They Breed Them Tough Down South

Westcountry

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While doing a bit of a redd count on the Barle (Exe system) in Somerset with a mate last week we came across this rather unfortunate salmon lying on the bank. Obviously the result of a run in with an otter. Nothing very unusual about that but when I picked the head up the gills gave a little flap! Closer examination, after dropping it in shock, revealed the heart (which was still with the head) was slowly beating!
I guess it couldn't have been pulled out many minutes before but it is still staggering how it has held on to life after having it's body bitten off.

If only there had been a good vet handy we could have got it stictched back together and back on the redds!


Andy
 

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Heero

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Umm, I dont think that was an otter...

You know seeking was just down south, right?
 

Dartmoor Fisherman

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Looks like somebody has had a decent meal there! I was out on the plym system a couple of weeks ago and came across this rather unfortunate looking customer lying on a rock in a favourite pool. Shame too as it was a decent fresh looking fish.

Planning to go out on the upper walkham (part of tavy system) this afternoon to check for any signs of spawning after what has been a good run. Need a drop in temps though to really get them excited.

DFimage.jpg
 

Loxie

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While doing a bit of a redd count on the Barle (Exe system) in Somerset with a mate last week we came across this rather unfortunate salmon lying on the bank. Obviously the result of a run in with an otter. Nothing very unusual about that but when I picked the head up the gills gave a little flap! Closer examination, after dropping it in shock, revealed the heart (which was still with the head) was slowly beating!
I guess it couldn't have been pulled out many minutes before but it is still staggering how it has held on to life after having it's body bitten off.

If only there had been a good vet handy we could have got it stictched back together and back on the redds!


Andy
Rumour has it the red count has been extremely good this year. I'm slightly less depressed about the juvenile survey results now.
 

Westcountry

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Rumour has it the red count has been extremely good this year.
I think that rumour might be just a little bit out!
I've been walking this bit of river every winter for twenty years and indifferent but not disastrous is how I would describe it on the Barle this year. We saw thirty fish and thirty redds between Simonsbath and Pinkery (about four miles) which is hardly in the extremely good category.
I've seen it much worse but also much better with several hundred in a very good year. One of the guys I was walking it with last week knew all the theory and every stone that had been turned over by the constant spates up there was a redd in his book... but he was plain wrong!

Another walk over of the Little Exe from Windford to Exford today was pretty lean with only about ten fish and redds seen (although the water was a little too high to get a proper view on much of the stretch).
Some fish still on the go today on the Barle at Withypool, Landacre and also up the Sherdon Water.

So there are more about than were expected but not great numbers. The fish are showing very little disease or fungus, much less than usual I would say.


Andy
 

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Looks like somebody has had a decent meal there! I was out on the plym system a couple of weeks ago and came across this rather unfortunate looking customer lying on a rock in a favourite pool. Shame too as it was a decent fresh looking fish.

Planning to go out on the upper walkham (part of tavy system) this afternoon to check for any signs of spawning after what has been a good run. Need a drop in temps though to really get them excited.

DF
Pity about the Plym fish, it was still in season too.
Did you see much on the Walkham? How far up is it worth looking on it, do they get right up onto the open moor?


Andy
 

Dartmoor Fisherman

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Pity about the Plym fish, it was still in season too.
Did you see much on the Walkham? How far up is it worth looking on it, do they get right up onto the open moor?


Andy
Yep a real pity- like a few south coast rivers the plym has been sad this season. The early part up until around july was blighted with disease which seemed to wipe out a lot of the bigger sea trout until a big spate brought in clean shoals of school peal. The back end run usually expected in Nov-Dec hasn't materialised despite the available water. Fish are there but only in small numbers and disease seems to be around again as the water has cooled. I fished the other day and saw one dead fresh fish and one riddled with fungus.

The walkham was actually fairly quiet yesterday, in a favourite holding pool down from merrivale where the fish wait until their final spawning run I noticed several pairs of large sea trout but no salmon. The water was fairly high so redd spotting proved difficult. Salmon usually spawn in the half mile or so below merrivale quarry given sufficient water, and sea trout will go right on past to the mile or so above. In dry years they will spawn in the lower walkham.

On a side note, I popped over to lower cherrybrook bridge (tributary of the dart) as rumour had it that there were two massive redds below the bridge and low and behold there they were. The EA has put a sign up to try and warn the public, however they may have their job cut out as its just such a tourist area. One dog running across the river and all the hard work ruined ey!

DF
 

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I know the Cherrybrook bridge, fished there for trout a few times.
It always seems a shame some of the best spawning sites on these little streams are on fords or popular picnic sites by bridges. I'm not sure how much damage a dog (to say nothing of Dartmoor ponies and cattle) would do walking over the redds. After all one good spate and the redds are all flattened out so the eggs must be able to survive some movement. Even so I guess it is a good thing spawning time doesn't coincide with peak holiday river splashing about time.


Andy


PS I have no idea why the word Cherrybr00k has been turned into a link for a website!
 
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Dartmoor Fisherman

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As you say the eggs must be able to survive some movement, they're hardy old things. But if a canoeist launches down river or kids from Plymouth come up with their bikes then who knows what damage is done.

Anyway how was the exe this season? From what I've heard and read it seems there has been ups and downs across the West Country. Positives- tamar, taw, tavy systems. Negatives- camel, exe? , dart..So so- teign, torridge, Fowey?

Ben
 

billy fish

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Spawning sea trout on my local river,the Sid , plus one that didn't make it .
There is a weir about half mile from the mouth of the river that the fish can't get over . We net the weir in the autumn and put the fish above to continue their journey . So far this year we have put three salmon, fifteen sea trout and sixty five brown trout above the weir. The pictures are of a redd below the weir and at one time as I was watching the two sea trout at it there were at least a dozen more Browns and sea trout waiting for an opportunity.
I have some film but can't seem to post it on the forum. Any ideas ?
 

Westcountry

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Anyway how was the exe this season?
I don't really know, I live on South Uist now but I'm usually down south visiting family at this time of year so take the opportunity to walk the river.
I understand from a friend who fishes high up the system that the season for him didn't get going until August but it wasn't too bad in the end. I think he was still expecting to see less fish on the redds so was slightly encouraged. I think it would be fair to say numbers are low but not as low as was feared. The two seasons prior to this one were blank for him on the upper river and numbers spawning at the top end were dire.

Good to see some nice fish in the mighty Sid!


Andy
 

long Preston

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I know the Cherrybrook bridge, fished there for trout a few times.
It always seems a shame some of the best spawning sites on these little streams are on fords or popular picnic sites by bridges. I'm not sure how much damage a dog (to say nothing of Dartmoor ponies and cattle) would do walking over the redds. After all one good spate and the redds are all flattened out so the eggs must be able to survive some movement. Even so I guess it is a good thing spawning time doesn't coincide with peak holiday river splashing about time.


Andy


PS I have no idea why the word Cherrybr00k has been turned into a link for a website!
one they are eyed you can transport them in your pocket for an hour or so without much damage-a dog walking over the redd shouldnt do much. the main damage comes from washout due to extreme flows followed by silt
 
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