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The number of salmon caught by anglers in Scotland last year was well below the 5-year average, with the summer/autumn salmon catch faring particularly badly, although the overall numbers were not as poor as in 2014.  

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Although the statistics suggest a general decline in abundance, some crumbs of comfort can, perhaps, be gleaned from the spring salmon and sea trout runs, however, according to the report released by Scotland’s Chief Statistician today.

Salmon

Total reported rod catch (retained and released) for 2015 is 54,969. This is a slight improvement on the 2014 total, which was the second lowest on record and followed annual declines since 2010’s record high. Reported rod catch in 2015 remains 69 per cent of the previous 5-year average.

In 2015, 98 per cent of rod caught spring salmon were released, as were 84 per cent of the annual rod catch.

Trends in rod catch vary among individual stock components. Reported catch of spring salmon shows a general decline since records began and, although there is some indication that catch has stabilised in recent years, it remains at a historically low level. Overall catch of salmon and grilse in later months, on the other hand, showed a general increase up to 2010, after which it fell sharply over the next 4 years, before recovering slightly in 2015.

Catch and effort for both fixed engine and net & coble fisheries remain at historically low levels. Reported catch in each fishery was 10,349 and 3,234; four per cent and one per cent of the maximum reported in the respective time series. Fishing effort in these fisheries was 127 trap months and 57 crew months; the lowest and second lowest, respectively, since records began in 1952.

Sea trout

The total reported rod catch of sea trout for 2015 is 21,443, of which 79% were returned. Although catches have declined over much of the period since 1952, when government records began, they appear to have stabilised in recent years and in 2015 were 96 per cent of the previous 5-year average.

Netting

Catch and effort for both fixed engine and net & coble fisheries remain at historically low levels. Reported catch in each fishery was 1,521 and 2,760; three per cent and one per cent of the maximum reported in the respective time series. Fishing effort in these fisheries was 127 trap months and 57 crew months; the lowest and second lowest, respectively, since records began in 1952.

 

 

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