Statement on Catch Returns for 2018

Atlantic Salmon Trust ‘The publication today of the official returns of wild salmon caught in Scotland last year makes for grim reading, for all those that hold this iconic species dear, as they are the lowest on record. Whilst the long hot dry summer of 2018 would no doubt have played a role in the low numbers caught the sad news is that fewer salmon are returning to our rivers. This is not just happening in Scotland but for many rivers right around the whole of the Atlantic. As these fish are a very good indicator of the health of our rivers and seas they are telling us that something is terribly wrong.

We, as a society, need to do much better if we are to ensure that wild salmon have a future.

If you want to find out more about what the Atlantic Salmon Trust and partners are doing to understand what is causing this decline then please have a look at our Missing Salmon Project and, get involved with helping to look after these threatened fish. Theories abound but this work will help us find out what is really happening to the salmon and then target what we can do to better look after them for future generations.’

Salmon Fishery Statistics – 2018 Season

Scottish Government: ‘The total reported rod catch (retained and released) of wild salmon and grilse for 2018 is 37,196. Total reported catch is 67% of the previous 5-year average and is the lowest since records began in 1952. The proportion of the rod catch accounted for by catch and release is among the highest recorded. In 2018, 99% of rod caught spring salmon (multi seawinter fish taken before 1 May) were released, as were 93% of the annual rod catch. A proportion of fish released from the rod fishery may be re-caught and hence inflate the catch statistics by appearing in the reported data more than once.

Trends in rod catch varied among individual stock components. Reported catch of spring salmon has generally declined since records began and, although there is some indication that catch has stabilised in recent years, it remains at a low level. Overall catch of salmon and grilse in later months, on the other hand, generally increased up to 2010, after which it fell sharply over the next 4 years before recovering slightly in 2015 and 2016 only to fall again in 2017 and 2018.

Reported catch and effort for the fixed engine and net & coble fisheries were among the lowest recorded by either fishery since records began in 1952.

Salmon and grilse reported as being of farmed origin represented 0.1% of the total Scottish catch in 2018. The distribution of farmed origin fish was highly uneven, with the West Coast region accounting for 81.5% of those reported.’ Click here to access reports and stats

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