Away back in March I posted on this blog about the listening device that Marine Scotland had installed on the roof of Baxters Factory to monitor whether any of the fish tagged in the Montrose nets made it as far as the Spey (see here ).
I had almost forgotten about the device but this afternoon I got an email from Marine Scotland with the results:
“Two tagged fish were detected:
Fish no 131 (Hilary) was tagged on 08/04/13, length 81 cm, and was detected in the Spey on the 20/04/13.
Fish no 59 (Sebastien) was tagged on 03/04/13, length 81.5 cm, and was detected in the Spey on 04/05/13.
Neither fish were detected in any other rivers before the Spey.”
It appears that only 38 fish were tagged in the sea nets this year, with 22 tagged in the North Esk in-river nets. The email says that neither of the Spey fish had been detected in any other river before the Spey so I assume that the 2 Spey fish came from the 38 tagged at sea. I make that 5.3% of the total, close to the 7% mentioned in the March blog.
From what I hear the tagging programme was due to run through May this year but a breakdown in relations between the netting company and the fishery board resulted in the premature closure of the programme at the end of April.
Last year some of the tagged fish were found in several rivers including the Dee but this proves that the coastal nets at Montrose are taking fish destined for much further afield. There are now additional coastal nets much nearer to the Spey; no doubt the percentage of fish taken by these closer nets destined to run the Spey will be considerably higher.
Another fine example of science informing – who’s going to manage the situation??