A quick update on the Avon and Tommore Burn traps. Firstly the Tommore where catches have dried up almost completely this week, although we did get a fin clipped salmon today, the first for a week.
On the Avon the recent higher water levels have not produced big catches of smolts either. Daily catches at present are 50-100 although with the catch efficiency less than 10% there are still decent numbers of smolts moving every night. However, it is now evident that the run, as expected, will be significantly lower than that recorded in 2014. To date we have caught 4,448 salmon in the traps compared to 13,971 in 2014. As mentioned above the capture efficiency is lower this year so that will close the gap a little when we plug all the figures into the run estimate equations.
The trout catch is also lower than last year but not to the same extent; we may yet end up with total catch figures close to that achieved in 2014.
One feaure this year has been the number of eels caught in the Avon traps. I think we have caught 17 so far, considerably higher than last year. A possibly explanation is that the eel population seems to be suffering from a disease problem this spring. Both eels caught in the traps today had damage; one on its flank and the head of the other was in a terrible condition.
The Dee Trust have identified a similar problem on the Dee and samples have been sent to Marine Scotland for analysis. The results are awaited. It is a shame to see any animal suffering in this way but sometimes events like these occur. Having spoken to several ghillies it is clear that the problem is widespread across the river.