Are the fish getting bigger?

Loxie

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Well spotted and no I had not noted the missing fin. I think I understand why the hatchery idea is always ignored. If you have a hatchery then some people may think they can do anything you want to the river as the hatchery will always fix the problem. I think there is room for both ideas, especially for rivers that are below their numbers to allow them to restock themselves! Even if you only stock the bits of the catchment the wild fish can not reach. But we need to look after the wild ones and the environment they live in. Stop farmers dumping slurry in the rivers pretending they are putting it on the fields. Funny how they spread just before heavy rain. Unlucky I guess, as how can they tell the rain is coming.
On that particular river there some very unusual circumstances that make it well suited for a hatchery.

One swallow doesn't make a summer and looking for a one size fits all solution is doomed to failure with salmon.
 

Craigk670

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Saw a picture of a grilse caught end of last week and pretty fresh also you’d be lucky it was 2lb
 

Loxie

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Saw a picture of a grilse caught end of last week and pretty fresh also you’d be lucky it was 2lb
Over the years I've caught quite a few very small, often sub 2lb fresh grilse in September and October. I wondered if they had smolted that year.
 

keirstream

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Over the years I've caught quite a few very small, often sub 2lb fresh grilse in September and October. I wondered if they had smolted that year.
I came to that conclusion several years ago Andrew. The 1st micro grilse I caught was on the Finn around 2000. Since then in Scotland I have caught quite a few sub 2lb grilse, smallest 1.5lbs.
Nobody is going to tell me that they had swam further than St Andrews before heading back up river.:)
Back to the OP. The Teith is now a mere shadow of it's former self, this season is the worst by far in my memory. I have seen no sign of fresh fish this autumn and much fewer river fish than ever before.
Over the last few years, since our last decent back end in 2013, bigger fish have tended to turn up towards the end of September with sub 10 lbrs preceding them. All of them river fish.:(
 
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lax0341

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IMO the fish run later and in lower numbers but are bigger.
A good example for it are the Danish rivers.
They have a good catch Record and a very large average weight
this year.
 

Occasional salmon fisher

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The smallest grilse I have seen were on the Finn in Ireland in June - probably best part of 20 years ago. A lot were under 3 lbs and some possibly even less than 1.5 lbs.
 

Aidan Rocks

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Yes they call them sharpening stones after the stones used to sharpen the scythes. Smallest one I have seen was also on the Finn ca 10 years ago. Not sure it made a pound but 1.5/2 lb fish are fairly common in Donegal (hence they have a name for them). I have had 4 fish from the Forth over the last 17 years 2 lb or less so they do get them in Scotland. I also doubt they leave the estuary to feed and also wonder if they get to breed that year or just go back to sea again.
 

SOS

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Funny how things come about,today i caught the smallest Salmon i have ever caught at 2lb perfectly formed hen fish.
 

The flying Scotsman

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I’ve been wondering about the size of grilse lately. I’ve had 9 so far this season from 4 different rivers and none were over 4lb. Most around the 3lb mark a couple around 2 and one about 1 1/2 lb. why are they getting smaller?
 

Loxie

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I’ve been wondering about the size of grilse lately. I’ve had 9 so far this season from 4 different rivers and none were over 4lb. Most around the 3lb mark a couple around 2 and one about 1 1/2 lb. why are they getting smaller?
What I've found strange is that you expect early season grilse to be small and then get bigger as the season progresses. This year the grilse I caught in May and June were bigger than those I got in July and August.
 

keirstream

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What I've found strange is that you expect early season grilse to be small and then get bigger as the season progresses. This year the grilse I caught in May and June were bigger than those I got in July and August.
I found a much better class of grilse in the Far North compared to rivers further south and central Scotland this year. I hear of some good individual catches on the Clyde averaging 3-4lbs this season. Not so long ago a small grilse would be 6-7lbs.
 

Loxie

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I found a much better class of grilse in the Far North compared to rivers further south and central Scotland this year. I hear of some good individual catches on the Clyde averaging 3-4lbs this season. Not so long ago a small grilse would be 6-7lbs.
We had grilse in the 4.5 to 5.5lb range in May and June, but quite a few 2.5 to 3.5 in July in the Far North. We have usually had small grilse in the West Country. When I started fishing the West Coast grilse were 6-7lb. I think there is probably some regional variation. At least the last few years they have been in good nick, not like the thin poor fish of a few years ago.
 

mows

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Funny how things come about,today i caught the smallest Salmon i have ever caught at 2lb perfectly formed hen fish.
I had one on the Northie about 35 years ago that was under 2lbs.
A 5lb fish was considered very small in these days.
A lot of the grilse I've seen this year on the Northie and Southie have been in the just over 3lb class.
 

Rrrr

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I had one on the Northie about 35 years ago that was under 2lbs.
A 5lb fish was considered very small in these days.
A lot of the grilse I've seen this year on the Northie and Southie have been in the just over 3lb class.
I wonder if these small grilse have went off the coast with the seatrout and therfore end up smaller as the small ones seem to turn up at the same time as the early seatrout.

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