Chairman’s Report 2016 Season

It was encouraging to see the return to more normal catch levels which was seen in 2015 after the poor catches 2013 and 2014 maintained into 2016 with a salmon and grilse catch of 2207 and the 10 year average creeping over the 2400 mark.
Rod catches are notoriously imprecise measures of the health of the salmon population, being highly dependent on water conditions, angler competence and angler effort but they are the best tool we have at present and, on the Findhorn at least and when coupled to the population surveys done by Bob Laughton and his team, appear to indicate that we need not have too many concerns about the health of the river.
It is worth noting that in 1966 (50 years ago) the average was 777 – in the days, of course, before netting had stopped and when many fewer beats were let – but an interesting comparison, nonetheless.
As the newly introduced measures to assess the conservation status of rivers (the Findhorn is grade 1) are refined we expect to see rod catch data augmented by more scientific measures in assessing river health. We should, however, not forget that there is still much to be concerned about but the evidence is more and more that those concerns should be focused at the river mouth and beyond.
The first fish was caught on the 18th February and good water levels allowed fish to move steadily up stream as temperatures increased. The result was a an average spring run and a good summer run up until August after which poor water levels restricted catches until the end of the season. When the rain returned in October there was good run of fish and a further run of small grilse was observed in November.
Work on control of Invasive Non Native species (animals and plants) continued and we hope to be able to maintain this into 2017.
On the governance front, development of proposals for Wild Fisheries Reform continues. During the year the Association of District Fishery Boards and the Rivers and Fisheries Trust of Scotland agreed to combine their operations under a single banner, Fisheries Management Scotland. They are now well placed to continue to play an active part in representing the interests of fisher owners and managers. Alan Wells, ASFB’s previous Director of Policy, has returned from his secondment to Scottish Government as Chief Executive of Fisheries Management Scotland.

Alasdair Laing
(Chair Findhorn Fishery Board)
Findhorn DSFB Annual Report 2016
Findhorn Catch Returns 2016

Findhorn Fishery Board Annual Report 2015
2015 Findhorn Catch returns

Findhorn Fishery Board Annual Report 2014

Findhorn Fishery Board Annual Report 2013  (Warning large file-4MG )

Findhorn Fishery Board Annual Report 2011