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Old 5th December 2012, 10:39
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Default Tyne Angler Scale Sampling Programme. November 2012

Monthly Fish Update: November 2012

Fish Counts

The upstream count for the November was 793, bringing the total for the year to 21,939. The monthly count is the 14th highest in our records and is lower than 5 year (1,785) and long term (2,862) averages. The total for the year to the end of November is 13th highest in our records upstream count for November was 9,242 and was recorded in 2003 while the highest for the year to the end of the November was 47,661 which was recorded in 2004. As of 9am on the 5th, no upstream counts have been recorded for December.

Just over 82% of upstream counts were recorded between 13th and 17th. These two periods coincided with a minor rises and falls in river levels and water temperatures being relatively high, however, during the second period the release from Kielder was reduced to compensation. Although the river levels remain relatively low on the 18th, the water temperature had dropped considerably. Out with these two periods, very few counts were recorded, this coinciding with either or both high river levels and lower water temperatures.

Upstream counts were recorded throughout the day during November 2012. The highest hourly counts were recorded between 9am to 4pm, while the lowest were recorded between 5pm to 8am; throughout the month, no counts were recorded between 5am and 6am. This pattern of behaviour is similar to what is observed in most of the previous Novembers, although the peak hours of movement may vary from one year to the next, in all cases these are between 9am and 4pm. The almost absence of counts during the hours of darkness is synonymous with the cooler temperatures and higher river levels usually seen at this time of year.

Further details of the daily upstream counts for 2012 and historic monthly counts can be found by following the link below:

Environment Agency - River Tyne fish counts

Angler Scale Sampling Programme

In 2012, we have seen strong returns of salmon throughout the season. In the chart below we see the proportions of the major age class groups of the salmon sampled. As in previous years we find that samples sent in during the early part of the season come in two main age class groups, fish that returned in the previous year and early running fish. As we progress through early months we find the proportion of samples coming from fish that returned to the river in previous year diminishes very quickly and proportion of samples from early running fish increases. If we look more closely at the early running component we find that during the four months of the season samples came in greater number from 3 sea winter (3SW) fish than 2 sea winter (2SW) fish. From June, the numbers of samples coming from early running fish diminishes very quickly and are replaced by samples coming from later running fish. Initially samples coming from the 1SW or ‘grilse’ component are few in number but by August they are the second largest component and for the remaining months of the season the is almost equal in size to later running MSW component.

The overall pattern of the proportions of the different age groups is similar to that observed in previous years. The only noticeable differences this year compared to the previous two are the stronger grilse and 3SW early running fish components. We received slightly fewer samples from repeat spawning fish in 2012 than in previous two years but we did receive 4 samples from later running 3SW fish.

By contributing to the Angler Scale Sampling Programme, you help improve our understanding of the stocks of salmon and sea trout returning to the River Tyne, so we do hope you will continue to send in scales. If you are sending in some scales, please place them in a paper envelop (please do NOT wrap them in cling film, tin foil or put them in a plastic bag) including the place and date of capture and species. If you need some scale packets, we can send some out to you. We would also be grateful if you could give an estimate of weight and or length. If you wish to receive details of the scale reading, remember to add your name and address.

If you would like further details of the Angler Scale Sampling Programme or the Tyne Angler Logbook Scheme or know of someone who would like to join please call the environmental monitoring team on 0191 203 4140 or drop me an email, morton.heddell-cowie @

Many thanks for your support.


Morton Heddell-Cowie
Environmental Monitoring

Environment Agency
Tyneside House
Skinnerburn Road
Newcastle upon Tyne

email: morton.heddell-cowie @
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