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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Edinburgh
    Posts
    248

    Default A record year in sight for Iceland

    Whatever the reasons (not many humans, pristine rivers, C&R boosting catches, sea survival/feeding), Iceland is generally having a fantastic year. This is great news.

    Even so, in spite of records all round, one or two rivers are still struggling. The Hofsa, one of the most famous rivers, has had a second v poor season in a row. Natural fluctuations perhaps, but the UK has also seen big divergence in fish runs between rivers.

    See NASF press release below: -

    A record year in sight for Iceland

    After a slow start in the early part of the season Iceland’s salmon fishing has exceeded all expectations and produced some amazing sport this summer. In fact, many rivers have already surpassed their average catches and, provided the weather stays favourable, this year is set to become one of the top four seasons ever recorded in Iceland.

    The star-performing naturally-stocked river is the Miðfjarðará which has recorded 5.485 salmon, setting an all-time Icelandic record. By comparison its average catch during the period from 1974 to 2013 was 1,488. Notable improvements have assisted salmon migration including a fish ladder, built in the 1990s, which opened up new stretches of gravel for spawning.

    Close behind it is the Blanda which has also had an record season with 4.665 fish landed. Its average catch from 1974 to 2013 stands at 1,160. Effective management and the installation of a small dam in the headwaters which significantly improved the clarity of the glacial water, have contributed to this phenomenal increase in numbers.

    Top of the catches table is the West Ranga, south of Reyjavík, which does not rely on indigenous stocks and operates a very successful smolt-release programme.

    It is very encouraging to note that most of the major Icelandic rivers are showing an increase of over 30% against their ten year average, with marked improvements for the Svalbarðsá, Hrutafjarðará, Ormarsá, Sandá and Jökla.

    Fishing in the likes of Laxá í Aðaldal (‘Big Laxa’) has seen a more modest upturn in catches but with a higher proportion of big salmon. It is heartening to note that nearly all these trophy fish – weighing in the region of 20 pounds – were returned.

    Research into scale readings shows that last year’s smolts had a very good growth rate during their first weeks at sea, which points towards this year’s good catches. This is opposite to the readings taken from the 2013 cohort, which showed they had a very slow growth during their first weeks at sea.

    The record catch for a season in Iceland was in 2008, when the East and West Ranga rivers combined produced 21,328 salmon from their respective restocking programmes.

    The eight best salmon seasons for the country as a whole range between 52,697 in 1978 and 84,124 in 2008. The most recent of these were in 2013 (56,492 salmon), 2011 (55,706 salmon) and 2010 (74,961 salmon).

    Because so many Icelandic rivers have implemented catch-and-release policies for all or part of their season during the past two decades attention should be drawn to the figure for 1978. At that time most fish landed were killed, so when comparing 1978’s figure to the recent totals we should take into account they include a recapture rate of around 25%. It should be noted that 2014 was one of the poorest of all time, and 2012 was also a very lean year.

    Over the last few decades the North Atlantic’s salmon stocks have been in steady decline, especially in Scotland, Norway and Canada. Norway has closed 110 rivers where the natural stocks have crashed below safe biological levels, mainly because of the negative impacts of coastal fish farms (sea lice, escapees, disease, etc). These effects have been assessed by The National Science Council of Norway.

    The continued improvement of Iceland’s salmon catches (with the exception of last year’s global collapse) shows that NASF’s philosophy on salmon management works, and works well. The nation has enjoyed record seasons since 2005 which just demonstrates what can happen when there has been no netting of salmon for 20 years, catch-and-release is widespread and there is very little aquaculture. As a result Iceland remains one of the world’s premier game fishing destinations offering some of the most reliable and productive salmon angling.

    NASF, The North Atlantic Salmon Fund, NASF, is an international coalition of voluntary private sector conservation groups who have come together to restore stocks of wild Atlantic salmon to their historic abundance.

  2. #2

    Default

    Hold on a minute weren't all these Salmon things going extinct last year?

    I'd like to fish there one day.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    the river
    Posts
    1,024

    Default

    Where did you read or hear that GK?

    Great to read Iceland did well.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Grassy_Knollington View Post
    Hold on a minute weren't all these Salmon things going extinct last year?

    I'd like to fish there one day.
    Makes the old all dying at sea thing look a little previous. Pristine freshwater habitat, whether in Russia, Iceland or the remoter bits of Scotland coupled with salmon farm free coastal waters seems to equal plenty salmos. Hydro and open cage salmon farming equals very few. Who would have have thought?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    BURGH WATERS DUMFRIES
    Posts
    1,774

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Loxie View Post
    Makes the old all dying at sea thing look a little previous. Pristine freshwater habitat, whether in Russia, Iceland or the remoter bits of Scotland coupled with salmon farm free coastal waters seems to equal plenty salmos. Hydro and open cage salmon farming equals very few. Who would have have thought?
    Queen nic

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    mid Wales, just over the Shropshire border
    Posts
    2,113

    Default

    Four of my mates have just come back from the Midfjardara where they had to contend with gales force winds that they could hardly stand up in, really poor conditions. They were rod sharing to reduce costs, but still managed 30 fish in their three days, best three being 16,17 & 18lb.....I'm going next year ( funds don't allow this year, £2,500 or so for the trip and flights), some of these guys have been with me to Scotland for 15 years and the best week we've ever had was 14 for six rods. They went as some of them haven't had a Scottish fish for two years. Even though the Scotland trips are much cheaper ( around £600-£650) with a fishless trip to the Tweed last autumn, Iceland starts to look like good value.

    I'm hoping we do well on the Tweed or Esks next spring otherwise I can see some of them just having a week on the Dovey in July and 3 days in Iceland in September.

    Another mate who had his wife buy him a trip to the Midfjardara for his 40th (where did I go wrong?) In August had 30 to his own rod....
    Last edited by Andy R; 12-09-2015 at 08:24 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Edinburgh
    Posts
    248

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy R View Post
    Four of my mates have just come back from the Midfjardara where they had to contend with gales force winds that they could hardly stand up in, really poor conditions. They were rod sharing to reduce costs, but still managed 30 fish in their three days, best three being 16,17 & 18lb.....I'm going next year ( funds don't allow this year, £2,500 or so for the trip and flights), some of these guys have been with me to Scotland for 15 years and the best week we've ever had was 14 for six rods. They went as some of them haven't had a Scottish fish for two years. Even though the Scotland trips are much cheaper ( around £600-£650) with a fishless trip to the Tweed last autumn, Iceland starts to look like good value.

    I'm hoping we do well on the Tweed or Esks next spring otherwise I can see some of them just having a week on the Dovey in July and 3 days in Iceland in September.

    Another mate who had his wife buy him a trip to the Midfjardara for his 40th (where did I go wrong?) In August had 30 to his own rod....
    Andy, you won't regret it. Midfjardara is a great system, with lots of variety. It was absolutely packed with fish this year. Every run and hole seemed to hold fish. The whole Iceland experience is great and it is so easy to get to - the only downside is that everything is expensive.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Poland
    Posts
    310

    Default

    That's over £300 per fish

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Warrington area
    Posts
    1,107

    Default

    And what value do you attach to the mini adventure, the change of scenery, the people and the craic of being in to fish with your mates fishing new pools ? You can't take your money with you can you

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    That's over £300 per fish
    have a look at the prices on the Tweed-the iceland adventure is a snip in comparison

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