We can boast our most productive year since 1998 which resulted in the Abbey section of the fishery producing 238 Salmon. A steady decline in numbers followed after 1998 until the drift nets were removed in 2007.
The fishery this year produced 143 Salmon for just 257.5 Rod Days. A staggering average of .56 Salmon/Rod/Day over the entire fishery. However, if five fish were removed from the total (those caught on the lakes) and the lake rod days removed from the overall total then the Dawros river has produced 138 Salmon for 147.5 Rod Days…a staggering .935 Salmon/Rod/Day.
We had some consistently good anglers who were returning over two fish per day and this was greatly helped by top rod Geoffrey Fitzjohn who for 17.5 days effort landed 37 Salmon for the season, blanking on just 3.5 days. Considering that up to the end of August, there had been a shortfall of over 700 Salmon over the counter against the same period in 2010, the Salmon have, to say the least, been most co-operative! The combination of predominately good angling conditions, water levels and not to forget the masterful abilities of our anglers during the August and September months has added to our success. A good deal of fresh fish seemed to be running the system over the last couple of weeks of September and we have recorded the best September in decades with 51 fish recorded or nearly 36% of the season’s catch… the most productive month this season.
Of the 143 Salmon landed this year, 81 fish were returned, a healthy 57%. The total weight of Salmon landed has amounted to 618.75lbs averaging the individual weight at 4.33lb against 3.70lbs in 2010. Just 2 Salmon were fin-clipped this year against an average of 8% over other seasons.
A very noticeable increase this year in the amount of Salmon parr in the river indicates good past spawning and hopefully we will reap the rewards over the next few years.
Sea Trout catches were up on last year with 377 recorded against 214 last year. An average of 1.46 Sea Trout/Rod/Day. Again, if figures were adjusted by removing 15% of the total (those caught on the river) and the resultant figure of 321 Sea Trout caught on the lakes divided by the 110 lake Rod Days, anglers were averaging 2.99/Rod/Day. The average weight was around 12-14 ounces and fish of >1.5lb were not a rare occurrence with 4.5lb our largest for the season. It has been a difficult year on the lakes with once again predominately Southerly based winds which tend to play havoc with regard to good drifting conditions.
I predict very good spring runs in 2012 as this year’s counter deficit, mainly grilse, possibly will return as 2sw fish next year. We can only keep our fingers crossed.