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Salmon and Sea Trout Fishery Statistics 2016 Season

Published: 21 Apr 2017 09:30

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published the salmon and sea trout fishery statistics for the 2016 season.

Salmon

Total reported rod catch (retained and released) for 2016 is 55,109. Total reported rod catch of 100,906 in 2010 was the highest on record. This total dropped in each subsequent year however and in 2014 was the second lowest on record. Reported rod catch recovered slightly in 2015 and 2016 and is currently 80% of the previous five-year average.

The proportion of the rod catch accounted for by catch and release is the highest reported since these figures were first recorded in 1994. In 2016, 98% of rod caught spring salmon was released, as was 90% of the annual rod catch.

Trends in rod catch vary among individual stock components. Reported catch of spring salmon shows a general decline since records began in 1952 and, although there is some indication that catch has stabilised in recent years, it remains at a historically low level. Overall catch of salmon and grilse in later months, on the other hand, showed a general increase up to 2010, after which it fell sharply over the next 4 years before recovering slightly in 2015 and 2016.

Catch and effort for both fixed engine and net & coble fisheries are the lowest since records began in 1952. 

The Salmon Conservation Regulations

Salmon Conservation Regulations for Scottish stocks came into force in 2016 and included measures to prohibit the killing of fish in coastal waters and in estuaries and rivers where the stocks were determined to be in poor conservation status. Of the 126 assessable areas, 88 were assessed as being in poor conservation status (grade 3) in 2016.

Fishery statistics reported for 2016 provide a first view of the impact of these management measures on the catches of salmon. These may be summarised as:
• Total retained catch (all methods) fell from 22,776 in 2015 to 8,443  in 2016
• Total retained catch (all methods) of spring fish fell from 213 in 2015 to 101 in  2016
• Catch and release in the rod and line fishery rose from 84% in 2015 to 90% in  2016
• Although individual fisheries may have been impacted by the regulations,  there is no evidence to support a contention that fisheries in grade 3 areas  suffered a disproportionate drop in catch compared to fisheries in areas with  moderate or good conservation status where killing of salmon was permitted

Sea Trout

The total reported rod catch of sea trout (retained and released) for 2016 is 18,054. Catches have declined over much of the period since 1952, when our records began. In 2016, they were the third lowest on record and 84% of the previous 5-year average.

The proportion of the rod catch accounted for by catch and release in 2016 is 81%, the highest reported since these figures were first recorded in 1994.

Catch and effort for both fixed engine and net & coble fisheries are the lowest since records began in 1952.

Background

The data have been collected and collated by Marine Scotland Science and the Salmon and Sea Trout Fishery Statistics for 2016.

The publication provides a summary of rod and net catch together with net fishing effort for the 2016 fishing season. It is based on returns from proprietors, occupiers or agents of salmon and sea trout fisheries throughout Scotland.

The statistics for the 2016 season are a summary of the data from 1962 forms returned from 2105 forms issued (93% return rate). Final published statistics for the previous 10 years have been based on return rates of forms between 93% and 95%.