Sponsor tracking a salmon smolt on the Tweed

Posted on February 06, 2019

Sponsor tracking a salmon smolt on the Tweed

In effort to maximise the number of salmon smolts that reach the sea, the Tweed Foundation will be using acoustic tracking to answer some key questions:  

  • How many smolts make it to sea
  • How barriers in the river prevent smolts from completing their journey downstream
  • Where smolts get lost in our river system
  • How river levels affect the smooth passage of our smolts’ journey out to sea

If you would like to support this research by sponsoring an acoustic tracker, contact the Tweed Foundation. 

Eradicating mink consultation

Posted on January 31, 2019

Eradicating mink consultation

Views and advice are sought by a group of conservationists on whether a programme to eradicate mink from the island of Great Britain is feasible or desireable.

They say:

Mink were imported to Britain for fur farming and are now widely established in the wild. Voracious predators, they can be especially damaging to water vole populations, and have consequently been controlled across the country for years. Eradication, i.e. the removal of every single mink, has long been discussed, but previously was considered too difficult, too expensive, or both. Developments over recent years may have changed that picture, however, perhaps bringing the prospect of a mink-free GB into reach, and we believe the time is right to re-assess the situation.

Stuart Crofts caddis fly courses and a new book

Posted on January 21, 2019

Stuart Crofts caddis fly courses and a new book

News from WTT friend and ace bug-man, Stuart Crofts: 

1. Entomology courses at the Freshwater Biological Association (Windermere)

    Adult Caddisfly Identification Workshop (new for 2019) with Stuart Crofts: Saturday April 27th 2019

    Fisheries Management Scotland Conference 2019

    Posted on December 20, 2018

    Fisheries Management Scotland has announced its annual conference for 29 March 2019 in Edinburgh. The event will focus on salmon in the International Year of the Salmon, but there’s plenty too that is significant to trout, not least the discussions around regulation of the Scottish salmon farming industry and its impacts on wild fish. Further details on the FMS website. Or download the conference flyer.

    North East Salmon Net Closures

    Posted on December 19, 2018

    The Environment Agency has announced closure of some of the NE English net fisheries, as part of a suite of measures contained in new byelaws to protect imperilled salmon stocks. Details of the announcment are here. Whilst these measures will hit hard a number of licensed netsmen in the area, the drift net fishery especially seemed anachronistic in the context of salmon populations in crisis. The new byelaw also introduces angling restrictions, with ‘At Risk’ and ‘Recovering’ salmon rivers under mandatory catch-and-release from June 2019 and renewal of the 1998 Spring Salmon Byelaws.

    However, we are concerned that NE sea trout stocks will see increased fishing pressure from the T and J nets. The Agency’s own assessments for the NE’s principal salmonid rivers suggests that sea trout may possibly be in a worse state than salmon, yet the trout net fishery continues. The Agency believes that cessation of the drift nets, a shorter netting season and non-replacement of expired licences will see a progressive reduction in the numbers of sea trout killed. We’re working with sister NGOs to try to ensure that sea trout get a better deal.

    WTT Annual Draw 2018

    Posted on December 12, 2018

    WTT Annual Draw 2018

    On 11 December, Shaun Leonard, Christina Bryant and few others were at the Ship & Bell in Horndean for our Annual Draw which took place over a glass of wine.

    Thank you to all who bought tickets for our annual draw and to our generous prize donors, we raised an incredibly useful £4,598.

    The tickets were drawn by Christina’s daughter, Felicity, and the winning numbers are:

    Peter O’Reilly RIP

    Posted on December 07, 2018

    Peter O’Reilly RIP

    We are sad to report the death of Peter O’Reilly, hugely respected fly fisherman, caster, tier, guide and advocate for wild trout, in his role as a WTT Vice-President. Condolences from all at WTT to Peter’s many friends and family.

    Southern sea trout conservation- update 2

    Posted on December 07, 2018

    Southern sea trout conservation- update 2

    There is a consultation underway regarding net fishing management along the south coast from the Devon/Dorset border to the Hampshire/Sussex border including the Isle of Wight. The proposals will potentially affect sea trout and salmon which may be caught as a ‘by-catch’ in nets targeting other fish such as mullet and sea bass. WTT has responded to the consultation and we would urge others to do so in order to protect our valuable fish stocks.

    The consultation is being run by the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) and it closes on 7 December.

    UPDATE: The Angling Trust have produced a good, robust response to this consultation and a press release.

    Garfield Weston Foundation grant for WTT

    Posted on December 07, 2018

    We are absolutely delighted that the Garfield Weston Foundation has awarded WTT a grant of £20,000 for a project called ‘Wild Trout Trust Futures’. We’ll use the money to fund parts of our core work of advice and project delivery. For example, we will invest some time in understanding the impact of our work by carrying out post-project reviews and ‘lessons learned’ and communicating the impact of that work to a wider audience; we’ll look too to where our conservation role might be in future years.

    Save our Rivers & Lakes!

    Posted on December 03, 2018

    The WTT's focus is on practical 'in river' projects and advice but we do recognise and support those who campaign on behalf of our rivers. A coalition of the Angling Trust, Fish Legal, WWF-UK and The Rivers Trust is launching a new initiative in 2019 to make our rivers and lakes better, through advocacy, legal action against wrong-doers and practical improvement projects. A fundraising campaign has started for the work, with an online auction and black tie dinner on 29 January 2019 at Fishmongers’ Hall, London. Further details, including tickets for the dinner or options to donate to the cause HERE

    A fourth part to the trilogy?

    Posted on November 29, 2018

    A fourth part to the trilogy?

    Did you know that the freshwaters of the world cover only ~0.8% of the Earth’s surface, yet are home to ~6% of its species? From a conservation perspective, it’s important to appreciate exactly what we have got before we go about identifying how to protect or manage habitat for it. It’s a challenging enough problem for scientists studying terrestrial animals, let alone those hidden beneath the surface of the water. Added to that, aquatic species often exhibit less obvious differentiation in external characteristics (ie they tend to look the same), hence the term cryptic speciation.

    Another Scottish Parliament Committee Calls for Urgent Action on Salmon Farming

    Posted on November 27, 2018

    Another Scottish Parliament Committee Calls for Urgent Action on Salmon Farming

    The Rural Economy & Connectivity Committee (REC) of the Scottish Parliament has today published its report into salmon aquaculture, noting amongst many issues the impact of the industry on wild salmon and sea trout and the lack of regulation to mitigate for those impacts; REC calls for urgent action on appropriate siting of farms, adequate control of sea lice and medication and the need to protect wild fish, all points raised by WTT in its response to the Committee earlier this year. 

    The REC report follows on from a previous report of a different Scottish parliamentary committee (the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee, ECCLR) saying very much the same thing. Both reports, and further evidence highlighting the impact of salmon aquaculture on wild salmon and sea trout,  are available on the Scottish Parliament’s website.

    Well done to Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland for the pressure it has applied, and continues to apply, on Scottish Government. We can only hope for a decent response from both the Government and industry, too long poorly regulated and poorly performing for the environment and our wild fish.

    Monnow newsletter

    Posted on November 26, 2018

    The Monnow Rivers Association has recently issued this excellent newsletter. Many of the issues mentioned in the newsletter are common to lots of rivers, so it is interesting to read even if you are not familiar with the Monnow. The MRA’s work to tackle the huge Himalayan balsam problem is heroic and inspirational.

    Take action against agricultural pollution

    Posted on November 21, 2018

    Agricultural pollution is having a major impact on our rivers. Many anglers see the problems but are frustrated that not enough is being done to tackle them by the relevant Government agencies. We would encourage everyone to support the Salmon and Trout Conservation UK campaign to report incidents via their incident map as well as through the relevant agencies for each country (EA, NRW, SEPA).