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Thread: Protection of Salmon

  1. #1
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    Default Protection of Salmon

    The legal protection of Spawning Salmon is covered by the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act (SAFFA)

    A succesdful prosecution of paddlers took place in the 80s. The people concerned were in the water (not their boats) despite having been warned of the presence of the redd's and remained in the water and were rude and abusive.

    Most paddlers will only be wading where they have come out of a boat and are in the process of recovery. This is very unlikely to be regarded as wilful disturbance.

    To reduce risks to redds
    Agreed water level signing could, in my view have 4 levels
    1 too low too paddle don't go at any time
    2 spawning low - risk to Redd's in spawning season don't paddle.
    3. Normal
    4. Spate
    I appreciate there will be considerable argument about specific levels and risks.

    Has anyone actually got evidence ofbthe impact of canoes passing over gravels at various water levels?
    Brevan,
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brevan View Post
    The legal protection of Spawning Salmon is covered by the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act (SAFFA)

    A succesdful prosecution of paddlers took place in the 80s. The people concerned were in the water (not their boats) despite having been warned of the presence of the redd's and remained in the water and were rude and abusive.

    Most paddlers will only be wading where they have come out of a boat and are in the process of recovery. This is very unlikely to be regarded as wilful disturbance.

    To reduce risks to redds
    Agreed water level signing could, in my view have 4 levels
    1 too low too paddle don't go at any time
    2 spawning low - risk to Redd's in spawning season don't paddle.
    3. Normal
    4. Spate
    I appreciate there will be considerable argument about specific levels and risks.

    Has anyone actually got evidence ofbthe impact of canoes passing over gravels at various water levels?
    I did a search last year Brevan, and found no instances of paddlers disturbing redds.
    That's not to say I didn't miss something, I don't think I did though.

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    How it can be illegal to disturb a fish when laying its eggs, but perfectly OK to catch it and kill it a few miles downriver when it's on its way up river to spawn. Surely any salmon on its way upriver is in one of the many critical stage of the breeding process, and should (if salmon protection is really the issue) therefore be protected from the moment it enters the river.
    Paul
    Just goin with the flow

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulsmith View Post
    How it can be illegal to disturb a fish when laying its eggs, but perfectly OK to catch it and kill it a few miles downriver when it's on its way up river to spawn. Surely any salmon on its way upriver is in one of the many critical stage of the breeding process, and should (if salmon protection is really the issue) therefore be protected from the moment it enters the river.
    Paul
    It just is Paul.

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    Its just one of those things. No different in my view from having a closed season for fishing but perfectly legal to catch them (and kill them) outside the close season.
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

  6. #6

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    Just to add a comment. Many clubs are now actively encouraging 'catch and release' in an attempt to increase numbers.

    Not all but most anglers will comply.

    Terry

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Izzetafox View Post
    Just to add a comment. Many clubs are now actively encouraging 'catch and release' in an attempt to increase numbers.

    Not all but most anglers will comply.

    Terry
    Quite a few river authorities/trusts have introduced compulsory catch and release, and the way it’s looking I expect there will be a few more.

  8. #8

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    I attended the SACC meeting at Builth Wells showground last Sunday, chaired by Rachel Evans, with Mark Lloyd, George Barron, Charles de Winton and Tony Reese. The paddler’s representative () was Mr Charters of BOPA and there was supposed to be a presentation by Mr. S. Marsh-Smith of WUF on the success of the access arrangement on the upper Wye, but for whatever reason he failed to turn up (possibly tipped off about other attendees). There was some discussion about registration and identification which ended with someone saying they must get back to the Welsh Government.
    Of more interest to me, there was some discussion about the disturbance of salmon at spawning time. One angler produced electro-fishing results from two stretches of the same tributary, one protected during the spawning season and the other “heavily paddled” over the winter months. The protected site produced what were described as “healthy” numbers of juvenile salmon while the other site had none. It was agreed that NRW must be pressed to do more.
    After the meeting I spoke to some anglers from several areas of Wales, north, south and west, and it seems there are others who intend to photograph and film paddlers, record registration numbers and pass it all on to the NRW with the hope of prompting some action from them, possibly leading to prosecutions under SaFFA for disturbance of spawning salmon. One group of anglers from south Wales (including a former EA/W bailiff) intend to patrol their rivers for the entire closed season, October – March.
    One thing that always puzzles me on the Wye is how people are prepared to break the law (SaFFA) and disturb spawning salmon by paddling over them during the winter months, but hardly anyone paddles during the summer, when (if your claim is correct) there is no law to be broken?

  9. #9
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    Thanks for that.
    The law is quite clear about disturbing spawning salmon and/or spawning beds (redds). However I have yet to see robust evidence to show that paddling disturbs fish or redds more than, say, grayling anglers. The lack of bailiffs suggests that action on the redds won't be happening anytime soon.

    If you have some evidence could you share it? It's something that a lot of paddlers would take on board, provided it is evidence of course. Before and after graphs are not evidence, and do not apply, unless of course you work for WUF .

    Paddling takes place more in the Winter because there is more water .

    Do you think the shortage of fish this year is because:
    Paddlers are disturbing redds?
    Grayling fisherman are disturbing redds?
    4X4's are disturbing redds?
    Floods are disturbing redds?
    Poachers are taking baggots (and disturbing redds)?
    FEB's are eating most of the parr before they can smolt?
    Some High-Seas netting is decimating smolts on the way out and salmon on the way back in?

    All are going on, to a greater or lesser extent (the netting we can only guess at, of course).
    Do you really believe that paddlers are causing a salmon decline, or are you posting here because paddlers are visible, and therefore an easy target?

    Of course, you may also be posting on a 4X4 forum, a grayling forum, a floodwatch forum, a poaching forum, and a save-our-birds forum .

    I think not, though.
    Last edited by davidh; 20th-September-2014 at 06:38 AM.

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    Electro fishing involved passing a current through the water and catching the fish affected to count them. The effectiveness will be affected by the environment. For results to be scientifically valid they need to be comparable and repeatable. Swap the rivers over and repeat. That still wouldn't remove the physical difference between the two sites, changes in water levels, consistency of how.it was carried out, and who carried out the survey.
    There are took many variables to show it is the paddling that made the difference.
    Brevan,
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brevan View Post
    Electro fishing involved passing a current through the water and catching the fish affected to count them. The effectiveness will be affected by the environment. For results to be scientifically valid they need to be comparable and repeatable. Swap the rivers over and repeat. That still wouldn't remove the physical difference between the two sites, changes in water levels, consistency of how.it was carried out, and who carried out the survey.
    There are took many variables to show it is the paddling that made the difference.
    Precisely.

  12. #12

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    If you have some evidence could you share it? It's something that a lot of paddlers would take on board, provided it is evidence of course. Before and aftergraphs are not evidence, and do not apply, unless of course you work for WUF .
    The angler with the E.F results made a point of saying they were not “peer reviewed”

    Paddling takes place more in the Winter because there is more water .
    Sorry, I don’t buy that at all, I’ve been watching carefully for a number of years. The favoured level for the Marteg – Rhayader stretch seems to be between 1’3” and 1’6” on the Rhayader gauge which is reached regularly most summers. (well below the 2’1” set by EA/W, CCW and WUF)

    Do you think the shortage of fish this year is because:
    Paddlers are disturbing redds?
    Grayling fisherman are disturbing redds?
    4X4's are disturbing redds?
    Floods are disturbing redds?
    Poachers are taking baggots (and disturbing redds)?
    FEB's are eating most of the parr before they can smolt?
    Some High-Seas netting is decimating smolts on the way out and salmon on the way back in?
    I’m sure all of the above have their effect. (“baggots” and “rawners” are fish that have failed to spawn for whatever reason, disturbance on the redds at spawning time maybe??? )

    http://www.letsflyfish.com/salmon_kelt.htm

    Do you really believe that paddlers are causing a salmon decline
    not causing it, but certainly helping to prevent their recovery.

    Of course, you may also be posting on a 4X4 forum, a grayling forum, a floodwatch forum, a poaching forum, and a save-our-birds forum .
    No, but I do contribute to a number of angling fora.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongangle View Post
    I attended the SACC meeting at Builth Wells showground last Sunday, chaired by Rachel Evans, with Mark Lloyd..........
    One thing that always puzzles me on the Wye is how people are prepared to break the law (SaFFA) and disturb spawning salmon by paddling over them during the winter months, but hardly anyone paddles during the summer, when (if your claim is correct) there is no law to be broken?
    Sorry to chop the quote up so much, but wasn't there a Mark Lloyd on The One Show saying paddlers should only be allowed on the river during the winter?
    The only thing you have to fear is Mergatroid the vengeful, man eating bear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongangle View Post
    The angler with the E.F results made a point of saying they were not “peer reviewed”



    Sorry, I don’t buy that at all, I’ve been watching carefully for a number of years. The favoured level for the Marteg – Rhayader stretch seems to be between 1’3” and 1’6” on the Rhayader gauge which is reached regularly most summers. (well below the 2’1” set by EA/W, CCW and WUF)



    I’m sure all of the above have their effect. (“baggots” and “rawners” are fish that have failed to spawn for whatever reason, disturbance on the redds at spawning time maybe??? )

    http://www.letsflyfish.com/salmon_kelt.htm



    not causing it, but certainly helping to prevent their recovery.



    No, but I do contribute to a number of angling fora.
    Proof?

    WUF put up an inress sign right by gravels up by Rhayader - their advice is probably not very valuable.

  15. #15

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    Proof?
    LOL. You sound like a WUF supporter when they speak of projects that are not theirs.

    WUF put up an inress sign right by gravels up by Rhayader - their advice is probably not very valuable.
    WUF put up signs at the bridges which were already used as unofficial access points long before they became involved. They did this in an attempt to restrict paddling to high water. Read their signs, they begin by saying;

    This is private land and by using this access/egress point you are agreeing to the full Terms and Conditions of the Access Agreement jointly negotiated on your behalf by CCW, EA/W and WUF
    The various conditions follow on the signs relevant to each stretch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongangle View Post
    WUF put up signs at the bridges which were already used as unofficial access points long before they became involved. They did this in an attempt to restrict paddling to high water. Read their signs, they begin by saying; The various conditions follow on the signs relevant to each stretch.
    I am sure you know that this "agreement" is a private arrangement between those who signed it, it can only be enforced on those who agreed to it or those who choose to launch from private land where it is a condition of use. If the "agreement is being presented as being binding on all river users then that is fraud (Fraud is a deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain).
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudman View Post
    I am sure you know that this "agreement" is a private arrangement between those who signed it, it can only be enforced on those who agreed to it or those who choose to launch from private land where it is a condition of use. If the "agreement is being presented as being binding on all river users then that is fraud (Fraud is a deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain).
    If the access is across private land and WUF have negotiated a deal with the owner, would that make them “custodians” of that piece of land and give them the right to impose conditions of use?
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sticking up for WUF in any way, all I want is the spawning areas left in peace November, December and January, I really don’t care about the other nine months.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongangle View Post
    If the access is across private land and WUF have negotiated a deal with the owner, would that make them “custodians” of that piece of land and give them the right to impose conditions of use?
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sticking up for WUF in any way, all I want is the spawning areas left in peace November, December and January, I really don’t care about the other nine months.
    So no proof then that paddling damages redds. Thought not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongangle View Post
    If the access is across private land and WUF have negotiated a deal with the owner, would that make them “custodians” of that piece of land and give them the right to impose conditions of use?
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sticking up for WUF in any way, all I want is the spawning areas left in peace November, December and January, I really don’t care about the other nine months.
    Yes it would, if you want to use private land the owner can set any terms he/she wants. This is part of the WUF master plan, to put in place convenient launch sites while slowly closing the tradition sites where they can. They will then in future be able to control the access to the river. That is why we should not use any designated sites on private land promoted by the WUF.
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
    Grp Cpt Sir Douglas Bader CBE,DSO,DFC,FRAeS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongangle View Post
    ..... all I want is the spawning areas left in peace November, December and January, I really don’t care about the other nine months.
    And there is the problem. Some want canoes excluded November, December and January to protect the spawning fish, others (Mark Lloyd) want us to paddle then but not at other times to preserve the fishing and yet other don't want canoes at all, at any time, ever! No-one comes up with sound evidence based arguments to support their proposals which leaves many canoeists with the distinct impression that any and every argument will be pressed into service to support entirely selfish motives.
    Keith

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    So no proof then that paddling damages redds. Thought not.
    Q. Why did WUF eventually (after much pressure from locals) change the canoe access point at Newbridge-on-Wye from the ford (the traditional point) to the upstream side of the bridge?

    A. Because canoes were disturbing spawning salmon.

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    I know nothing of the specific situation, but there seems to be a possible answer in the question "after much pressure from locals" (which I suspect means local anglers), unless there is scientific data on the effects of paddling your answer is simply an opinion.

    Most canoeists I know are very sensitive to environmental issues, most practice minimum impact camping (I'm happy to run courses on this for anglers, would be easier than bagging up their mess and carrying it out), and check the blog section for the number of photographs of wildlife, we genuinely love our environment. I for one would be horrified if I thought I had caused any serious environmental damage and would welcome, in conjunction with open access, a strict code of conduct and restriction of access based on environmental issues, (many of us are climbers who are used to access restrictions due to nesting birds) but those environmental issues need to be based on peer reviewed science, not on whatever anglers decide. We could have an NGB run webpage that listed all rivers, their prefered access points, with live water level data (should be easy to link it in from EA or SEPA), environmental issues for a specific area and a safe water level for protecting the environment where required (based as I say on scientific study), colour coded or with warnings when river levels fall below the scientifically accepted level, it could also include other things like rotating prefered access points where there are concerns about bank or path erosion and a comment section for noting short term hazards like fallen trees, for example.

    What I won't stand for is the mish mash of opinion based arguement that would prevent paddling during the fishing season and then much of the closed season to the point where some rivers were restricted to only paddling a couple of weeks at the end of October and the whole of February. I believe the politest description for that would be, draconian.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongangle View Post
    Q. Why did WUF eventually (after much pressure from locals) change the canoe access point at Newbridge-on-Wye from the ford (the traditional point) to the upstream side of the bridge?

    A. Because canoes were disturbing spawning salmon.
    The locals must have pretty good powers of persuasion to get WUF to listen to them.

    This discussion is stupid. Get some proof that paddlers damage redds. Deal with individual groups of paddlers instead of villifying all paddlers.
    I would also suggest working with paddlers, but from the tone of the posts i've read today I don't think you would.

  24. #24

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    The locals must have pretty good powers of persuasion to get WUF to listen to them.
    A couple of them have.

    but from the tone of the posts i've read today I don't think you would.
    The tone of my posts? Reality check! Yours have been far more argumentative and aggressive than mine. I remember not long ago when you were quick enough to vilify WUF for positioning the access point at Newbridge-on-Wye which “caused canoes to launch over and damage active redds”. I didn’t say at the time it was the traditional “unofficial” access point from before WUF even existed.
    You're right, discussion is stupid , I think I'll go for a beer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongangle View Post
    A couple of them have.



    The tone of my posts? Reality check! Yours have been far more argumentative and aggressive than mine. I remember not long ago when you were quick enough to vilify WUF for positioning the access point at Newbridge-on-Wye which “caused canoes to launch over and damage active redds”. I didn’t say at the time it was the traditional “unofficial” access point from before WUF even existed.
    You're right, discussion is stupid , I think I'll go for a beer.
    I looked for evidence that paddlers damaged redds over a year ago. I couldn't find any that wasn't hearsay. There was just no evidence, at all.
    So are you saying you would like to work with paddlers to look at how much damage paddlers actually do, and what can be done about it, or are you simply muck-stirring because you've found an obvious target to have a go at.

    Think about it - wading grayling anglers are much more likely to disturb redds - are you having a go at them too?

  26. #26

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    I looked for evidence that paddlers damaged redds over a year ago. I couldn't find any that wasn't hearsay. There was just no evidence, at all.
    I suggest you look again. Pick a weekend when the river is around 1’3” – 1’6” on the Rhayader gauge and just sit in any lay-by on the A470 between Builth and Rhayader at 9.30 - 10.30am. When you see some heading north, give it a few minutes as there might be more following, then head up to Marteg (seems to be their favourite) where you’ll probably find them.

    So are you saying you would like to work with paddlers
    No. I’ve given up trying to talk, no-one ever takes any notice. How many times have we seen posts on here the likes of “I wouldn’t know what a redd looked like if I trod on one”, from paddlers who then refuse to accept or believe any information given by the people who do know what a redd looks like and where you might find them. It needs a court case for disturbance of spawning fish to sort this out, and the sooner the better in my opinion.

    or are you simply muck-stirring
    I’m stirring nothing, not even water with a paddle. I just want the salmon left in peace to spawn.

    Think about it - wading grayling anglers are much more likely to disturb redds - are you having a go at them too?
    Of course I’m having a go at wading grayling anglers, there are plenty of places that can be fished from the bank without the need to wade. Look back over my posts, I’ve stated before I’d like the spawning areas closed to paddlers and wading anglers alike.

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    People do take notice if you give them a chance. Counting boats is not proof that paddlers damage redds btw.

    So are you saying you're on a grayling anglers forum telling them not to wade over likely redds in Winter?

    There are many paddlers, just like there are many anglers. Most are willing to behave responsibly. A few don't (both camps). Prosecute anyone disturbing redds, by all means - I'll help, if you have proper proof that thats what they are doing.

    There are many threats to Atlantic salmon. Canoes is likely to be one of the least. Poaching is a bigger threat - what are you doing about that?

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    Last year an entire film crew plus local fishery people were wading around in a river filming spawning salmon who just got on with it. I think it was for country file. How hard would it be to film with canoes passing down at the time and see what happens to the fish? If it stops them from mating and spawning then you have evidence to support greater enforcement of restrictions which responsible paddlers will support.
    Where there are gravels in rivers and a suitable flow you don't need to paddle, but just steer so no contact should be made with redd's. Active paddling tends to take place when water is either deep and slower, or turbulent which tends to be where the riverbed has rocks rather than gravels.
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  29. #29

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    That is a good question. How much are fish disturbed by canoes passing overhead? Yesterday I paddled along a canalized section of the River Barrow. Plenty of fish easily visible below me. They didn't seem in the least bit disturbed by my paddle passing near them or the canoe overhead. A couple of times, I moved the paddle toward them (not violently), just to see if they'd dart away No response. Not bothered in the least. I'd swear they looked up at me and said "!!What are you at!!?

    But, at the same time, even if the salmon keeping making their egg beds on the river bottom while being filmed by film crews or being trod all over by wading anglers or anyone else, after the eggs are laid is probably a more critical time to leave the beds undisturbed.

    That is probably something which needs to be done, so nobody, not wading anglers, paddlers, or any members of the general public are wading through and disturbing and destroying the egg beds before they have a chance to hatch out.

    The likelihood is that overfishing at sea, and chemicals in the water from fertilizers, from washing powders and every household chemical being flushed down the toilets and sinks of towns and cities on rivers is affecting the fertility of salmon, and destroying eggs before they ever get a chance to hatch is far more likely to be the cause of low fish numbers than anything that either paddlers or riverbank fishing anglers is doing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongangle View Post
    Quite a few river authorities/trusts have introduced compulsory catch and release, and the way it’s looking I expect there will be a few more.
    Whilst you are looking for evidence to show that canoes are damaging the redds, look for evidence that multiple catching of fish heading for the redds are not traumatised to such an extent that they fail to breed. I suggest that the later is far more damaging!!!!
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudman View Post
    Whilst you are looking for evidence to show that canoes are damaging the redds, look for evidence that multiple catching of fish heading for the redds are not traumatised to such an extent that they fail to breed. I suggest that the later is far more damaging!!!!
    I don't believe anyone can argue with this.

    But it's easier to point the finger at brightly-coloured boats and say - 'look at them, ruining the salmon-run'.

    On one fishing forum last year there were a few reports of vast numbers of salmon running the river to spawn in late Autumn. It was bo!!ocks. The reporters reported from ignorance and excitement (when you've seen salmon mating it is exciting), or they were lying, for reasons best known to themselves.
    I know of one fish which ended up being found half-eaten by an otter, a pile of eggs which we think came from a gutted fish snatched from a redd (poached), and I personally saw two fish moving up the Irfon to mate. The cock was well-gone. I heard of another two fish a little higher up actually mating, but by the time I'd gone up they'd moved on. And I'm on the river every day, so I know what's around.

    The Wye in particular is in deep trouble as far as salmon are concerned. And it is emphatically not paddlers who are to blame.

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    Careful David, Spying on mating fish, and getting excited ???
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
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    As there appears to be no peer reviewed science on this, we could try looking at areas where there is less conflict between anglers and paddlers to see what damage has been caused by allowing paddling at different times of the year.

    I live on the banks of the Tyne. The local agreement (not sure if it's still in place, think most NE paddlers stick with it as it's pretty reasonable compared to other areas of England and Wales), is from March to August, paddling in spate only, September and October, no paddling in any conditions, then from November the 1st it's paddling when ever and where ever you want, including the Tyne Tour, an event that sees thousands of paddlers throughout the system having a whale of a time, right at a time that you would ban paddling because it disturbs spawning fish and redds. This agreement has been in place since before I started paddling (29 years ago), and I've heard nothing about salmon populations crashing, in fact the angling website for the area claims "The Tyne is rightly regarded as the best Salmon River in England and Wales.". What is happening on the Tyne to protect the salmon from the claimed disturbance of winter paddling?

    Another river that I have a good knowledge of is the Tweed, open access, a paddling free for all, I've taken groups down during the summer and have paddled it personally throughout the winter months. Anglers and paddlers get on pretty well, most are friendly although there is a location where I've regularly had trouble, it's the same ghillie, abusive, threatening violence, claiming there are laws being broken by paddlers and generally being an idiot. But despite the abuse from the idiot and the fact that the whole river is regularly paddled throughout the year, Fishpal says of the Tweed, "It ranks among the very top salmon rivers in the world.".

    Do the salmon lay eggs differently on the Wye? With no scientific data on what effect paddling can have on redds, when we cast a wider net for data on paddling and salmon populations, there seems to be no effect. As I said in an earlier post, most paddlers are very sensitive to environmental issues, the classic film about why we paddle open canoes, by the same person who wrote the book and directed the film this website is named after, Waterwalker, is a cry for help in protecting an environment being damaged by the modern world. Give us data, give us science, give us areas, give us water levels, and you'll find paddlers will bend over backwards to protect the environment they wish to enjoy, but don't claim things that you can't back up with evidence and don't restrict access to just 6 weeks a year based on those evidenceless claims.
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    Quote Originally Posted by saarlak View Post
    As there appears to be no peer reviewed science on this, we could try looking at areas where there is less conflict between anglers and paddlers to see what damage has been caused by allowing paddling at different times of the year.

    I live on the banks of the Tyne. The local agreement (not sure if it's still in place, think most NE paddlers stick with it as it's pretty reasonable compared to other areas of England and Wales), is from March to August, paddling in spate only, September and October, no paddling in any conditions, then from November the 1st it's paddling when ever and where ever you want, including the Tyne Tour, an event that sees thousands of paddlers throughout the system having a whale of a time, right at a time that you would ban paddling because it disturbs spawning fish and redds. This agreement has been in place since before I started paddling (29 years ago), and I've heard nothing about salmon populations crashing, in fact the angling website for the area claims "The Tyne is rightly regarded as the best Salmon River in England and Wales.". What is happening on the Tyne to protect the salmon from the claimed disturbance of winter paddling?

    Another river that I have a good knowledge of is the Tweed, open access, a paddling free for all, I've taken groups down during the summer and have paddled it personally throughout the winter months. Anglers and paddlers get on pretty well, most are friendly although there is a location where I've regularly had trouble, it's the same ghillie, abusive, threatening violence, claiming there are laws being broken by paddlers and generally being an idiot. But despite the abuse from the idiot and the fact that the whole river is regularly paddled throughout the year, Fishpal says of the Tweed, "It ranks among the very top salmon rivers in the world.".

    Do the salmon lay eggs differently on the Wye? With no scientific data on what effect paddling can have on redds, when we cast a wider net for data on paddling and salmon populations, there seems to be no effect. As I said in an earlier post, most paddlers are very sensitive to environmental issues, the classic film about why we paddle open canoes, by the same person who wrote the book and directed the film this website is named after, Waterwalker, is a cry for help in protecting an environment being damaged by the modern world. Give us data, give us science, give us areas, give us water levels, and you'll find paddlers will bend over backwards to protect the environment they wish to enjoy, but don't claim things that you can't back up with evidence and don't restrict access to just 6 weeks a year based on those evidenceless claims.
    Good post, but unfortunately it won't be listened to because you are a paddler and therefore know nothing.

    The Wye has vested interests who will blame anything and everything for the demise of the salmon rather than their forte, which happens to be habitat work.
    Some of us admire their ingenuity at suggesting new reasons for the salmon run being poor, and bacause this year has been something of a disaster we are particularly looking forward to this years excuse.
    Mark Lloyd of AT is enamoured of these vested interests evidently, and of course AT is happy to villify paddlers as and when needed.
    I have no doubt that AT muck-stirring is responsible for a load of bad feeling between anglers and paddlers.

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    If the Salmon run is so bad why do they still continue to fish for Salmon why not stop it altogether how about that for an idea
    Never mind catch and release just leave them to breed any other indangered species would be given protection ...
    Last edited by pipster3; 21st-September-2014 at 12:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pipster3 View Post
    If the Salmon run is so bad why do they still continue to fish for Salmon why not stop it altogether how about that for an idea
    Never mind catch and release just leave them to breed any other endangered species would be given protection ...
    I have said the same on a number of occasions, the reason why this obvious solution is not used is I believe money. The fisheries employ staff who need to be paid so they defy sensible logic by just using the fish several times over with Catch & Release, a typical accountants solution. Wild animals recover their numbers very well if they are protected from predators and just left to get on with it. The system works for hunting, so why not fishing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudman View Post
    I have said the same on a number of occasions, the reason why this obvious solution is not used is I believe money. The fisheries employ staff who need to be paid so they defy sensible logic by just using the fish several times over with Catch & Release, a typical accountants solution. Wild animals recover their numbers very well if they are protected from predators and just left to get on with it. The system works for hunting, so why not fishing.
    The situation on the Wye is that Riparian owners sell their fishing, mostly through WUF. No salmon fishing means less revenue. The EA could have imposed catch and release years ago but didn't. They could have imposed a ban on salmon fishing last year when they imposed mandatory catch and release, they didn't.
    At that time the run was considered "at-risk".

    Another problem on the Wye is that the "keep in natural" camp are against stocking with young fish ready to run to sea (don't ask!).
    Back of this, we think, is that money currently allocated for stocking can be used for habitat "improvement". No, there is no science to show that habitat work is necessary on the Wye, but when did scinece count for anything - unless it's old, re-heated science used to prove a point .

  38. #38

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    Counting boats is not proof that paddlers damage redds btw.
    I said follow them and have a look not count them.

    So are you saying you're on a grayling anglers forum telling them not to wade over likely redds in Winter?


    Most are willing to behave responsibly.
    From personal observations, some are willing to behave responsibly.

    Poaching is a bigger threat - what are you doing about that?
    The same as I do every year if I see suspicious vehicles and characters at spawning time, I note their registration numbers, phone 0800807060 and pass them on. What do you do?

    But it's easier to point the finger at brightly-coloured boats and say - 'look at them, ruining the salmon-run'
    Get it right, I never said they were ruining the salmon run, try “look at them, preventing the salmon from spawning and recovering the natural population

    Another problem on the Wye is that the "keep in natural" camp are against stocking with young fish ready to run to sea (don't ask!).
    Isn’t that something to do with the lack of peer reviewed scientific evidence proving that stocking with artificially reared salmon does no harm to the native stock?

    Now I’m going away for a couple of weeks holiday, I’ll be back in time for spawning in November.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongangle View Post
    Get it right, I never said they were ruining the salmon run, try “look at them, preventing the salmon from spawning and recovering the natural population

    Isn’t that something to do with the lack of peer reviewed scientific evidence proving that stocking with artificially reared salmon does no harm to the native stock?

    Now I’m going away for a couple of weeks holiday, I’ll be back in time for spawning in November.
    Do you have any peer-reviewed articles showing that paddlers disturb redds, at all?

    You are clearly a supporter of the 2013 salmon symposium (and presumably the extinction vortex theory, of which there is not one single example, not just in the UK, but anywhere on Planet Earth, concerning Atlantic Salmon).
    So peer-reviewed articles are probably not a great thing to bring up to make a point, especially since some of the 'evidence' against stocking presented at the symposium mixed up stocking with 2nd generation salmon parents (which were hatchery-born), as opposed to wild fish which have their eggs/milt harvested.
    They didn't differentiate between stocking directly into the river from large tanks in the hatchery, and semi-natural release (SNR) - where the fish are acclimatised to the wild by living in a pond with natural flow and natural food for six months before release, and even included whitefish, halibut and abalone in their figuring out why salmon stocks are decreasing. Worst of all was the fact that most of the science presented was old and cherry-picked.

    SNR experiment.
    We set up an experiment on the Wye to stock with fish eggs and milt from wild parentage. The experiment needed to run for five years minimum before being evaluated, since salmon can spend 3 years at sea before returning.

    The fish fry were placed in a spring-fed pond in October and released in May ready to run to sea - natural feed and flight mechanisms fully in place. Two years in (last year) we were suddenly told that stocking was harmful, even though the EA were working with us on the SNR experiment.

    The background to all of this is that a certain organisation wants more money for in-river 'improvements' (one of which happens to be setting up paddling 'agreements'). The EA (and sister authority NRW) want to close hatcheries (to save money? to sell off land? who knows). What better way than to have a symposium extolling the evils of hatcheries?
    The symposium was complete with invited high-profile guest speakers. I know one EA PhD who was forbidden to attend - which says volumes.
    The description 'hatchet-job' doesn't even come close.

    Maybe you'd like to share some pics of Wye salmon actually spawning - if you can find any. Paddlers didn't disturb redds on the Builth stretch of the Irfon last year - I saw two fish, in total.
    Last edited by davidh; 22nd-September-2014 at 08:54 AM.

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    Sooooooo if there are no salmon left in the Wye, there's no reason to exclude canoes is there?

    Please note, before I get flamed by all and sundry, that was a tongue-in-cheek remark. I just couldn't resist.

    Lu

  41. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongangle View Post
    Quite a few river authorities/trusts have introduced compulsory catch and release, and the way it’s looking I expect there will be a few more.
    It is the way forward. I used to fish the Tay, but when they introduced voluntary, then mandatory catch and release I decided I did not want to do that and quit. Until they return and we are allowed to voluntarily catch and release, I wouldn`t, then and only then will I return to Salmon fishing.
    I know what a redd looks like and most people could pick it up quite quickly, they are distinctly different (lighter) coloured bits of gravel bed due to the fish cutting them into the (darker) river bed.

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    Wild Salmon are under threat ...

    So mark the following as 1). certain to endanger salmon ... or 2). a possible threat to salmon (needs quantification) ... or (if you like) 3). no threat.

    Note that salmon returning from the sea to spawn are supposed not to feed in freshwater, so have a finite energy reserve on returning to freshwater.


    • hook/catch/kill the salmon before they ever get to the spawning redds
    • hook and fight the salmon to exhaustion, then release back into the river to hopefully still have the energy to manage to get to the spawning site/spawn
    • paddle the river near salmon


    Then sense check your answers by asking an 8 yr old.
    Last edited by Potty Paddler; 3rd-October-2014 at 08:15 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Potty Paddler View Post
    Wild Salmon are under threat ...

    So mark the following as 1). certain to endanger salmon ... or 2). a possible threat to salmon (needs quantification) ... or (if you like) 3). no threat.

    Note that salmon returning from the sea to spawn are supposed not to feed in freshwater, so have a finite energy reserve on returning to freshwater.


    • hook/catch/kill the salmon before they ever get to the spawning redds
    • hook and fight the salmon to exhaustion, then release back into the river to hopefully still have the energy to manage to get to the spawning site/spawn
    • paddle the river near salmon


    Then sense check your answers by asking an 8 yr old.
    This is no good, far too sensible.
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
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    The insanity in all this started with AT and WUF wanting canoeing confined to the spawning season. Canoeist got used to the winter months being their season and habits die hard.

    The only salmon stock in Wales not at risk is the Conwy. CVF&CA has invested heavily in restocking with fish from the NRW hatcheries. So, I am with David on the stocking question.

    The objective evidence for disturbance is thin on the ground. CVF&CA have done some underwater filming which shows that salmon do run away from a canoe on the spawning grounds. The salmon seem to respond to acoustic signals so a canoeist is unlikely to observe that they have disturbed the fish. Do they return once the canoe has gone? No one knows. The only way to test the distubance theory is to ban all human activity on and near the spawning grounds for 5 years and see what happens. Alternatively we could ban all salmon fishing for 5 years and see if it is over fishing since catch and release has not halted the decline in salmon populations.

    I fear that the only way there will be a serious effort is when the populations go extinct. By then the Trent might be the best salmon river in the country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angut View Post
    I fear that the only way there will be a serious effort is when the populations go extinct. By then the Trent might be the best salmon river in the country.
    Nope, that would be the Tyne with nearly 5 times more catches than it's nearest competitor, where we have had open paddling access from November to March for as long as I have been paddling, some very active canoe clubs and Europes largest, mass participation canoeing event.

    Here's the evidence!

    Seriously, look at the link, this arguement is ridiculous.
    The only thing you have to fear is Mergatroid the vengeful, man eating bear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by saarlak View Post
    Nope, that would be the Tyne with nearly 5 times more catches than it's nearest competitor, where we have had open paddling access from November to March for as long as I have been paddling, some very active canoe clubs and Europes largest, mass participation canoeing event.

    Here's the evidence!

    Seriously, look at the link, this arguement is ridiculous.
    Good post.

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    http://www.salmonatlas.com/salmon-st...n-catches.html

    Its perhaps worth noting that many of the rivers showing marked positive growth were devoid of salmon as little are forty years ago - Tyne, Clyde etc.....
    This post may vanish at any moment.

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    Interesting statistics/catch reports, and of course they clearly show who does all the salmon disturbing, but that aside, what happened in 2004 to make it such a good season? (for the anglers rather than the fish) anyone know?
    Paul.
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    The Norwegian figures are interesting as is the lack of correlation between rivers. Do we know where the Danish fishing fleet were?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angut View Post
    ...The only way to test the distubance theory is to ban all human activity on and near the spawning grounds for 5 years and see what happens. Alternatively we could ban all salmon fishing for 5 years and see if it is over fishing since catch and release has not halted the decline in salmon populations.
    Too much money involved in it along with many and varied "owners" of the fishing rights including timeshare.

  51. #51
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    How is the health of salmon populations assessed? Do they have fish counters in the rivers?

    If the number of fish caught is used as a measure of the population then I am not sure that a reliable figure can be achieved. Surely the number of fish caught is related to the number fishermen and the hours they spend fishing.
    So for example a large number of fishermen spending many hours fishing in a river with a declining population may well catch more fish than a few fishermen spending a few hours on a river with a rising population.

    A river with a high catch is going to attract even more fishermen until catches drop dramatically.
    Last edited by Quercus; 8th-October-2014 at 03:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quercus View Post
    How is the health of salmon populations assessed? Do they have fish counters in the rivers?
    On some rivers, yes they do. There's one on the Eden below the 'official' section, just before the next sensible take-out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    On some rivers, yes they do. There's one on the Eden below the 'official' section, just before the next sensible take-out.
    Partly with fish counters, and partly by rod-catch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    on the Eden below the 'official' section, just before the next sensible take-out.
    Wetherby

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    There's a fish counter on the Tyne at Riding Mill and the salmon population appears genuinely healthy.

    The river is stocked (there's a hatchery at Kielder), but from what I can make of the reports, I'm not sure why. Returning stocked fish make up a tiny percentage of the catch, and the naturally recovered sea trout population makes it the second best sea trout river in the country (despite the fact it's a terrible river for sea trout fishing, the water's peaty brown even at low levels). It's a hangover I guess from helping the salmon recover from centuries of abuse, the river used to be an open, industrial sewer, but clean up efforts since the 70s have been really successful.

    It's good to see what we can do for an ecosystem when we try, rather than spending our time pointing fingers.
    The only thing you have to fear is Mergatroid the vengeful, man eating bear.

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    The use of SAFA against canoeists will never be contemplated. It would have to be used against fishermen too for the same reason. The EA are generally becoming less willing to prosecute, and are even turning to civil sanctions instead. The thought that they will be administrating the removal of large woody debris to aid naviagtion or forcing riparian owners to do the same is equally absurd. Large trees dropped across rivers are regular intervals have been found to be very wildlife friendly. My point has always been not to force this issue, or we (me) might end up with less than we started with. Know what I mean?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbo11 View Post
    The use of SAFA against canoeists will never be contemplated. It would have to be used against fishermen too for the same reason. The EA are generally becoming less willing to prosecute, and are even turning to civil sanctions instead. The thought that they will be administrating the removal of large woody debris to aid naviagtion or forcing riparian owners to do the same is equally absurd. Large trees dropped across rivers are regular intervals have been found to be very wildlife friendly. My point has always been not to force this issue, or we (me) might end up with less than we started with. Know what I mean?
    Maybe you can provide some evidence to back up these statements?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbo11 View Post
    The use of SAFA against canoeists will never be contemplated.
    Wasn't that exactly what happened in 2011. Although the prosecution was brought by the Environment Agency Wales it was commonly believed that this was at the behest of anglers desperate for anything that might stand up in court that would inhibit canoeing. There was also a claim of trespass but no-one seems to have considered that it had any chance of success at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Robbo11 View Post
    Know what I mean?
    I understood every word except "we".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angut View Post
    Maybe you can provide some evidence to back up these statements?
    Don't you trust me anymore? Baby, baby, where did our love go..?

    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...ronment-agency

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbo11 View Post
    Don't you trust me anymore? Baby, baby, where did our love go..?

    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...ronment-agency
    This records enforcement against a baker and an off license concerning disposal of packaging. I think we are off topic.

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