I could summarise the situation very quickly with a few words – not much happening. Water levels and temperatures are still very low so it is little surprise that few smolts have been trapped. At the end of March 2013 we had trapped 12 salmon smolts in the Tromie trap with 7 in the Truim. The number of salmon smolts captured to the end of March over the last few years are shown in the table below.
It can be seen that there is great variability in the extent of the early spring smolt run. Studies such as this are of most value when part of a time series of results, the factors driving smolt production and timing can then be understood better. The early smolt run in 2013 has been small but that should be no surprise, this is one of the latest springs in recent years. However the results to date in 2013 are not too dissimilar to those recorded in 2011/10 although the efficiency of trap operation in those years has to be taken into account.
This picture taken recently by Duncan Ferguson SFB Operations Manager illustrates why the smolt run is likely to be late this year.
The snow is currently thawing very slowly with little impact on water levels although that could change quickly.