Avon smolt trap: our biggest catch to date and an international visit

I was surprised to see that the Avon had risen 2″ overnight; yesterdays warmer temperatures thawing some of the extensive snow fields at last. The water temperature was also above 80C this morning prompting increased smolt movements. The catch was the biggest so far with almost 800 fish between the two traps with 28 recaptures from yesterdays marking. At 14% recovery of marked fish that was the highest recapture rate so far, all others have been below 10%. We had a lot more salmon fry today, especially in the outer, 4′ diameter, trap. When we are finished we should be able to derive some interesting comparisons between the two different traps.

These relatively low water conditions are ideal from our point of view for trying to quantify the size of the smolt run in the Avon. Consistent trapping conditions are required without any big spates – but will this dry weather last?

We were also delighted to host a group of Norwegian students from a Sport fishing School. They were over here to learn rivercraft and fishing skills with Spey legend Ian Gordon.  It was a very interesting morning and the students were quite taken by the smolt trap. The big catch of fish providing a great opportunity to have a look at all the techniques involve in operating a smolt trap and a good chance for them to get up close with a variety of salmon and trout juveniles.

Ian Gordon with the group of Sport Fishing Students from Norway.

Ian Gordon with the group of Sport Fishing Students (and tutors)  from Norway.

We also had our first “other fish species” catch today – an eel of about 300mm.

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