Smolt trap update

Apologies for the lack of updates regarding the smolt traps recently. Catches were low last week although they picked up at the weekend with a small rise in river levels.

Avon smolt traps salmon smolt catch 2016 related to 9am water temperature.

Avon trout catch related to river levels

Avon trout catch related to river levels

On the Avon the number of salmon smolts captured this spring is now 2,165, well behind last year in absolute numbers but trap efficiency continues to be low this year. The two mark and recapture trials this week produced three recaptures from 99 salmon released back upstream. Overall trap efficiency has been around 4%, lower then the last two years and lower than we would like as the confidence limits associated with our run estimates are quite big.

The 2016 salmon smolt run estimate is not far behind that generated last year albeit with wider confidence limits. The salmon smolts in the trap today appeared to be off a good average size with the largest over 150mm.

We are now running the River Fiddich trap on a daily basis and here we also noted an upturn in the catch with nice sea trout smolts migrating in numbers. Yesterday there were over 90 smolts in the trap, mostly trout and today 32, all trout. The recapture rate in the Fiddich trap has been quite high, around 50% in recent trials; no surprise as the burn is little wider than the trap.

Nice sea trout smolt from the River Fiddich trap today.

Nice sea trout smolt from the River Fiddich trap today.

We had intended removing the traps on Friday but if we continue to catch reasonable numbers of smolts we will extend the period of operation into June.

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Steve Brand at 8:51 pm

    Very interesting ! Clearly there has been a problem with Avon smolt run this year. Can you please publish the last 3 years study of Smolts which have ran down the Avon smolt trap.

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