Salmon and no water?

Reg Wyatt

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There's been a drastic shortage of water this year on many rivers including my favourite the Naver. The salmon have apparently been waiting out in the bay but how long will they actually wait there for and what if no water comes? Do they turn and head out to sea again or wait in desperation until spawning time ?
Pretty naive question but I really don't understand how the salmon react to long term no water.

Reg Wyatt
 

easker1

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locally, salmon have been known to run the nearest river with water in it, some rivers out west had sluices to encourage migratory fish,easker1
 

bobmiddlepoint

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The salmon have apparently been waiting out in the bay but how long will they actually wait there for and what if no water comes? Do they turn and head out to sea again or wait in desperation until spawning time ?


They wait and wait for a rise in water. Meanwhile they wash up and down the estuary or mill about in the bay being picked off by seals, porpoises, poachers or, in parts of the Highlands & Islands, sea lice.

They will colour up in the sea and finally scrabble in when the rain comes which it almost always will before spawning time. In really dry years they can lose so much condition waiting that come the rain they can't run weirs and falls. I saw this once on the river Exe in 2006(?) when a long drought left the fish stuck in the lower river and estuary. When a small rise in water finally came the fish didn't have the strength to run many of the mid river weirs so they had to spawn in the lower river leaving all the prime spawning water on the high moors empty.

I've heard some people claim they simply return to the feeding grounds and come back the next year... I don't think there is anything to back this up other than wishful thinking!
 

Fly Guy

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We have lots of water now but still no fish. The odd one being being caught is a coloured resident. Everyone assumed they had gone straight through the river into the lochs but no catches of salmon off the lochs either.
They had been seen milling around the estuary for a few weeks during our drought but now no sign of them. Presumed that they have gone back out to sea again judging by the conversations had with the other guys on the river. Does not look good for spawning at the moment.........
 

tenet

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The Thurso has finally had a lift of water but to date not many salmon, perhaps today will be different with the water falling. If catches fail to materialise then stories of fish going back to sea may prove true as for sure Thurso bay was allegedly stuffed with fish.

They, along with most northern rivers, have lost their entire season.
 

codyarrow

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Rivers were rising yesterday until midnight. A lot of fish were running I saw them. They won't return to sea now, they will hold up in the deeper pools even when the river drops, and it will rain again soon.
 

speytime

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We had enough rain to raise the river, went for a few hours on Monday never caught or seen anything, im planning to go tomorrow once it's settled��

The river had its run of salmon blocked by SEPA last year for work on the salmon pass, im wondering what effect it will have on this year's run?
Al
 

Grouse and clare

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I passed the Clyde today , it was well up but should be running off as it has been dry today. I am hoping it runs off more and stays dry till tomorrow when I'm fishing.
 

bobmiddlepoint

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Presumed that they have gone back out to sea again judging by the conversations had with the other guys on the river. Does not look good for spawning at the moment.........


It is just an old wives tale. They don't go all the way back to Greenland and come back next year, they simply get eaten or become ever weaker and more prone to disease if stuck in the sea for too long. They arrive at the river mouth ready to run freshwater and the longer they can't the less chance they have. They are on a one way ticket.
 

Grouse and clare

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Went to Endrick water on Friday, conditions were absolutely perfect , river running down after a spate and slightly coloured. We never saw a single fish move the whole day, plenty of water but no fish.
 

speytime

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We had enough rain to raise the river, went for a few hours on Monday never caught or seen anything, im planning to go tomorrow once it's settled��

The river had its run of salmon blocked by SEPA last year for work on the salmon pass, im wondering what effect it will have on this year's run?
Al

I fished as planned the water had dropped to a nice hight but was still coloured, again never caught or seen anything at the weir/pass.
Al
 

bobmiddlepoint

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The river had its run of salmon blocked by SEPA last year for work on the salmon pass, im wondering what effect it will have on this year's run?
Al

Just to pick up on this point. It will have no effect on this year's run. The progeny of any fish which ran last year wouldn't be expected back for two years at the earliest (grilse that smolted at one year old) and more likely three or years for grilse and four or five for salmon.
 
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