Salmon Stocks Report For English and Welsh Rivers

If you can’t face the report the headlines are as follows:

There are 80 salmon river in England and Wales and the only one not deemed to be, to some degree, “at risk” is the River Tyne.

The total rod catch for all rivers in 2021 was 5,736 salmon and grilse.

The Tyne rod catch, often much vaunted for the benefits of its Kielder hatchery and freshet releases, was 1,454 salmon and grilse in 2021.

The mighty Wye, which routinely caught some 6,000 salmon and grilse pre the 1980s, erstwhile playground for that great prolific angler, Robert Pashley, caught just 255 salmon and grilse in 2021.

The Tweed alone, in one of its worst rod catches for the last 40+ years, caught 5,862 salmon and grilse in 2021, slightly more than all 80 rivers in England and Wales put together.

All of this is truly shocking. Of course, the figures are worse than if we had had a wet, cold summer in 2021. Nonetheless, the trend is relentlessly downward and it remains hard not to conclude that the further south you go, (a) the more difficult it is for our salmon to survive and (b) that temperature is the villain. As global warming has some way to go before peaking, it is increasingly hard to be optimistic.

CEFAS Salmon Stocks Assessment Report 2021 for all English and Welsh salmon rivers

Andrew Douglas-Home

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