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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by mows View Post
    There will be some valid points here.
    i.e. Mackerel are further North, and Puffins, Kittiwakes are having a hard time.

    In my opinion the Northward movement of the Mackerel may well tie in with a shift to spring runs as the smolts have to move further North.
    The puffins and kittiewakes have been struggling for a long time, mainly due to sand eel numbers, which anecdotally, im told are now on the increase.
    However the argument that lots of Mackerel and herring are bad, just seems wrong to me.
    Not only must there be ample food to support these huge shoals, but there must also be massive shoals of young mackerel and herring, which can only be good for salmon, long term.

    For me it still comes back to, the more smolts we put to the sea the more fish will return.

    Again anecdotally, but skinny salmon seem to be becoming less and less.

    Cheers

    Mows
    And if you run a river and have 100k to spend you'd be putting 95% of it into trying to ensure you do exactly that.

    The other 5k would be spent on publicity

    Now all I have to do is win Euromillions, buy that river and prove myself right.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben-Macdui View Post
    Correct SOS was hounded by the Clique on the tweed thread for the Smolts quote. Same rules apply though just cause this is a separate thread if somebody says sand eels are increasing we need to see the hard evidence.

    Hopefully it is true.
    That's the reason I said Anecdotally.
    I personally don't have any evidence or seen any evidence to prove correct.
    I think its more a case of others should maybe use the word more.
    I think anecdotally would be a very good word to use on 40% return rate.

    Cheers

    Mows

  3. #23
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    Jan 2009
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    Highland
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grassy_Knollington View Post
    And if you run a river and have 100k to spend you'd be putting 95% of it into trying to ensure you do exactly that.

    The other 5k would be spent on publicity

    Now all I have to do is win Euromillions, buy that river and prove myself right.
    Precisely! Which is exactly why we spend the vast proportion of our restoration resources on the river I do run (Lochy) on rearing and releasing indigenous smolts. The salmon lives in such a man-made environment, whether its us jiggering around with fish stocks in the high seas, over protecting predators in estuaries or farming millions of fish in river-mouth cages, so a man-made solution is required. Its just a % game of marine survival and making sure any long term genetic domestication risk from stocking is outweighed by the all benefits of extra adult returns.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben-Macdui View Post
    Correct SOS was hounded by the Clique on the tweed thread for the Smolts quote. Same rules apply though just cause this is a separate thread if somebody says sand eels are increasing we need to see the hard evidence.

    Hopefully it is true.
    Wouldn't that be nice! I happened to have lunch with Tony Andrews a couple of years ago and he was convinced there was a significant improvement in Sandeel numbers.

  5. #25
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    Not that long ago the government opened the box and brought out the experts that were warning us about global warming. A hard winter changed the experts and they were put back in the box and the ice age ones were brought out. We used to go out with a load of mackerel flies and caught as many as we wanted. Now there is hardly any about. Sea trout were fairly steady for us up to about 15 years ago when they disappeared completely for the next 10 years and then there was more about just like the "good old days" for a season and then disappeared again.
    If one reads the old books you find that what is going on at present has happened many times before.
    Bob

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loxie View Post
    Wouldn't that be nice! I happened to have lunch with Tony Andrews a couple of years ago and he was convinced there was a significant improvement in Sandeel numbers.
    Based on what evidence?

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardy rod View Post
    Based on what evidence?
    At the time he was running AST, so I guess his reasons for thinking that were based on evidence collated by Ken Whelan. It wasn't something we discussed at great length and we had rather more important things to talk about. Incidentally he predicted an increase in sea trout on the back of it and it is looking pretty good this year. Who knows?

  8. #28

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    Good timing for a revival this thread; I watched the BBC4 programme 'The Last Seabird Summer' presented by Adam Nicholson last weekend. It's available on iPlayer and IMO well worth a look, not only for the birds themselves, but also for what it says about sandeels. Evidently the picture is very local; while in some places (such as the Shiant Islands in the Minch, where much of the film is based) the birds that depend on sandeels for food are generally doing well, in others they are really suffering. Apparently kittiwake numbers on Orkney have reduced by 90% since 2000.

    The trailer for the second part looks interesting, too. It promises some stuff about how ocean currents have shifted, and the effect this has had on mackerel, for example. All this must be relevant to the fortunes of salmon and sea trout, too.

    BBC iPlayer - The Last Seabird Summer? - 1. Living with the Birds
    Last edited by charlieH; 19-07-2017 at 11:31 AM.

  9. #29
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    Thanks charlieH. Interesting. A bit alarmist and simplistic but perhaps to be expected given the level it's aimed at.

    Of course the RSPB is a bit like the SCS when it comes down to hard science and fact. The RSPB guy looking at the Orkney cliff seemed just the sort to jump on the "All At Sea (Salmon Endangered)" bandwagon.

    I avidly watched the bloke scaring the birds off the nests on his own island with great interest, particularly as it was recently revealed that the (mackerel and sandeel eating) Yorkshire Gannet population is at record levels:

    Gannet bonanza on Yorkshire cliffs - BBC News

    Time for the reality check though: post #4 above:

    "He [see OP]uses the examples of a trophic collapse in seabird numbers and divorces kittiwakes and puffins (dramatically declining according to some estimates) from gannets (increasing in some). If true there may be many different issues responsible. But is there actually a collapse in their numbers?

    For the UK, these are the actual estimates:

    Puffin up 37% since the late 1960s
    Atlantic Puffin Status and Trends

    Kittiwake down 7% since the late 1960s
    Black-legged Kittiwake Status and Trends

    Gannet up 150% since the late 1960s
    Northern Gannet Status and Trends

    Maybe the different bits of the far off ocean are having different differential effects on seabird numbers?"



    Now when I think of sandeel eaters, I think of puffins, not Kittiwakes. Since puffins are doing well round UK, well, ergo...

    However, a kittiwake is a very specialised gull that only eats food off the surface - it does not dive. Suicidal sandeels and dead ones floating may figure in their diet but I'd love to see a proper prey analysis before tying their apparent (based on one extreme cliff) decline, when the numbers don't really add up.

    I'm going to flip out two possible alternative explanations here:

    1. Kittiwakes on the Orkney cliff face have declined because the number of trawlers chucking off-cuts overboard has declined rapidly and hence the offcuts (which was an unsustainable source of food resulting in an overabundance of kittiwakes in the 90s) are no longer there, just like the UK fishing industry. Hey presto, nowadays it's a realistic sustainable population not artificially inflated as it used to be.


    2. Because they are non-diving surface feeders they are much more susceptible to picking up floating pieces of plastic from the sea. These, and their adsorbed toxins, are known to kill seabirds. Since we know this has increased exponentially over recent decades and kills seabirds, perhaps that is a more reasonable explanation. It also neatly explains why kittiwakes are affected much more disproportionately than the diving fish eaters. This is the number one trophic collapse cheque-in-the post, IMHO.

    As ever lots of possibilities to entertain for the open minded.

    A luta continua


    "...hooking mortality is higher than you'd expect: further evidence that as a numbers game, catch-and-release fishing isn't always as straightforward as it seems"
    John Gierach


    Fed up of debating C&R - see Hidden Content

    Unless otherwise stated, data used in any graph/figure/table are Crown copyright, used with the permission of MSS and/or EA and/or ICES. MSS / EA / ICES are not responsible for interpretation of these data by third parties

  10. #30
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    I am glad/lucky that I am not brainy.
    My eyes tell me that there are a lot of problems in the river and the estuary. We may not be able to do anything about the sea but we can about the rest. There has been an explosion of Mackerel the last few years going by the reports of Russian factory ships off the coast. Cod is back on the menu
    If other fish are doing well why not salmon. River/estuary ???
    Bob.

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