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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Isle of Lewis
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    Default Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust Sea Trout Sweeps: 2018 - 1

    I'm not long back from assisting the local Fisheries Trust's first netting of the season. In the past few years I've only managed the first before working away from the island but this year hope to be around for most of those planned.

    The job involves netting a sea pool, drugging the fish, measuring & weighing, then adipose clipping and tagging behind the left eye, reviving then releasing.
    In past years we've had bags of up to 20 fish at Steinish Pool, just on the outskirts of Stornoway, when I've been with them and today looked like it'd be no different.
    The net was hauled about 80 m before being closed and during that time I didn't see one fish move. However, as it was drawn it the water started boiling!

    In all we caught 80 finnock and sea trout, the majority in fine fettle for the time of year. The largest were a couple around 2 lbs and 10 of the 80 had been tagged in previous years, a figure which struck me as quite large. Hopefully I'll be able to link to some stills and video shortly but I didn't have my own camera today. Very few lice, even fewer that I'd expect at this point in the season, in fact.

    It was a perfect day for the job, light winds and blue skies and about 6 degrees. Good to see some old friends again, too, human and fishy!

    Next sweep is Saturday at Gress salt flats. Hope it's as positive a picture there!

    Lewis.

    Edit: A snap from Steinish last year:

    Last edited by Lewis Chessman; 19-03-2018 at 06:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust Sea Trout Sweeps: 2018 - 1

    The second sweep of the season was this morning on the River Gress tidal stretch with over a dozen volunteers helping. Decent weather, windier but warmer than on Monday at Steinish and about 5 miles away as the crow flies or fish swims.

    The Gress is a varied little spate river. Above the salt flats it climbs swiftly before levelling off into riffling streams and small pools. Further up river are more canal-like stretches and there's a loch I've yet to visit a few miles further on. Like all spate systems, hit it right and you can have a fine day's fishing and all for the extortionate price of 25 per year. Day tickets were 10 last year and probably still are. While I'd use a #6 or #7 s-h on the river proper, the salt flat stretch is one of the few places in Lewis where a river is wide enough to exercise a double-hander so I'll be joining just for the pleasure of rolling out a Spey line some time. A fish would be a bonus.

    Anyway .... the second sweep:

    ........................Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust Sea Trout Sweeps: 2018 - 1-1-p1020806-jpg

    ........................Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust Sea Trout Sweeps: 2018 - 1-1-p1020807-jpg

    ......................................................................Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust Sea Trout Sweeps: 2018 - 1-1-p1020814-jpg

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust Sea Trout Sweeps: 2018 - 1

    Having been hauled across and dragged downstream, the net is closed. Unfortunately, it snagged on an outcrop of kelp and lifted, letting several fish escape. The resultant bag was only 4 sea trout who got drugged, weighed, measured, fin-clipped and tagged.
    While three of us did that the others tried a second sweep further up but it was fruitless.
    Shame but these things happen, particularly in early season when the river beds have altered over winter and new hazards are created.


    ...................................Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust Sea Trout Sweeps: 2018 - 1-1-p1020818-jpg

    ...................................Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust Sea Trout Sweeps: 2018 - 1-1-p1020826-jpg

    The largest fish was around 2 lbs, a mending kelt who'll be a good 2 1/2 to 3 pounds come summer. Look for Y83 on an orange tag behind the left eye.

    Next sweep in a couple of weeks.
    Last edited by Lewis Chessman; 24-03-2018 at 04:29 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Isle of Lewis
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    Default Re: Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust Sea Trout Sweeps: 2018 - 1

    Hot off the press ..... Today's video!



    And from Steinish last Monday, the 80 fish bag:
    Last edited by Lewis Chessman; 25-03-2018 at 10:29 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    48

    Cool Re: Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust Sea Trout Sweeps: 2018 - 1

    Excellent post Lewis, thanks for sharing
    I'm coming your way in September for a week's hill loch fishing for Brown trout and can't wait, your a lucky man living where you do.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    Thick end of the stick.
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    371

    Default Re: Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust Sea Trout Sweeps: 2018 - 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Lewis Chessman View Post
    Having been hauled across and dragged downstream, the net is closed. Unfortunately, it snagged on an outcrop of kelp and lifted, letting several fish escape. The resultant bag was only 4 sea trout who got drugged, weighed, measured, fin-clipped and tagged.
    While three of us did that the others tried a second sweep further up but it was fruitless.
    Shame but these things happen, particularly in early season when the river beds have altered over winter and new hazards are created.
    With the propensity for netting (for less scientific reasons...) among the locals I think I'd be inclined to introduce some more snags to make netting difficult. There is usually no shortage of scrap cars lying around that could be put to good use as anti poaching snags!

    Good to see a fair head of fish though. Did the salmon farm in Broad Bay ever happen?
    Stop calling me Bob, it is Mr Middlepoint to you!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust Sea Trout Sweeps: 2018 - 1

    Hi, pearcey, glad you enjoyed the pics & video. I'll ask the lads to leave a fish or two for when you finally get here.

    Bob, you might be surprised how little illegal netting goes on here these days. Aye, a few still chance their arm but the risks are so great if the estate prosecutes, and the time-frame in which to intercept the fewer fish we have these days is so small, that it simply isn't the issue it was 20 years ago.
    Those that do still chance it often do so as an anti-estate gesture for kudos rather than for food or money however, since the estates started working with local fishing associations in the '90s and granting us affordable access I'd say public opinion has largely shifted to protecting the fish.

    I'm wondering when you last visited as the council bought a vehicle crusher back in the '00s and that got rid of the vast majority of wrecks. Sure, some bodachs still hold on to their rust-bucket grave yards out of old Island 'make-do-and-mend' mentality, but they're few and far between these days.

    No, Bob, thankfully the Broadbay farm was rejected. Both the Gress and Steinish Pools are a part of Broadbay and I know the two clubs involved worked hard to oppose it. Thankfully!

  8. #8
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    Sep 2017
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    Thick end of the stick.
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    Default Re: Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust Sea Trout Sweeps: 2018 - 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Lewis Chessman View Post
    I'm wondering when you last visited as the council bought a vehicle crusher back in the '00s and that got rid of the vast majority of wrecks. Sure, some bodachs still hold on to their rust-bucket grave yards out of old Island 'make-do-and-mend' mentality, but they're few and far between these days.
    I had a holiday there in 2006 and parts of it resembled a scrapyard, good to hear efforts have been made to tidy the place up a bit! That said the I also visited the Uists and they had an even higher number of rusting Vauxhall Novas per capita.

    Good news on the netting and Broadbay fish farm too.
    Stop calling me Bob, it is Mr Middlepoint to you!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Western Isles, Scotland
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust Sea Trout Sweeps: 2018 - 1

    [QUOTE=Lewis Chessman;2374816]Hi, pearcey, glad you enjoyed the pics & video. I'll ask the lads to leave a fish or two for when you finally get here.

    Bob, you might be surprised how little illegal netting goes on here these days.



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