Just got to put in a word of congratulation for one of our members who got his first (and last) salmon of the season near Corwen at 18:30 hrs yesterday!! Talk about last knockings!! Interestingly it too was a grilse.
For those that are not aware the new Rivercall service gives gauge readings on all Welsh rivers including the Dee.
As well as a height updated every twelve hours the message also gives the mean summer level and whether the level has risen or fallen since the last reading.
The bad news is that it is on a Premium Rate number but you can short curcuit the long introductory message that racks the charge up.
Dial 0906 619 7755 and when the message kicks in dial 1 three times with a pause between them. This should take you straight to the message for the Dee, Clwyd, Elwy and Conwy with gauge readings given in that order.
The Dee heights are given at three points on that river which are Corwen, Manley Hall and Farndon. I've used a similar service on the Wye for a few years and it is invaluable in judging what the fishing conditions might be and in particular how flood water is moving down the river.
The information is also supposed to be going online but to date nothing has appeared.
There is significant poaching activity on the Dee at the moment this is not
limited to salmon they are also taking coarse fish. I was talking to a
Prince Albert bailiff who said there is a known group of Polish guys who are
netting the Dee above Huntington, I think just upstream of the Duke of
Westminster's house. The guy who lives next door to my son who is a PAA
member said he had met this group last year when he was doing an early
morning session; they were wet suited and carrying nets and bags full of
fish (salmon and sea trout) he reported this to the EA but still nothing has
been done. I mentioned to Julian Bray that the so called trout anglers on
Bryn-y-Pys are taking salmon either spinning or worming at the moment. We
cannot fish for salmon with bait or spinner before 1 June on the Dee but you
can use baits for sea trout and coarse fish, this is nonsense, if baits are
banned on conservation grounds then on mixed fisheries the ban should be
total. Julian accepted this and said the EA are 'thinking' about it and
says they focused on the tagging of salmon as the way to stop poaching - no
chance there! Anglers have just forked out a lot of money to buy out the
nets on the Dee, this has now opened the door to increased illegal netting,
at least when licensed netsmen were around they chased off the illegal guys.
It may be worth talking to Prince Albert and getting some more detail as the
poaching is taking place on their water.