2017 Season Report

“When there was water we caught fish” – a comment I heard recently – perhaps sums up the 2017 season.  There was little or no snow in the corries to keep water levels up and temperatures down in the early season.  Low water and relatively high air temperatures led to ideal conditions for fungal disease to develop and May, in particular was marred by poor fishing conditions along with dead and dying fish.  Few people enjoy sharing a pool with some carcases and half a dozen moribund fish – the will to persevere is difficult to maintain.  Add to that a grilse run which never developed fully and the makings were there for a less than memorable season.

In our 2017 Annual Report Bob Laughton and Sean Mclean offer some excellent commentary on, and detailed analysis of, of the 2017 season which I hope you find both informative and useful.

I would like to highlight an issue from the reports which is important in the context of today’s Findhorn and the trends developing in Scottish fisheries management.

You will find a detailed analysis of the catch figures.  1561 salmon and grilse is not an exciting figure but remember to see it in the context of long term trends – pre the mid-80s it would have been a “good” figure.  148 sea trout is encouraging and maintains the improvement seen in sea trout catches in the past two or three years.

The average age of anglers is rising fast and one product of that is our ability to remember and reminisce about the “good old days” while conveniently forgetting the bad!

I do not suggest complacency but nor does it help to “talk down” our river.  We are all aware of the serious challenges facing wild salmon populations but we should also recognise that most of these are beyond our direct control. 

There are some signs that these challenges are being recognized but charity starts at home and the first priority for your board must be to prioritise the challenges they can influence so that, as the wider environmental problems begin to be addressed the river itself is in the best condition possible to accommodate the hoped for increase in wild salmon populations.

Alasdair Laing
(Chair Findhorn Fishery Board)

2017 Findhorn Fishery Board Annual Report

2016 Findhorn Fishery Board Annual Report

2015 Findhorn Fishery Board Annual Report

2014 Findhorn Fishery Board Annual Report

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

2011 Findhorn Fishery Board Annual Report