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  1. #51

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    Very interesting - thanks for taking the time to put that together.

  2. #52
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    Caherdaniel, County Kerry, Ireland
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorro View Post
    Walleye re. your #42 post.
    I agree with your plea to allow nature to take its course as a general concept, but emphatically not in certain circumstances some of which I'll outline below. The first point i would make is that already touched on by Colin M and Invermarnoch. The "in my lifetime" concept is important to me and has already been cited as having a bearing on future decisions as to remedial measures. I'm 60 this year and haven't really got another 20 years to wait while nature slowly mends 40yrs of criminal assaults on Scottish wild salmon. I need things to be underway much sooner than that, like instantaneous if not yesterday. I suspect after looking at a few profiles on here many reading are of similar age and possibly outlook. This means we have to find a way to positively intervene on natures behalf and if we can't there will be few if any of us still fishing when nature finally manages to recover. Going by the last 6yrs, waiting for CCR to do anything but make anglers think they're actually doing something to help is having no effect whatsoever
    in relation to our decimated and in some cases totally devastated rivers of the West Coast this means that right now there is too few fish left of native origin to kickstart anything. Those already destitute of salmon, like the Fyne for one example, are in the pediciment of having nothing but the occasional fish farm escapee to re-populate a previously and within my memory, productive wild fishery. Leaving nature to take its course on the Fyne means, if we're lucky, all future stock is descendant from mutant deformed gene pools of who knows what foreign muck. If we're unlucky it might be dead for ever. But science only seems to think this is a problem when they're talking down the genetic purity of hatchery reared native fish. If it happens in the wild it's to be accepted as "nature taking its course". To avoid this we desperately need to have a tried and tested method of restocking quickly from a known gene pool of native fish if necessary from the most similar systems nearby that still have native populations. Whatever we do we can't just sit back and lose all the diversity of native fish just because we can't be bothered to challenge fishery science, or because we continue to swallow whole much of their self promotion and protection of their own jobs claptrap.
    On a recent thread there is news that the ICO has found ScotGov guilty of suppressing evidence of aquaculture exceeding the legal lice burden in most fish farms in Scotland. Now these big foreign operations, and ScotGov itself, employ many scientists who have for years concealed from us, lied to us, assured us everything was fine and finally prevented us from undertaking any remedial work under the guise of "only fishery science (FS) can decide what works and what doesn't.". They collaborated openly to protect the pollutors and were complicite in the desrruction of the environment they were supposed to be protecting. And now we're supposed to believe they now suddenly have our interests at heart and we have to do what they say? And with the salmon situation reaching its nadir and probably already extinct in some places, FS having ridden the roller coaster down are now positioning themselves to ride it back up, and be the prime movers in directing the recovery for the next 30yrs. And you can bet everything will be geared to ensure maximum job security, minimal speed, maximum juvenile surveys before they even consider any action and minimal interferance in the process by fishery owners or anglers. In short, exactly the same tactics, probably by the same people, that were used while overseeing the decline. And this will only be strengthened if anglers are content to accept that nothing can be done to hurry nature and we're happy to accept the crumbs they throw us.
    Theres no doubt its tempting to wait for nature. It means no thinking is required, no experimentation, no challenging of authority, no risks of failure and no personal reputations are at stake. But nothing suits authority better than a weak and disorganised leadership opposing it and the anglers usual inability to rouse ourselves sufficiently to resist. It starts with us and our propensity for avoiding getting involved personally and letting others do it who we know to be less than proficient but willing to do it for us. Theres been quite a lot of that recently in the system I fish, or we wouldn't be where we are now.
    We have a choice to make. We need practical quick fixes based not of FS knowing every last detail, but on the balance of probabilities. Fine tuneing of a decent recovery program after it is already implimented and working is much to be preferred to delaying everything for years ticking every last unimportant detail and extracting every last ounce of salary, grant and promotion. As an example of the uselessness (IMO) of the current model they promote you only need to look at the U-tube clip of a feeding family of mergansers in one pool of the Endrick. Now what possible use would be the survey info gathered from juvenile surveys carried out before the mergies cleaned it out? A record showing the area was fully populared by numerous year classes becomes obsolete and useless overnight, but will still be used later, and in future years to decide management practices and as indicators of the health of the river. And this happens all day, every day, year in, year out. Only by interfereing with nature to redress the inequallity can balance be attained and rivers recover.
    If the scientists involved in the collapse want to be involved in the recovery they should all be employed on minimum wage and given a pair of Marigolds, a desert spoon, a wheelbarrow and a gas mask and start cleaning up the poisonous mess around and below every salmon concentration camp cage in every sea loch in Scotland. A staff canteen will be provided with a selection of farmed salmon delicacies for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
    Only when that's done and they've seen first hand the damage they caused should they move on to anything else. We need a new breed of fishery scientists working with anglers and not fish farmers.
    We desperately need something like the LLAIAs stocking program set up and ready to go in probably every West Coast river, and in quite a few others elsewhere that are already struggling. Or we can just sit back and let FS stick their snouts back into the feeding trough and forget about salmon fishing for the next 30 years.

    Z
    You hit the nail on the head there. Why would you consider stocking if there are salmon farms in your estuary especially in Scotland where you have more problems than even Norway. Put the farms out of your bays and estuaries and into closed containment systems and you might have some chance. Hope that leaving the EU will not hinder efforts to control farms. In Ireland we have been able up to now to frustrate the farms and Government through EU legislation with the result that we have only an annual production of 16k tonnes but there seems to be a strong willingness to expand back up to 1990's level of 40k.

  3. #53
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    Scotland
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    Quote Originally Posted by KerrySalmon View Post
    You hit the nail on the head there. Why would you consider stocking if there are salmon farms in your estuary especially in Scotland where you have more problems than even Norway. Put the farms out of your bays and estuaries and into closed containment systems and you might have some chance. Hope that leaving the EU will not hinder efforts to control farms. In Ireland we have been able up to now to frustrate the farms and Government through EU legislation with the result that we have only an annual production of 16k tonnes but there seems to be a strong willingness to expand back up to 1990's level of 40k.
    Your right Kerry Salmon - Zorro does hit the nail on the head in many ways and from many angles.
    Our saving grace on Lomond is that our smolts don't have to run the same gauntlet as some others by having to swim past concentrations of fish farms in a fairly closed environment. There are fish farms that affect us but they are some distance away. It is pretty well agreed that some Lomond sea trout don't go very far and feed locally in the Clyde Estuary. Others are further ranging and will come across salmon farms.
    We do suffer from invasions by escapees on a fairly regular basis though.
    That's not to say that fish farms have no effect on our fish - salmon on their longer migration undoubtedly have to pass them further down the Estuary and on their way up the west coast but a proportion seem to avoid them giving us something to work with. It's not all doom and gloom and the more smolts we put to sea the better the chances of some of them surviving to return - they obviously don't all perish.
    I totally agree that closed containment is the only real answer - hopefully it happens before I hang up my rods - but I'd rather not just wait and see before looking at all possible solutions.

  4. #54
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    West Lothian
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    Hi Colin and Peter, I agree with a lot you are saying Scottish government, SNH, Marine Scotland, SEPA, UK Government and the EU courts have all failed to protect our salmon and sea trout stocks from fish farms and fishery management. Our system is not alone, look at the Tweeds autumn catch this year, something is happening. We are trying to manage a resource with our hands tied behind our back. I shot 9 Goosanders on the Endrick last year under Licence from the SNH, it made very little impact however it was the first licence ever to be applied for. That leaves 191 left on loch Lomond in one of the many rafts! For now our main task should be to ensure enough fish are left to repopulate our rivers. IMO fish numbers will continue to fall, we all have to act together to influence our politicians and change their perceptions to fishery management. Not only fish farms but trawler's operating within 3 miles of the coast. However hatcheries of old where ripe fish are hauled off their Redd's and used as brood stock should only be done in extreme circumstances. The Ness / Gary system are capturing smolts and using them to breed from after conditioning them. Unfortunately this is not cheap and our old hatchery is probably unsuitable for this type of set up. I don't know where the money would come from to fund any new hatchery scheme but we all have to play our part to save our rivers.

  5. #55

    Default Experience counts.

    KmacC re. Your #54 post.
    I'm glad you agree with the assessment of MSS's, SNH's, ScotGov's and EU's disgraceful performance in relation to protecting Scottish wild salmon populations. However, after that our paths diverge and i feel the need to correct some glaring inaccuracies in statements you make later to justify your anti-intervention by hatchery stance.
    Firstly, the licience issued under which you "sanctioned" 9 goosanders last year wasn't the first ever granted. For 10 years before that, application was made annually to SNH and licience was issued for 1 (one) merganser/annum to be culled, bagged and delivered to SNH for confirmation (for some unspecified obscure reason). Perhaps they were tying flies or sending them to Hestor Blumenthal? I understand that the effort involved in getting the licience involving counts throughout the system, endless paperwork, frustration and expense was deemed not worth it for the obviously grudging concession of one bird which would make no appreciable difference anyway.
    Now to your deliberately evocotive and incorrect statement of gravid fish being "hauled" off redds to populate hatcheries. Have you ever been anywhere near a brood stock catch up operation and can speak from experience, or are you only fantasising about what you think happens to avoid going in over your wellies?
    The best place to gather brood stock is the deeper holding pools and pots where fish gather awaiting their final push to the redds. Those are not the shallow areas selected by redding fish which incidentally are the easiest to find, mark and avoid. It is practically impossible to capture salmon on the spawning shallows anyway as they see you coming miles away and understandably make themselves scarce. Anyone serious about collecting brood stock actively targets deeper pools and pots, avoiding shallows and riffles. So there are never any fish "hauled" from redds in the middle of orgasm as you so vividly assert. I find that the people actually involved in brood stock collection are even more keen to avoid trampling redds or disturbing mating fish than your average keyboard warrior, and from long experience also know exactly the best way to go about it.
    Brood fish selected as hatchery stock (no kelts and no bright silver fish are taken) are then removed to holding tanks where they are kept until ready for stripping. I have a access to records over many*years*which show hat the average wait in the tanks before they were ripe for stripping was 3-4 weeks, a few occasions as much as 6 weeks (seatrout slightly different). Hardly gravid fish in the process of spawning I would contend. Unless you have evidence to the contrary I suggest you're talking about something your not qualified to have such a strong opinion about and are only causing deliberate confusion to others.
    As tow the actual method used in relation to hatcheries there is copious description elsewhere of how any future stocking program could be run without small hatcheries all over the country serving individual small rivers. In the interests of brevity a nd because I feel you might benefit from doing the research yourself rather than be led by the nose again I will desist from further elaboration. Check out Balmaha-anglers Hot Topics section.
    As to where the money might come from my research indicates that a hatchery and smolt program was run by the LLAIA in various forms right up to 2011. In all these years income from members hardly varied but it was still possible to find the money to run a hatchery and smolt program while at the same time employing a full time secretary c. 25k p.a , sending 5k p.a to the LLFT, purchasing outright 7 fishing stretches totalling 250k, running daily business and still clearing a surplus every year since 1997.
    Are you really suggesting that now, when no fishing has been bought since 2011, there has been no paid secretary since 2011, zero is sent to the LLFT, there has been no hatchety or smolt program since 2011 and c.6.5k p.a is saved each year on rental of fishings now owned that the same or similar program couldn't be funded? If you're saying the moneys not there, where is it?

    Incidentally, who's Peter?

    Z

  6. #56
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    Mar 2008
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    Interesting how the festivities bring out rose tinted specks. The LLAIA hatchery was run on a shoe string, water supply was always a problem and only by the grace of god and good husbandry by the volunteers there wasn't a major loss. I did in fact participate in a brood stock catch up with M B up on a tributary a few years ago and I am fully aware where the fish were. I would call my statement a poetic licence, removing fish from pools still means removing breeding stock from a river. By doing so you risk loosing these fish to stress and disease. However looking at the facts natural spawning produce better quality smolts but you don't get as many as a smolt program. Our last batch of smolts were described as a "pile of *****" at a recent AGM by the ex committee. So what's the route forward? I would suggest C&R should be considered for our system, this won't be palatable for a lot of anglers. However if our fish numbers continue to diminish we must give them every assistance we can by not harvesting them! Do you think this is a good idea and would you consider a C&R to assist our struggling fish numbers?

  7. #57
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    Oct 2013
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    Glasgow
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    Quote Originally Posted by K MacC View Post
    Interesting how the festivities bring out rose tinted specks. The LLAIA hatchery was run on a shoe string, water supply was always a problem and only by the grace of god and good husbandry by the volunteers there wasn't a major loss. I did in fact participate in a brood stock catch up with M B up on a tributary a few years ago and I am fully aware where the fish were. I would call my statement a poetic licence, removing fish from pools still means removing breeding stock from a river. By doing so you risk loosing these fish to stress and disease. However looking at the facts natural spawning produce better quality smolts but you don't get as many as a smolt program. Our last batch of smolts were described as a "pile of *****" at a recent AGM by the ex committee. So what's the route forward? I would suggest C&R should be considered for our system, this won't be palatable for a lot of anglers. However if our fish numbers continue to diminish we must give them every assistance we can by not harvesting them! Do you think this is a good idea and would you consider a C&R to assist our struggling fish numbers?
    It would be great if this thread could stay politics free its been a good read.
    No C&R would only punish the honest anglers i heard of many fish being chapped 2 years ago when our system was cat3, its the same deal with circle hooks iv yet to see another angler using them on the river i feel like a prat for actually using those trash hooks while everyone uses normal ones but i wouldn't chance it cause i know id be the one that gets pulled up.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosslinden0 View Post
    It would be great if this thread could stay politics free its been a good read.
    No C&R would only punish the honest anglers i heard of many fish being chapped 2 years ago when our system was cat3, its the same deal with circle hooks iv yet to see another angler using them on the river i feel like a prat for actually using those trash hooks while everyone uses normal ones but i wouldn't chance it cause i know id be the one that gets pulled up.
    Thanks for you intervention Rosslinden - I really don't want this to become politicised - The whole reason for posting the thread initially was to stimulate discussion on a subject that seems to me to have been a pretty one sided debate and is in danger of becoming completely sidelined - I really don't think we should discount any of the management tools available to us as fishery managers.

    KMAC if you have nothing constructive to contribute please don't try to sabotage what has been a very good discussion conducted openly and honestly by all who have contributed so far.

    If you are really interested in the subject then I would happily enlighten you privately of how things were done during the "programme" under discussion but what I will say here is that the people involved in it have every respect for our fish and our waters. You are absolutely right about the hatchery being run on a shoestring but that gave those involved great pride, meaning that we could do something that other fisheries were spending lots of money on and most fisheries couldn't even consider.
    I am well capable of defending what was done politically but really don't want to politicise what has been an excellent thread. Feel free to offer alternative solutions but stick to the subject.

    At the end of your post you suggest C&R as a solution - My take on that is pretty well known. I put pretty much everything I catch on Lomond back but really don't like being told that a fish that I don't think will survive should be returned even if it's dead. I also believe that, based on redd counts, the problem hasn't been up until now the production of eggs - it's converting those eggs to smolts and ultimately returning adults - I really don't think C&R will put any more smolts to sea - entirely due to the carrying capacity of our very limited habitat - but hey I've said that already here. That scenario may change in the future and if it does I would like us to already have the knowledge to deal with it and help mother nature along rather than have to start from scratch.This thread has helped enlighten me and for that I thank all contributors to date. There are low cost options out there if fishery managers are prepared to really think about it and act on their findings.

    Lets keep on topic please.

    Cheers

    Colin

  9. #59

    Default Its all in the forensics.

    KmacC re. Your #56 post.

    I don't let the changing seasons affect my opinions, so festivities or not I still try to be rational and objective. I also don't own rose tints, but have two pairs of well polished forensic lenses which I try to use whenever possible. You should try some. Your opinion of the LLAIA hatchery nothing but heresay. You've never been near it in operation, don't have a clue how it functioned and are only regurgitating statements you heard elsewhere. It was never ideal but was functional with the resources available. It was replaced at the earliest opportunity by a different method of producing fish for stocking. Today, there is no real need for it to be resurrected as there are more efficient and risk reduced methods of achieving the same results.
    You claim to have participated in one brood stock catch up. I've participated in countless, and watched even more. It took me years to rationalise the best, most efficient and productive method. You seemingly got it in one. It just confirms that I'm a slow learner.
    Poetic licience is something you might use if writing a novel or a childrens book. It has no place in debates of importance or of a scientific nature. You can't make sweeping incorrect statements that misdirect others and then when challenged say that's not what you really meant. Removing breeding stock to a hatchery is completely different from "Hauling fish off redds." Everyone will have their own opinion of what you intended when you made the statement, regardless of what you now say.
    As you say there is always risk involved in removing fish. You cite increased stress and disease. But that happens in the wild also, together with risk from otter, mink, poaching for putty and natural disaster, to name but a few. At least in the holding tanks disease can be treated. And they're not going to become otter fodder or putty. In many cases diseased fish were nursed in the hatchery to the stripping stage and produced ova that would have beeen lost in the wild.
    Hatchery smolts can be produced at many times the rate of natural smolts. Indisputable, but the trick is selecting the point at which the optimum between loss of performance is cancelled out by numbers. Personally that is what I think was done above the falls with fry and pre smolt stocking that produced such astonishing results below in redd counts.
    The alleged un-named ex committee members statement at an unspecified recent AGM is not really credible evidence of anything other than the weakness of your arguement. There hasn't been any hatchery, or smolt stocking since 2011. Any recent opinion (i.e within the last 6 years which i would class as recent)could only have been referring to natural smolts. Even if you could give the name and date of the statement I'm happy to disagree unless actual evidence, like maybe photos or something similar was presented.
    Now to your favourite, CCR imposition. CCR if imposed again on this system in any two consequtive years will result in the LLAIA going belly up. Noone wants it, there's no evidence it succeeds, it can't be policed unless anglers do it themselves and it won't be supported by anglers buying tickets to put every fish back when they know it'll make no difference. As an example, what do you think are the chances of a Loch Lomond caught springer CCRd in mid April actually making it to spawning in mid November?. Shortly after having to deal with the the physical transition from salt to fresh and possibly still carrying an overburden of lice, it's hooked, played and netted into the boat. Still in the net it continues to wrassle about, loosing many scales and much protective body slime and the hooks are removed. Its photo'd and returned as carefully as the conditions allow. It then has to recover, lie in the loch or a small spate stream throughout the warm water, full summer conditions, avoiding predation, getting caught and released again, certain disease and fungus growth where its lost scales and mucus and still has to get to the upper river and spawn. How many spring CCRd fish do you think survive anywher near to spawn? 10/10? 7/10? 5/10? 3/10? 1/10?. Have you any actual evidence on the Lomond system that any CCRd spring fish has ever spawned later?
    I agree a July running single fly caught grilse caught in the endrick, not netted and released in the water might just with luck make it to the redds, and a September caught kipper with skin like leather and 4 weeks to wait should get there, barring other disaster. But a springer surviving 8 months in the fresh after release? IMO virtually no chance.

    And you want this to be adopted as the LLAIAs only improvement strategy for increasing stock and at the same time keeping members. Give me a break!

    Z



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  10. #60

    Default Hammering in a few more nails.

    KerrySalmon re. Your #52 post.

    I think I hit a few nails bang on, half hit others and completely missed some. The solution is not going to be derived from one individual source or by remedying one fault. Colin M I think expertly covers the situation regarding salmon cages and lice burdens in the Lomond catchment and further afield on migration routes. That's why we still have the chance to increase the numbers of returners by increasing the number of smolts we can produce in-river and send to sea. IMO our biggest issue at present, and it might be changed if the farms come closer, is in-river and loch avian predation. In a brief study of tagged migrating smolts released in the upper Endrick recently, I think from memory numbering 10, 6 were lost contact with in the lower Endrick and didn't even make it to the loch. A further 2 disappeared between the loch and the Leven mouth and the remaining 2 were detected entering the Leven confluence but did not seem to make it past the Clyde estuary. A very small sample i agree but 80% wipe out before any tasted the salt is in my view significant and in all probability is not untypical and points to the problem.
    Produce more smolts, protect them better till they reach the salt and weve done much of what we can as a small angling club until the sea problems can be addressed.
    Waiting for EU assistance is a non starter. The Wild Fishery Review (WFR) was instigated by ScotGov in answer to an EU edict to comply with salmon conservation measures. ScotGov intrrpretated that as excluding aquaculture issues and decided anglers were to blame for taking too many fish. We got CCR. Marine Harvest et al got permision to exceed lice burdens and double production. The sooner we're rid of both of them the better.

    Z

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