Nith 2021.

tote

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Hi all, wonder what the 2021 season will have in store for us? Hopefully we'll get a good run of fish
and also won't be hampered by any more lockdowns.

Below are the returns for last year [the last 10 years], would say salmon numbers look okay considering the lockdown,
bit disappointed with the sea trout numbers as I'd heard anglers were saying last year was a good year for them, hopefully
there will be a few more on the go this season.

Salmon-and-Grilse-2011-20.jpgSea-trout-2011-2020.jpg
 

phl

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Thanks for this: I 'm always interested to see trends in catch statistics. Looking at the 5-year average, it looks as though sea trout stocks on the Nith are holding up pretty steadily.

Paul
 

tote

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Thanks for this: I 'm always interested to see trends in catch statistics. Looking at the 5-year average, it looks as though sea trout stocks on the Nith are holding up pretty steadily.

Paul
As is the case with other rivers the catch stats are a long way short of what they used to be, Paul.

Sea-trout-chart-1952-2020.jpg
 

elwyman

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I remember meeting a lad from Dumfries in the mid 70s, he was playing football for Bradford City at the time. He got me interested in sea trout fishing by describing his night fishing exploits on the Nith. Your graph shows the annual catch then was around 5000 sea trout, a staggering amount by modern day standards.....and I guess most fish were killed in those days.
Tightlines for a good season all Nith fishers.
 

tote

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I remember meeting a lad from Dumfries in the mid 70s, he was playing football for Bradford City at the time. He g, ot me interested in sea trout fishing by describing his night fishing exploits on the Nith. Your graph shows the annual catch then was around 5000 sea trout, a staggering amount by modern day standards.....and I guess most fish were killed in those days.
Tightlines for a good season all Nith fishers.
Would be maybe '77/78 when I started fishing the Nith, was 12/13 years old then, can mind the old timers
telling us how much better the Sea Trout fishing was back in the 60's. When you look at the graph showing
a high of near 12,000 caught you can see why they said that.

Must say though the in early 80's the Sea Trout fishing was superb, can well mind looking in to the tail end
of Craigs Hole one summers day and couldn't see the gravel, there was over 150 sea trout lying there. :)
 

luney

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As is the case with other rivers the catch stats are a long way short of what they used to be, Paul.

View attachment 93503
Hi Tote,
I understand what you are saying about the numbers of fish caught years ago. However I would be interested in your thoughts regarding rod pressure compared to years ago. When I first started fishing on the Lune 25 years ago, on arriving at the river there would be 6 or 7 lads stood on the bridge or sat on the riverbank talking and watching for fish showing. Last season I went to the same beat and saw 3 other anglers the whole season!!! Now dont get me wrong I know there are issues with salmon and seatrout stocks, but using catch returns as a barometer would better if we knew how many rods are fishing and when. I joined a Association this season after making enquiries only last November. The same Association 25 years ago had a 15 year waiting list!!!! The point I'm making is that there aren't the numbers of rods fishing today as there were 20 years ago and this will reflect on the returns too.
Regards Paul
 

tote

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Hi Tote,
I understand what you are saying about the numbers of fish caught years ago. However I would be interested in your thoughts regarding rod pressure compared to years ago. When I first started fishing on the Lune 25 years ago, on arriving at the river there would be 6 or 7 lads stood on the bridge or sat on the riverbank talking and watching for fish showing. Last season I went to the same beat and saw 3 other anglers the whole season!!! Now dont get me wrong I know there are issues with salmon and seatrout stocks, but using catch returns as a barometer would better if we knew how many rods are fishing and when. I joined a Association this season after making enquiries only last November. The same Association 25 years ago had a 15 year waiting list!!!! The point I'm making is that there aren't the numbers of rods fishing today as there were 20 years ago and this will reflect on the returns too.
Regards Paul
You are 100% correct re rod numbers Paul, I was just talking about this to a mate the other day, fishing when I was young was as much about the social side as the angling. Can well remember the balmy summers nights sitting bankside with sons, fathers and grandfathers waiting for the light to go, the craic was great. :)

In the back end then the best pools had anglers shoulder to shoulder as they drowned a few worms and as you say sometimes you had to wait to get started at the head of the pool. The pool I'm thinking of here is Scaurfoot, in the backend you'd see salmon splashing about from morning until night, nowadays you'd be lucky to see a fish break the surface, I know, I've stood on the bank often enough.😠

So yes, if we had more anglers the catch returns would show a few more fish being caught, but sadly fish numbers are massively
down on when I started, never mind before that, my eyes tell me that. Another thing to consider is how many anglers actually bothered to fill out their catch returns properly, if at all back in the day? I know from speaking to the auld timers then that they only put a fraction of the sea trout they caught on their returns, I knew a few who were well past 200 for the season.😲

The lad I fished with in the late 70's was talking about getting a ticket this season, his first for maybe 5 years. I hope
he does as it'll be a bit company for me, it's like a private beat up here at times, usually have the water to myself.
 

phl

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Knaresborough
It's the same picture almost everywhere, I think: falling stocks of fish and fewer anglers. What this does show, I think, is that falling stocks have little or nothing to do with exploitation by anglers. As the records for the Nith and many other rivers show, catches remained high throughout many years of heavy angling pressure, at a time when nearly every fish caught will have been killed. Conversely, today, the much lower angling presssure and widespread C&R are not leading to increased fish numbers. I fear we won't see any recovery until the real reasons for the decline, whatever these are, are identified and addressed. Meanwhile. it's much easier for the authorities to just impose greater restrictions on anglers as a way of discharging their supposed responsibility to protect and improve fish numbers.

Paul
 

T7

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Anglers certainly play their part and it looks like the netsmen on the nith do as well, which is very interesting. It would be interesting to know the number of nets operating over the years as that is a lot easier to measure than angling pressure. Do you have that info Tote?
 

tote

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Anglers certainly play their part and it looks like the netsmen on the nith do as well, which is very interesting. It would be interesting to know the number of nets operating over the years as that is a lot easier to measure than angling pressure. Do you have that info Tote?
No, I don't have that info mate, for certain though there will be a lot less Haaf netters in the Solway now than there was back in the day. They can't take a salmon so I think only a handful will be doing it now, at one time there would be a few pounds to be made at the Haaf netting game, hence the reason they did it.

Haafers at Glencaple in the '60's.
Haaf netters at Glencaple, 1969.jpg
 
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elwyman

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I always remember when the Clwyd netting rights were bought out by angling interests about 25 years ago. There was a big expectation that salmon and sea trout runs would increase, but sadly it never happened. It probably slowed down the decline, but salmon catches in particular have seriously declined.
 

tote

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I always remember when the Clwyd netting rights were bought out by angling interests about 25 years ago. There was a big expectation that salmon and sea trout runs would increase, but sadly it never happened. It probably slowed down the decline, but salmon catches in particular have seriously declined.
Likewise up here, the Haaf nets stop early September and the anglers always thought (in recent years) when they stopped more fish would appear, it didn't happen though.
 

T7

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I applaud people who put fish back - I believe in restraint with bag limits but ultimately personal choice on C&R. I also applaud the efforts of reducing estuary netting and in river netting as they have the potential to do real damage, but can’t help think we’re rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic with these measures. Bigger things at play with in river water quality, floods, water extraction, effluent and (fish) farming practices, then what happens at sea who the hell really knows?!
 

tote

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791
Location
Mid Nithsdale
I applaud people who put fish back - I believe in restraint with bag limits but ultimately personal choice on C&R. I also applaud the efforts of reducing estuary netting and in river netting as they have the potential to do real damage, but can’t help think we’re rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic with these measures. Bigger things at play with in river water quality, floods, water extraction, effluent and (fish) farming practices, then what happens at sea who the hell really knows?!
The mindset of most anglers up here has changed for the better over the years, would say that nearly every fish caught back
in the day was a keeper, either sold, eaten or given away, it just didn't enter the head to put them back.

Was talking about this a year or so ago with a mate, we've all got photos from back then with black or coloured fish in them that are dead. He told me he'd caught a salmon one backend years ago and chapped it, later, on his way home he was walking over the Boatford bridge with said salmon, a cock fish, and he told me the milt was running out of it. An old, experienced angler standing on the bridge said to him as he passed, "cracking looking fish you have there" [he wasn't taking the p!ss], that's the way it was then. My mate cringes when he talks about it.

I can't mind the last time I chapped a fish, quite happy to see them swim away nowadays, lets hope I've a few to release this season.
 

phl

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Knaresborough
I applaud people who put fish back - I believe in restraint with bag limits but ultimately personal choice on C&R. I also applaud the efforts of reducing estuary netting and in river netting as they have the potential to do real damage, but can’t help think we’re rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic with these measures. Bigger things at play with in river water quality, floods, water extraction, effluent and (fish) farming practices, then what happens at sea who the hell really knows?!
That's absolutely right. We all thought stopping netting would make a big difference, but it hasn't. The sad reality is that no matter how many fish get up to spawn, stocks will not increase unless the habitat is right for spawning and juvenile fish survival and growth.

Paul
 

tote

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Mid Nithsdale
The season opened on 25th Feb, too early yet for me though, probably get my ticket late April early May,
that'll be time enough I think. Looking forward to this season, no had a ticket the last 2 years and a mate
I started my fishing life with 44 years ago and have shared the bank with many times over the years is
getting his ticket as well, his last was 2015.

Going to have lots of water to go at as the Drumlanrig ticket gives us access to the Nith Linns, top and middle beat
of the castle water, the Boatford beat and the Scaur, [that used to be the MNAA stretch].

One pool I'll deffo be thrashing as the darkness falls. ;)
Sandy Flats.jpg

Tight lines to everyone on the forum for the coming season.
 
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