Smolt trap update 25th March

Finally I got a chance to compile the smolt trap figures for the Tommore Burn, and the Avon, although it has only been operational for three days.

In total 130 fin-clipped salmon presmolts have been caught in the Tommore Burn with four unclipped smolts and 15 fin-clipped one year old parr (from last years stocking but too small to smolt this year). Most of the fish caught in the Tommore were caught during the first week of operation, which does beg the question – how many migrated out of the burn before the trap was deployed?

Tommore Burn smolt trap results to date: catch ralated to river level as recorded on the gauge at 9am.

Tommore Burn smolt trap results to date: catch related to river level (recorded on the gauge at 9am). It should be noted that the catch recorded on the 7th March comprised fish trapped over the course of the weekend following installation. All subsequent catches are on a daily basis.

Tommore Burn cath related to 9am river temperature.

Tommore Burn catch related to 9am river temperature. As the water level in the burn dropped over the last week so the temperature increased. Almost all the snow in the upper Tommore Burn catchment has gone now so further rises in river level will depend on precipitation.

The Tommore Burn trap was not deployed until the 21st March last year with low numbers of fish caught initially, the main run coming in early April. Hence we are still expecting more smolts to run as the spring, and smoltification, develops.

In the first three days of the Avon trap eight smolts have been captured with a big one of 152mm caught today. The Avon temperature was as high as 5.8oC (42.5oF) yesterday cooling down to 4.1oC this morning. Rain is forecast this weekend which may lift rivers levels and may cause some subsequent anxiety about the safety of the traps!

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