Autumn fishing on the Tweed is being monitored
The autumn run of salmon on the River Tweed is once again proving disappointing and Fisheries Management Scotland is now monitoring the situation.
Fewer grilse have been seen on the Tweed this season, and according to Tweed Commissioners, this worrying trend has also been seen on many other rivers.
Summer salmon fishing has been good but fewer fish are being caught in the final months of the season, as was the case last year, and the concern now is that if the trend continues it could shorten the fishing season on the Tweed from 10 to eight months a year which would have a serious impact on the economy, particularly those providing accommodation, meals and ghillie services for the fishermen.
In a statement about the low number of grilse in the Tweed and other Scottish rivers, Fisheries Management Scotland said: “This appears to be following a pattern observed in recent years, and there is some consistency, based on anecdotal reports, that a number of rivers across Scotland appear to be showing this trend.
“Whilst it is difficult to attribute the current reduction in grilse numbers to any one factor, one theory which may explain the changes we are seeing is related to large scale changes in the marine environment. In recent decades, there has been an increase in surface temperatures in the NE Atlantic and there have been widespread changes in the abundance and distribution of other marine species consistent with this. There is some evidence to suggest that warmer conditions in the sub-Arctic may mean more salmon than grilse.
“We will be monitoring the situation to determine how widespread this problem is and we would welcome feedback and input from members with a view to considering what management action might be appropriate and feasible in response to these reports.
“We will also be raising this issue with Scottish Government and associated agencies.”