A bit later than normal but the Spey Fishery Board Electrofishing report for 2017 has now been published. The report can be accessed from the following link
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The report summary is provided below:
• The 2017 cohort of salmon fry was strong with high fry counts/densities across most of the catchment.
• The salmon fry index results from the Spey mainstem were the highest in the series which runs from 2012 to 2017.
• Downstream of Spey Dam all but two of the salmon fry index site results were in the moderate to very good categories.
• Upstream of Spey Dam salmon fry were widely distributed and the fry counts were the second highest since 2012. A very strong correlation between salmon fry in one year and parr in the next was demonstrated.
• In contrast to the fry the 2017 1+ salmon parr cohort is weak with low counts in the Spey mainstem and in many of the larger tributaries.
• Salmon fry counts in the Avon catchment were found to have recovered well after the very low counts recorded in 2016, although parr counts remain low. This was a consistent finding across most parts of the catchment and is considered to be a consequence of redd washout during Storm Frank.
• Salmon fry index surveys were completed in the River Calder for the first time.
• In the Fiddich salmon fry densities were similar to 2014 but the parr densities were lower. A recovery in parr densities is expected in 2018 due to the strong 2017 fry year class.
• In the upper reaches of the Fiddich salmon fry abundance, and range, recovered fully after the very low 2016 figures.
• In the Feshie some sites were not surveyed due to high water levels. Where surveyed the overall pattern was similar to elsewhere with fry densities up but parr down.
• In the Tromie catchment several the sites demonstrated improving juvenile salmon densities, and in the most peripheral site, salmon were present again after being absent in 2014.
• In the Calder the juvenile densities were low, despite what was considered to be benign overwinter conditions. Low abundance of spawning adults is considered to be a factor. Carrying capacity may also be reduced due to the increasing incidence of extreme flows.
• Salmon and trout parr densities in the burns were found to be very stable in comparison to 2014 with virtually identical average densities.
• The average salmon parr density in the stocking monitoring sites was the highest recorded, primarily due to good results in the Tommore and Knockando burns. Increased smolt production is anticipated from the Tommore Burn in 2018.