Tagging seen as key to the future of the Tweed fishery

The Tweed Foundation is looking for help from anglers to measure recapture rates of fish on the river.

Friday, 2nd September 2016, 9:00 am

Each season, the foundation tags a number of salmon and sea trout to monitor the recapture rate by rods, undertaking this work with the help of the netting station at Paxton House.

The first reported capture of a tagged fish this season was of a fish caught by an angler at Waltham and Dirtiness on the lower Tweed on August 17.

Records show this was a grilse, 455mm in length, which was tagged at Paxton on August 8.

What the Foundation aims to establish from the tagging programme is what proportion of tagged fish are caught by anglers, as this gives an indication of the proportion of untagged fish that are caught.

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Therefore, outside the Spring Catch & Release season, it does not matter whether the tagged fish is kept by an angler, or released back in to the river.

Tagging results show just over half of the recaptures of tagged fish are made within one month of their tagging, and almost 90 per cent within two months.

This means that angling catches depend on regular runs of fresh fish coming in, as after just a couple of months in the river fish are unlikely to be caught.

This means, in turn, that it is of great importance to preserve the diversity of salmon in the Tweed catchment so that there are many different populations that return at different times through the year.

A spokesman said: “We hope this will result in the better understanding and management of Tweed salmon for everyone’s benefit.”

If you catch a tagged fish, you can note the tag number, place of capture and date. Photographing the tag is a useful tip for easy recording. This data can be shared with the Foundation by phoning 01896 848271 or emailing info@tweedfoundation.org.uk

A small reward is offered for reporting the recapture of tagged fish.