Trout & Salmon (UK) - - FISHING REPORTS -

Lune Trust’s pro­ject fund­ing bids mak­ing progress

I hope to be able to up­date on the reg­u­la­tions in the next col­umn. The Lune Rivers Trust meet­ing sched­uled for Novem­ber 28 at Te­bay was can­celled due to ad­verse con­di­tions af­fect­ing driv­ing on the M6. The trust were to an­nounce at the meet­ing that three of the four projects they have sub­mit­ted for fund­ing have won through to stage two of the Wa­ter En­vi­ron­ment Grant ap­pli­ca­tion. One of the projects re­lates to im­prov­ing fish pas­sage through Sk­er­ton Weir which has al­ready at­tracted in­ter­est from the Rivers Trust. The Lune & Wyre Fish­eries As­so­ci­a­tion has also ex­pressed an in­ter­est in this pro­ject and trib­u­taries but fur­ther vis­its planned to take place around Christ­mas should con­firm whether this is the case. Early ex­am­i­na­tion of an­glers’ re­turns for 2018 in­di­cates that the num­ber of salmon and sea-trout caught by the rods was around 50 per cent be­low that of 2017. Day ticket sales on the Lune Rivers Trust beats at Sk­er­ton, Hal­ton and Ca­ton were in line with this and were also down around 50 per cent on the pre­vi­ous sea­son sug­gest­ing strongly that catch was in line with ef­fort. Nets­men, on the other hand, re­ported a good year in 2018 with plenty of salmon mov­ing in the es­tu­ary and many caught. Such re­sults are not un­ex­pected given the glo­ri­ous sum­mer and the low wa­ter con­di­tions ex­pe­ri­enced for most of the 2018 an­gling sea­son. Al­though the bye-laws cov­er­ing the reg­u­la­tions for the 2019 sea­son have yet to be pub­lished, it is an­tic­i­pated that rods will be ex­pected to re­turn more than 90 per cent of all salmon caught, and that es­tu­ar­ial net­ting will be re­stricted to sea-trout only. At the time of writ­ing an an­nounce­ment on the bye-laws is im­mi­nent and, if pre­vi­ous his­tory is any­thing to go by, it will be made at 5pm on ei­ther Christ­mas or New Year’s Eve. REDD COUNT­ING has con­tin­ued with most of the Up­per Lune and Up­per Wen­ning now hav­ing been sur­veyed. Sea-trout counts have been well above ex­pec­ta­tions with a good num­ber in all trib­u­taries with the ex­cep­tion be­ing Te­bay’s Bor­row Beck where it would ap­pear that salmon and seatrout con­tinue to strug­gle to as­cend the falls be­low Low Bor­row­dale farm. Salmon sight­ings and salmon counts have been wor­ry­ingly low on all

has agreed to sup­port the scop­ing and fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies. The as­so­ci­a­tion has agreed to re­lease £12k to match fund do­na­tions from other sources. The other two projects the trust has sub­mit­ted have sig­nif­i­cant fish­eries in­ter­est, too, as they fo­cus on (a) re­duc­ing pol­lu­tion from farms in the up­per trib­u­taries and (b) slow­ing the flow in Roe­burn­dale above Wray. The lat­ter pro­ject is par­tic­u­larly rel­e­vant be­cause as I write this re­port it is ex­actly three years to the day when Storm Des­mond hit. Pre­vi­ous stud­ies show­ing the re­la­tion­ship be­tween high win­ter floods and salmon runs in fol­low­ing years show a strong, sig­nif­i­cant sta­tis­ti­cal link be­tween the two with runs of re­turn­ing adults drop­ping sub­stan­tially three and four years af­ter such events. This may go some way to ex­plain the poor runs ex­pe­ri­enced this year but un­for­tu­nately they tend to sug­gest next year may show no im­prove­ment. It nat­u­rally fol­lows that such ‘slow the flow’ schemes de­serve our (an­glers) full sup­port and it is hoped the Lune River’s Trust can come up with a catch­ment wide scheme in the not­too-dis­tant fu­ture to ei­ther re­duce or limit the dam­ag­ing ef­fect such floods have. I wish all Lune an­glers a happy and pros­per­ous 2019 and suc­cess on the river. One thing for cer­tain, is that seatrout stocks on the river are in a very healthy state and I do hope to meet many more an­glers out in search of them on the river next sea­son. – ANDY HURST.

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