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Thread: Smolt tracking

  1. #1
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    Default Smolt tracking

    Here is some info on the ongoing smolt tracking work on the Moray Firth.
    Hopefully, this might convince some folks that fishery science is essential, if we are to fully understand and get some conclusive proof of what is happening to our fish.


    Atlantic Salmon Trust
    It may be nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice!

  2. #2

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    Good watch and it will be very interesting to see the final results. 50% loss in river before even hitting the sea is not surprising when you see the protection given to non native species like mergansers and sea birds like cormorants. Can we continue as a sport & business with these losses in river ? I would like to see almost every merganser and cormorant in the study area being shot then see the in river survival rate results after a few years. I am not silly and i know it will never happen but i think we will all know the answers. Just seems we are flogging a dead horse trying to get numbers up when we have no control to stop the young fish being predated on by FEB's. Also fling in the seal colonies at almost every river mouth and you wonder why there is reduced runs of fish. In river predation is easily sorted so why are we trying to look for the blame at sea and spend millions of pounds doing so ? What can be done to help the fish at sea once they make the dash out ? Almost nothing IMO as they are microscopic needles in a haystack. Monitoring of the feeding grounds yes.

    I think i could have increased the survival rates on these rivers with the same amount of money that the AST and boards have spent during the study period on this project. I would have just allocated the money to keepers and Ghillies to buy cartridges and put them to good use. Hey Presto in river losses down to 5-10 % within 1-2 years and millions more smolts sent to sea.
    Last edited by ArchieL; 27-11-2019 at 04:39 AM. Reason: Adding text.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Its very interesting.

    As to whether its useful depends on what is going to be done with it.

    After all, its been directed by the same scientists that are certain its all at sea. (what became of that exceedingly expensive study and film????)

    Now, if they were to do the same survey on the west coast to quantify the difference between areas with aquaculture and areas without. It might even be invaluable.

    Without doing that, I look at it as way to keep spending money and nothing else.

    Watch this space.
    Im looking forward to being proved wrong, when they do look at the west coast as well.

    Cheers

    Mows

  4. #4

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    You are right Mows and you have hit the nail on the head , Scientists survive and make a living by conducting research so it is not in their interest to just come out and say we are Fxxxed as the FEB's eat them all. What they will do is drip feed information which we lap up then they ask for more funding and more needs to be done etc etc etc. Action is what is required now and if they do find the wholy grail answer is all at sea (Which i don't believe) then could you imagine how long it would take for the countries governments to get round a table and sort it out. Jeez man countries cannot even get round a table and sort stuff out when there is hundreds of thousands of people dying in conflict areas so think about them trying to sort out a salmons plight.

  5. #5
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    All this project has done is illustrate survival rates as smolts move downstream. Not what might have killed the smolts. As there were no control groups of smolts, it is not possible to say if the tags killed the smolts or not.

  6. #6
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    I fully understand the scepticism regarding the scientists but like it or not, without scientific evidence to back up our claims, we only have opinions and speculation to argue our case with. If we are to have any chance of getting any form of licensed control of FEB’s we need the evidence. SNH are very aware of the backlash that would be stirred up by RSPB and other protectionist bodies, if they were to issue any meaningful licences without any scientific justification.
    It may be nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mows View Post
    Its very interesting.

    As to whether its useful depends on what is going to be done with it.

    After all, its been directed by the same scientists that are certain its all at sea. (what became of that exceedingly expensive study and film????)

    Now, if they were to do the same survey on the west coast to quantify the difference between areas with aquaculture and areas without. It might even be invaluable.

    Without doing that, I look at it as way to keep spending money and nothing else.

    Watch this space.
    Im looking forward to being proved wrong, when they do look at the west coast as well.

    Cheers

    Mows
    Loch Roag on the west coast of Lewis was sea lice soup in the summer of 2018 (remember Garynahine). Grimersta, a grilse fishery, has just had it`s best year in a while in 2019. I would have expected a poor grilse run this year if sea lice were a huge issue to salmon smolts.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roag Fisher View Post
    All this project has done is illustrate survival rates as smolts move downstream. Not what might have killed the smolts. As there were no control groups of smolts, it is not possible to say if the tags killed the smolts or not.
    Marine science are apparently conducting trials to measure possible tag shedding and mortality due to the implants.
    It may be nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice!

  9. #9

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    It's perhaps worth noting that the Tweed has broken ranks from the ‘Alliance’ by publically stating that the numbers of FeBs present on the river is not a plausible explanation for the numbers of surgically tagged smolts that have been ‘lost’.

  10. #10

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    The then head of the Tweed Foundation raised the question re what it is about surgical tagging that leads to high rates of loss of tagged smolts, at the Source to Sea conference back in the spring of 2017.

    The Dee was warned about the potential problems associated with surgical tagging as far back as 2016.

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