SFB Statement on Spring Catches 2018 Posted on May 30, 2018 by Miranda Edwards Please find the Spey Fishery Board’s Statement on Spring Catches 2018 available to view here. Previous ArticleNext Article There are 4 comments for this article Mark Hewett July 4, 2018 at 12:36 pm The Atlantic Salmon Trust is doing a lot of work in this area via, amongst other initiatives “The Missing Salmon Project”. The causes of the decline are complex – climate change, impact on time when smolts leave the river (possibly due to changes in water temperatures), movement of feeding grounds further North, massive displacement of mackerel shoals depleting feeding stocks, fish farms (West coast problem), over exploitation and by product of commercial trawlers, falling grilse numbers and perhaps above all predation. I understand that whereas 25 years ago, 25% of smolts leaving a river were expected to return as mature fish, that number is now only 5%. That explains a lot. Furthermore, it seems that only 50% of smolts leaving the rivers successfully make it out of the Moray Firth for the relevant rivers – that’s before they have had to contend with all of the perils that face them at sea. Predation comes in the guise of birds and seals – look at how the population of the latter has exploded and you may have a large part of the answer. It is ironic that, as I understand it, the rivers have never been in better condition. This issue is becoming critical for the sustainability of the species. Reply to this message David Brew August 6, 2018 at 11:50 pm more research is needed on trawlers targeting prawns and sandells since offshore fish stocks have declined. Grilse have become smaller as fish have limited food? Predators have increased , I counted well over a hundred near spey bay at Port Gordon last year. Mergansers, dolphins, seals in the river itself. Booming towns like Aviemore and the increase in pollution and use of pesticides etc. It’s time sea reserves were brought in, specially several miles around Spey Bay so smolts have a corridor to the open sea. Water abraction needs firmly dealing with as the Spey is fastest river in U.K. and abstraction of water is increaseing each year since the 1940s. Even this summer extra pumps have been used to supply thousands of homes with water. Total ban on spinning, and ban on increased canoeing. Also build up of millions of tonnes of stone off and in Spey Bay needs looking into. Reply to this message Peter Kytee May 31, 2018 at 2:09 pm One had hoped that after all the years of research, and numerous projects we would now be seeing an improvement in runs throughout the year. Alas us rods (who pay a lot to fish) continue to see fish numbers drop year on year. The value of the river to this area of Scotland is immense but now likely to start reducing at a rapid rate. Action as opposed to more meetings and research is now VITAL if the Spey Board is to arrest the decline in fish and indeed hopefully rebuild the river into a top rate fishery. Thank you Reply to this message Pingback: SFB Statement on Spring Catches 2018 – Fisheries Management Scotland Leave a Reply Cancel comment replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.