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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 14th June 2010, 22:58
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Thumbs up ref catch+release of larger sea trout

Having read through the comments with great interest
and not wishing to repeat what has already been said
l totally agree with fish21.
THANK GOD SOMEONE HAS COMMON SENSE.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 16th June 2010, 08:00
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Fish 21,
These are some interesting observations regarding dead fry, something I havenít seen before. However, I donít think it is justification for taking large sea trout, as it is natural behaviour by native species in the river. The river as a natural ecosystem which has evolved with this behaviour and in the past has allowed a much larger stock of fish.

I realise you are not saying that all large sea trout should be removed, and you might be right that a minimal retention of large fish may not be detrimental to the future stock, from a healthy population. I think where we differ in opinion is that I donít think the current stock is at a healthy level. Although I wasnít fishing at the time, talking to family and locals who did, the numbers of sea trout in the river now are nothing compared to the vast numbers that used to run the river in the 50ís/60ís. You only have to read Lemon Greyís book, to get an idea. Although the stock in our river seems stable, I think we should consider the bigger picture where nationally sea trout stocks are declining.

I donít deny freedom of choice, especially for the visiting angler, who may only get to the river a few times each year. But I think we should ask ourselves whether a large sea trout is more valuable to us or in the river? By returning large fish we will help the genetic Ďfitnessí of the stock, which with climate change on our doorstep, Iím sure will be facing ever increasing environmental pressure. So by allowing these large fish, which have proven their success at survival both in the river and at sea, to pass on their genes we will be doing our bit to maximise the strength of the stock against whatever challenges they will face.

As responsible anglers I think we should be seen to be doing our bit, however small it may seem, hence the associationís recommendation; and after all it is only a recommendation. Otherwise we will be providing ammunition to all those in favour of total C+R; of which Iím not!!

Regards
Duncan
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 16th June 2010, 17:57
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Whilst not for one moment doubting Charles's concerns about sea trout stocks in the river, could I ask another question please.
How do we actually measure sea trout stocks?
Remembering you cannot base your calculations on rod license returns when weighed against actual optimum fishing conditions (2007 nearly wiped out through high water all season if memory serves me correctly).
Thus how do we deduce that levels are up or down in comparison to last year or the year before etc etc.
Last year the summer peal had gone early due to higher water followed by low levels for months, what will be the verdict this year? or as asked in my original post are the fish running later out of season.
I have witnessed first hand (the morning after the Annual Association Dinner) a couple of years ago vast amounts of fish of all sizes running the weir at Beam including peal, salmon and large sea trout in approx a 20mins spell we counted over 50 fish seen, without what went unoticed, and yes I did have another experienced angler with me, it was not still the effects of the night before!!!!!!!!
Would it be possible to somehow set up a fish counter somewhere on the river, this could possibly give at least a more accurate stock check on fish running, plus also it would be nice to see the EA involved if they are as concerned as all of us. Just an idea, not even sure it could be installed and worked but a thought anyway to help clarify the situation.
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Old 18th June 2010, 23:14
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This is the last time I intend to post anything on this subject, for my final comments on this matter, I would like to raise the following points:

1. I would very much like to know how Lindsay Gray estimated the number of fish per mile on his waters? As, we all know even in a low clear river its extremely difficult to spot fish in the Torridge.

2. In the 50's/60's all methods were legal, which resulted in hardly any fishing days being lost to high and coloured water, and of course, we all know just how effective spinning and the worm could be in skilled hands.

3. I have been told by many people that when the fly only rule was introduced the fishing effort fell dramatically, and the Torridge remains a very lightly fished river, even today. I just wonder what the rod caught total for a season would be these days, if all methods were legal and the fishing effort the same as what I am told it was in the 50's and 60's. Just out of interest, I have done an analysis of my detailed catch records, for all my sea trout fishing on the Torridge, dating back to July 1987, and it reveals that I have in fact returned 78% of all sea trout I have caught on the Torridge. I am sure this figure would be similar for all the other anglers that have fished in my party over the last twenty three years. Finally, if anyone hasn't already guessed, it was of course me who wrote the letter to the committee, the content of which is now being debated on this site.

Tight lines everybody,
regards, Martin Weeks.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 24th June 2010, 13:01
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Default A fish!

Salmon in reasonably fresh condition caught this morning from the middle torridge despite low flows. Estimated at 9lb and returned. Couple of sea trout too so the chance exists, especially in this muggy weather
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