Head lesions update

The results from the head lesions monitoring for the week commencing the 25th June showed an increase in the number of fish exhibiting head lesions in all areas of the river although all but two were coloured fish. The recent high water may have moved some of the earlier fish running fish and made them more susceptible to angling. Most encouragingly the number of moribund fish reported continues to be very low with a marked decrease for sea trout.

The beats participating in the monitoring reported a total of 223 salmon for the week, the highest weekly total since monitoring started. The majority of fish reported were from the lower river (downstream of Craigellachie). The average weight of salmon from the upper, middle and lower river was the same at 9.25lb, although the size distribution in each area was quite different. Double figure fish comprised 48% of the total in the lower river, 43% in the middle and 37% in the upper. This was the largest disparity in the size distribution noted so far this year. At the same time there were a higher proportion of fish below 5lb in the lower river (16%). These fish are assumed now to be primarily grilse. It is encouraging to see the first decent runs of one sea winter fish into the system, especially after two successive seasons of low grilse catches.

As the situation with the head lesions appears to be stable, and at low prevelence, the monitoring has been scaled back with a reduced selection of beats from across the river continuing to report. Many thanks to the beats, ghillies and anglers for their invaluable help over the last few weeks.

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