Game Fishing

Salmon catches declined in 2013

According to Spey Fishery Board, 2013 was the most challenging year in the last decade for some of Scotland's rivers.

Spey Fishery Board said salmon catches on the River Spey declined in 2013.

Salmon catches on the River Spey have reached an annual average of 9,000 fish in the last decade.

However, in 2013, salmon catches on the Spey numbered 5,780 fish.

Roger Knight, the Spey Fishery Board director, said that cold winter followed by a dry weather in the summer and low water levels caused fewer catches to be made on rivers across Scotland.

Regarded as a classic Scottish salmon fishing river, the Spey is Scotland's second longest river after the Tay and the seventh largest river in Britain.
It emerges from Loch Spey in the Monadhliath Mountains in the Highlands and flows into the Moray Firth at Spey Bay on Scotland's north east coast.

Mr Knight told BBC Radio Scotland: "2013 proved to be a particularly challenging one for anglers and that was reflected in our catches.
"That situation was not peculiar to just the River Spey. It was a pattern that was reflected across many rivers across Scotland throughout last year."

He also mentioned several other problems such as warming sea temperatures that affect food sources for salmon on their migration routes and feeding grounds as well as the "significant volumes" of water are being diverted for hydroelectric schemes.

However, he added that fishing had improved following previous years of low catches such as 1976 when there was a severe drought.

In 2006 and 2008 about 11,500 salmon were caught on the Spey.
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