The counts are probably more accurate now with two counters than they were with one.I fished pretty much a couple of hours most days in sep/oct and longer when conditions were perfect, there were days when the river seemed empty and others when the odd fish were apparent.There was only a couple of days when the water was quite high when I would say there was a decent head of fish in the pools,and to back that up I had my best days hooking and landing 7 fish.However as soon as they moved I had a week where the pools were pretty barren.But what if the fish counts are flawed? Looking at the historical published data from the EA and taking it all at face value then as you say it does look catastrophic. Yet you only have to go back a few pages on this forum and there are plenty of smiling faces displaying some cracking fish. Personally, I've had better seasons in the past but also a lot worse when the published figures through Framwellgate were a lot higher.
My worry is that the EA will take these figures at face value and may impose restrictions as they have already done so elsewhere.
I don't believe that over 60 000 fish went through Durham 20 years ago but I also don't believe that only 437 fish went through in October.
The point im making when there are/was 6000 fish a month at peak times it equates to 200 fish moving daily as an average throughout the month.Going back decades this was always the case from august onwards and on the back of a dry fortnight, you could have literally a couple of thousand fish push up and drop in during and after a flood..My observations in the last few years are pretty much in line with the counts fishing many hours in peak conditions at peak run times to see nothing or at best very little.
Looking at the major upset that was caused by morons killing and parading utterly spent fish on here in october .the sooner we can stop this the better and if it means restrictions so be it.
When i fished in the 90s at chester le st catches were in the region of 600 fish per year now they are probably a third of this if lucky once again backing up run count as a ratio of the catch return