arrived yet.

Again the forecast was fairly accurate. The rain early in the week pushed up the river and there was a little turbidity, but nothing too bad. Next week things will change with some sunny and hot weather to start the week, with perhaps some rain mid week and towards the weekend. The tides start to build from Tuesday onwards.


Catches, things are a little quiet but this is not unexpected and the grilse runs are in decline.

Gordon Castle finished with 45 for the week. There was a Pacific Pink salmon caught from the Association water. Thanks to Ian tenant and his team for the pictures and also thanks to Tony Smith.

Gordon Castle

Gordon Castle.

Tony Smith Fochabers

Pink Salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha).

For what to do if you encounter a “pink” see here.

Orton had a quieter week than of late, with around half a dozen. Not even an engagement to write about.

Delfur, were into double figures.

Rothes, ended in the mid teens, with a few more lost.

Craigellachie were close to double figures, the mid week rise seemed to suit.

Jimmy Jack kindly sent me some pictures of his Lower Wester Elchies fishing.

Jimmy Jack Lower Wester Elchies

Jimmy Again

and Again.

Carron were into double figures, Ian Boathwick kindly sent me this picture.

Judy Bragg Carron, her first fish.

Laggan finished with five, Mrs. Anna (Coco) Barker showed her husband how it ought to be done. Giles Bovill fished better in the semi-dark than during the day.

Anna Baker Laggan

Giles Bovill Laggan

Giles Bovill Laggan

Grantown were in double figures for salmon, the best a 15lb fish from Tarric mor. There were close to fifty  sea trout landed landed including a couple over 7lb. There are well over two hundred sea trout landed this season.

Kinchurdy had over 30 sea trout and a couple of salmon.

Edwin Whyte Kinchurdy



The post Week Commencing 10th July 2017. appeared first on Spey Fishery Board.

Spey Fishery Board

Week Commencing 5th June 2017.

The trouble with writing a weekly report is that if something exciting happens mid week it is somewhat old news by Sunday. Anyway I will put up a few pictures that have not already been seen on Facebook.

Graph of the mid week rise.

High Water.

Keeping the boat safe.

Mess for the gillies to deal with.

Back down

The rain that was forecast certainly arrived with a little more! To try and explain it better, during May the catchment had a rainfall of around 2 inches. On Tuesday and Wednesday the rainfall was a touch under 4 inches. There is a little rain forecast for today (Sunday) and tomorrow but from Tuesday onwards the weather will be warm and sunny. The tides have peaked and there will be no new water all week.



The week was effectively reduced to four and a half days, as the river was certainly unfishable on Wednesday and possibly Thursday morning.

Gordon Castle finished with almost thirty, as usual thanks to Ian Tennant and his team for news and pictures.

Gordon Castle

Gordon Castle.

Gordon Castle.

Another from Gordon Castle.

I understand that Orton finished the week in the high teens.

Natalie Rodwell her first fish Orton.

And her second!

Delfur finished in the mid twenties, other anglers caught fish but Mr. Wilson Phillips seemed to have hogged the limelight.

Gregoire Devictor Delfur.

Wilson Phillips Delfur

Wilson Phillips Delfur again

Wilson Phillips Delfur and again.

Wilson Phillips Delfur for the last time!


Alan Williams team fish both Rothes and Carron, they finished with eleven at Rothes.

David Williams Rothes.

Craigellachie had a few fish and I am grateful to the “other” Douglas Ross for his pictures.

Danny Mcguigan Craigellachie

Mark Nesbitt Craigellachie.

Kenneth Neale Craigellachie.

Aberlour Angling Club finished in the high teens, many thanks to Ken Davies for keeping me in the loop.

Ken Davies Aberlour.

Steve Milne Aberlour.

Jim Seivright Aberlour

Kinermony were close to double figures.

Wester Elchies had a good week with sixteen landed and plenty more lost.

Carron ended up in the mid twenties,

Scott Mackenzie Carron

Alan Williams’ fish Carron.

Jan with another Alan Williams’ fish Carron.

I hear that Laggan angler Mr. John Oakes had this fin-clipped fish on Thursday morning, a chance to remind everyone to keep checking.

Fin clipped.

Fin Clipped

Grantown fished well not only with salmon but also plenty of seatrout including some into double figures.

John Gray Grantown

Kinchurdy again had a good week, with five salmon and nine seatrout, many thanks to Bobby hall for the picture and update.

Sue Wall Kinchurdy.

My blue tits did not enjoy the wet weather as much as the anglers, there was two deaths at the start of the week, I assume lack of caterpillars.
The remaining five are doing well, a couple of which are almost as big as the parents and should be fledging soon.

Blue tits



The post Week Commencing 5th June 2017. appeared first on Spey Fishery Board.

Spey Fishery Board

Look out for Pacific Pink Salmon

A Pacific Pink Salmon was caught in the mouth of the Spey at the beginning of the week and another has since been caught in the Spey, which was returned before the identity had been confirmed from a photograph. The Speymouth fish was retained and has been frozen pending examination.

The following advice note has been issued and The Spey Fishery Board recommends that if any angler does catch one of these fish it should be killed and retained for examination.


Pacific Pink Salmon

Advice Note: July 2017



In recent weeks, anglers in Scotland (particularly on the Rivers Ness, Dee and Helmsdale, but also here on the Spey) have reported several captures of fresh run non-native Pink Salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha). Some captures have also been reported in some salmon net fisheries in Scotland and both rod and net fisheries in England and Ireland. These fish are not native to Scotland and are likely to have ‘strayed’ from some of the rivers in northern Norway or Russia. These fish were originally introduced to some Russian rivers in the 1960s, have slowly spread westwards and have now colonised some northern Norwegian rivers. These fish spawn at a different time from Atlantic salmon, have a 2-year lifecycle and generally spawn in summer (and often in main river channels, in the lower reaches of rivers, and sometimes in upstream tributaries). Due to their 2 – year lifecycle, the progeny will be derived from distinct ‘odd’ or ‘even’ years, with the Russian/Norwegian fish being odd-year stocks. It is therefore possible, and likely, that they will occur again in 2019. Whilst it is theoretically possible that these non-native species could establish themselves in Scottish rivers, the higher water temperatures make this unlikely. Whilst the risks are not known, in terms of their interaction with Atlantic salmon and other native Scottish fish, they are unlikely to have a positive impact.


Pacific pink salmon, when fresh from the sea, are steel blue to blue-green on their backs, silver on the flanks and white on their bellies. There are large black spots on the backs, upper flanks, adipose fins and tail – some of the spots on the tail can be as large as the fish’s eyes. They are very uniform in size, reaching only 40 to 60cms in length.

‘Fresh run’ pink salmon

Note shape of tail, spots on tail and dark mouth. Images courtesy of Peter Quail, Helmsdale DSFB

Breeding males are immediately identifiable because of their humps and they will almost certainly be running milt at this time of year. Their black tongues and heavily spotted tails are also very obvious. Females will show heavily spotted tails and be pinkish-brown on the flanks.

Male Pink salmon in breeding colouration – note the shape of body and heavily spotted tail

Image courtesy of Nigel Fell


What should you do if you capture a Pacific salmon?

As above, Pacific pink salmon are usually clearly identifiable from their Atlantic counterparts – particularly when mature and in spawning condition. If you are confident that you have captured a pacific pink salmon, it should be humanely despatched and retained. It would be helpful if captures could be reported to the Spey Fishery Board using the contact details for further information below. If it is practical to do so, please pass the fish to the biologists at the Spey Fishery Board for further inspection and analysis.


For further information please contact:

Brian Shaw, Biologist, Spey Fishery Board

Tel: 01340-810841 or 07502-302723

E-mail: b.shaw@speyfisheryboard.com


Roger Knight, Director, Spey Fishery Board

Tel: 01340-810841 or 07919-284482

E-mail: director@speyfisheryboard.com


Sally Gross, Administrator, Spey Fishery Board

Tel: 01340-810841

E-mail: admin@speyfisheryboard.com



The post Look out for Pacific Pink Salmon appeared first on Spey Fishery Board.

Spey Fishery Board