Scotttish Salmon Catches Show Mixed Picture –

Statistics give mixed picture says Allan Wilson

Scotttish Salmon Catches Show Mixed Picture Fishing Monthly Published:  25 September, 2002

REPORTED catches of salmon and sea trout in Scotland during 2001 were published today.

Anglers caught a total of 72,296 salmon and grilse, an increase of 10% compared to last year’s figures, and close to the average for the period since 1952 when records began. The total catch included 27,699 salmon and grilse which were released again, the highest number on record, and representing 38% of the total number taken by anglers. Catches of spring salmon were up on those taken in 2000 by 44%. The number released after capture also rose compared with 2000, and accounted for 49% of all spring salmon taken by anglers.

Fixed nets on the coast took a total of 25,041 salmon and grilse, an increase of 9% compared with 2000. However, this catch was still the fourth lowest on record. Fishing effort was up by 2% on the 2000 figure, but remains the second lowest on record. Net and coble fisheries, mostly in rivers and estuaries, took a total of 7,233 salmon and grilse, the lowest on record and down by 42% on the 2000 figures. Fishing effort in net and coble fisheries was the lowest on record.

A total of 602 fish identified as being escapes from fish farms were reported as having been caught in 2001. Most (359) were taken in coastal fixed nets. Anglers accounted for 166 of the total number caught.

A total of 42,412 sea trout were caught. Of these, coastal nets took 5,267, net and coble fisheries caught 5,188, and anglers took a total of 31,957, of which 10,898 were released again. This was rather fewer than were released in 2000. The total numbers caught remain among the lowest on record.

Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development, Allan Wilson said:”It is encouraging that rod and line catches of salmon have increased, particularly spring salmon catches, but disappointing that the decline in sea trout catches has continued. I am also pleased to note the continued increase in the adoption of catch and release in the fishery for salmon.”