Salmon and Trout in the Thames

thetrouttickler

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There was a story a few years ago of a 10lb trout caught in the Thames but when a picture emerged it was a frozen rainbow :D

I haven't heard many tales of these fish being caught since... but then I haven't been looking. Are people catching salmon and trout in the Thames? I don't mean the upper reaches, but rather the Thames proper in London.

I know they spent an awful lot of money stocking salmon a few years ago. Any effect?

I'd love to think one day it may return to a thriving salmon and trout river, like a larger version of the Sheffield Don.
 

codyarrow

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I believe the stocking programs are a failure. Fish found in the Thames system are likely to be strays from neighbour rivers. Improve the water quality and natural re stocking will occur. The fish now found in the Mersey came from 12 different rivers if my memory is correct.
 

Secret Angler

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I've caught two Thames trout, though a long time ago. I still here about the odd salmon but I think those stories are apocryphal.
 

BobP

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The Thames Salmon project kicked off back in 1978. I was involved in the first major parr introductions into all likely Thames tributary rivers. This continued for a few years and the first returns came up in the lower weir pools in 1981. With other members of staff I went electric fishing for them. Molesey and Shepperton were favourite pools.

The first recorded rod & line capture came from Molesey in about 1982 I believe.

The Project became the Thames Salmon Trust but steadily declined. Fewer of the tributaries proved able to support the parr or to offer potential spawning sites. The Trust was finally wound up in 2011. I guess its only legacy was a series of fish passes on many of the weirs on the Thames and 17 passes on the Kennet.

Thames trout on the other hand have a long history. Marlow Weir was a noted spot going back between the wars. There is quite a bit of history recorded in a museum about the Thames in Marlow.
 

3lbgrayling

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As an avid reader of old fishing books.There were always stories of big brown trout caught in Thames weirpools .normally by pike anglers.

Jim
 

BobP

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There were one or two very serious specialists in Thames Trout angling. The name of one is jingling a memory cell as I write. Sooner or later it will light up.
 

BobP

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A E Hobbs, I believe ? His small book "Trout of the Thames" is in print and available from Medlar Press, and came highly recommended by Jon Beer.

Medlar Press Authors - A. E. Hobbs

(I got something right today, Bob :D)
That's the bloke. I think he caught more trout from the Thames than anyone else.

I ended up with 30 grayling and Don with 10. Sorry about your rod.
 

andygrey

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The Thames Salmon project kicked off back in 1978. I was involved in the first major parr introductions into all likely Thames tributary rivers. This continued for a few years and the first returns came up in the lower weir pools in 1981. With other members of staff I went electric fishing for them. Molesey and Shepperton were favourite pools.

The first recorded rod & line capture came from Molesey in about 1982 I believe.

The Project became the Thames Salmon Trust but steadily declined. Fewer of the tributaries proved able to support the parr or to offer potential spawning sites. The Trust was finally wound up in 2011. I guess its only legacy was a series of fish passes on many of the weirs on the Thames and 17 passes on the Kennet.

Thames trout on the other hand have a long history. Marlow Weir was a noted spot going back between the wars. There is quite a bit of history recorded in a museum about the Thames in Marlow.
Trout do occasionally get caught by coarse anglers on the mid and upper Thames though these are most likely stocked fish that have fallen down from some of the tributaries. There is a population of wild trout in the upper Thames. The EA found a sea-trout in Ampney Brook (a small Thames tributary above Lechlade) a few years ago and the odd salmon turns up just west of London every so often but as Bob says, there is not a breeding population.
 

thetrouttickler

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The EA found a sea-trout in Ampney Brook (a small Thames tributary above Lechlade)
Sheesh, that's one determined fish. It's been through a few obstacles and miles of s * * t.

Would it be a returnee? In another words, would it have made the journey out and back in again?
 

linkledger

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Thames trout can mean different things to different people. They may not be all they seem to be. They can be a bit chewy ����
 
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thetrouttickler

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Cool history DB.

At least 115 salmon that year by the time of the article: that's far more than I was expecting.

- - - Updated - - -

The Thames Salmon project kicked off back in 1978. I was involved in the first major parr introductions into all likely Thames tributary rivers. This continued for a few years and the first returns came up in the lower weir pools in 1981. With other members of staff I went electric fishing for them. Molesey and Shepperton were favourite pools.

The first recorded rod & line capture came from Molesey in about 1982 I believe.

The Project became the Thames Salmon Trust but steadily declined. Fewer of the tributaries proved able to support the parr or to offer potential spawning sites. The Trust was finally wound up in 2011. I guess its only legacy was a series of fish passes on many of the weirs on the Thames and 17 passes on the Kennet.

Thames trout on the other hand have a long history. Marlow Weir was a noted spot going back between the wars. There is quite a bit of history recorded in a museum about the Thames in Marlow.
Thanks Bob, interesting personal history.
 

22lbbrown

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In the early/mid 90s i was lucky enough to catch a tagged Thames salmon weighing 16lbs at Richmond weir ,that year 3 others were recorded and all 3 of us were taken out to lunch by Thames Water directors and staff in Richmond and given prizes on Richmond Hill on the bankside-they gave me a watercolour and a silver replica Roman spoon with 3 salmon on and had 2 prizes awarded as had the heaviest and also closest to city of London ... The 22lb brown trout i had in in 80s was in Anglers Mail 1986, a bit further down near Shepperton in a reservoir going to the Thames but linked! But also had a smaller brown at Hampton Court.
 
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shropshire_lad

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Too far away from the wild places!
Water quality in the tidal Thames should be set to improve with the construction of the Thames & Lee Tunnels which should preclude the current storm sewage discharges in London. This may encourage migratory species to return? 10-20 years ago there were numerous posters about the numerous fish species in the Thames - I don't see those these days. Thames Water has not had a good recent history, being associated with some major high profile pollution incidents in the Marlow and Oxford areas.

I'm interested to know if any of the posters above were specifically fishing for salmon and/or trout or caught them by accident? A 22 lb brown trout - that's insane! :thumbs:
 

22lbbrown

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Yes I agree with you when new sewer pipe in got to be a huge improvement! If want to see a pic of 22lb brown have a look at my Thornwoodsprings website blog on there last month in my blog re 22lb browns stocking I put a pic of it and that’s the reason I stocked 23lbers ! The salmon I only have a gutted and on the grass shot I can find as my holding fish one put in a mouldy place grr! But also back then I too had flounder plaice and either a turbot or halibut at Hampton Court ! Amazing what else used to be in the Thames I think more obstructions now than then also?
 

andygrey

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Sheesh, that's one determined fish. It's been through a few obstacles and miles of s * * t.

Would it be a returnee? In another words, would it have made the journey out and back in again?
No way to know unfortunately. I've heard annecdotal evidence of other sea-trout spotting on the Coln but suspect that these are either mistaken identity or some of the small percentage of 'lost' fish that turn up from time to time.
 

sewinbasher

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There are certainly going to be wild brown trout in the Thames, the famous "Thames Trout" were mostly cannibal fish living in the weirpools on the lower river. Many tributaries including the Wandle in London are good trout streams.

Salmon are probably extinct, some of the stock (from the Thurso) juveniles were released near the Houses of Parliament but more for publicity than any sensible expectation of success. Other introductions were made in more suitable locations like the Pang but clearly struggled without support.

On one memorable occasion I was sitting in the garden at the Trout Inn at Wolvercote near Oxford about 25 years ago admiring the big chub mopping up bits of my sandwich when a movement caught my eye. I looked up to see a bright fresh salmon push through the weir that the bridge stands on.
 
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