Trout & Salmon “Save our Salmon” initiative – Vote now

The Trout & Salmon celebrates it’s 60th Anniversary this month. What a fantastic achievement for a magazine that has become an institution for game anglers across the UK. I personally have many boxes of old T&S’s in the loft dating back to the late 70s. What a great resource they are; I still regularly look back through old editions searching for an article or feature of interest. Some people are more organised and a friend of mine had his collection indexed by author and subject!

It was therefore with great pleasure that the Spey Foundation were able to submit a bid, in conjunction with the Atlantic Salmon Trust, to the 60th Anniversary Save our Salmon campaign. The T&S invited interested parties to submit proposals for projects or ideas that would help return salmon to their former abundance. The Spey Foundation/Atlantic Salmon Trust pitch focusses on the one of the most crucial stages in the salmon lifecycle – smolt migration.Tagging technology is advancing rapidly with acoustic tags (sound-emitting) now available that can be inserted into the full spectrum of salmon, and sea trout, smolt sizes. Our proposal is to tag 100 smolts with these sound-emitting tags at a variety of locations in the river and to track their passage downstream with a network of listening devices. The listening devices will be positioned at regular intervals aong the river right down to the mouth of the Spey where it meets the Moray Firth. We will therefore learn a great deal about smolt migration and crucially survival during this vulnerable period of passage down the river and through the tidal zone.

The Spey Foundation has a wealth of experience in smolt trapping and in conjunction with the expertise of the Atlantic Salmon Trust and their associates we believe this project is both exciting and of great relevance in understanding the factors influencing adult salmon returns. The technology is now available to make this sort of study possible and by working with the T&S we can make the findings available to a wide readership. Readers will also have the chance to “sponsor a smolt” with updates on migration speeds and time of entry to the sea made available.

In the future we may be able to track the smolts out to sea with a network of marine listening devices but this study will provide answers to some fundamental questions about in-river survival of smolts e.g. are there any predation hotstops, does size matter i.e. do more larger smolts make it to sea, etc.

The T&S initiative is a competitive process so we are asking for readers and supporters to vote for Pitch 3 – Spey Track on the website. The deadline for voting is midnight on the 30th June.

There are 6 comments for this article
  1. john phillips at 6:36 pm

    I would like to vote for pitch 1.
    I would also like to make a donation.Who should I make the payable to and where should it be sent?
    Could you please reply.

    • Brian Shaw Author at 10:43 pm

      Pitch 1??? Are you sure, isn’t that the one about hatcheries in Wales? I set up this blog to promote Pitch 3 – “Spey Track”, a much more progressive bid to try and establish where smolt mortality occur as the fish leave the river. However, if you are determined to vote for that pitch you can do so using the http://www.saveoursalmon.rg website. I think the Trout and Salmon will publish how to donate to the winning bid in the September issue.
      o ran,

  2. Eric Mitchell at 11:01 am

    Marine Scotland did a similar thing using floy tags about 15 years ago on the North Esk. Smolts were tagged in the upper reaches then monitored in the lower river smolt trap. They were surprised at how few smolts with tags were found in the trap until someone handed in a bag full of tags they had found on the ground underneath a riverside heronry.

  3. Anthony Tinsley at 2:48 pm

    Great project; can’t we ask the Navy to track them out at sea with a nuclear sub…?

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