Sunday, 18 December 2016

It's Spawning Time...

2016 is winding down and drawing to a close. As we can see 2017 on the horizon, plenty of anglers will be looking forward to their first casts on the Drowes. A beautiful little river draining Lough Melvin, it often produces the first Irish spring salmon. Many of us will be looking on in anticipation to see how sport unfolds. With a lack of late running fish and an improved spring run this year, will we see a better spring again next year? Only time will tell but we can hope...

February springer on the Drowes; a fishery every angler should try and visit.

Bass fishing wound down for me in late November as I cast a lure only once this month, to no avail. The Bandon has been in great shape for spawning so far, with no major floods to report. What has been extremely noticeable is the growth of ranunculus, due to the low water conditions. There is more in the river now than there has been all summer, which is extremely beneficial for water quality and juvenile salmonid survival. One of my primary work duties at this time of year is redd counting and I've been surveying the catchment to see where trout and salmon have been spawning. I'm happy to report, recordings for both have been extremely encouraging and I'm optimistic that we are looking at a very successful spawning season indeed (providing we avoid any major deluge).

A cock salmon which has spawned successfully and completed it's life cycle. 

One of three otters patrolling the margins one frosty November morning. Wildlife on the river bank is plentiful during these quite winter months. 

Luckily, conditions for observing trout spawning activities were exceedingly favourable this year. Last year it was impossible to record anything! Fortunately, I managed to capture some nice footage and have stitched clips together to create an educational video detailing the process. The first complete trout redds I observed were on October 12th, with the bulk of activity occurring in November. A video on salmon will be coming along shortly but for now, I hope you enjoy this video and find it informative.

'Trout on the Redds'.

Finally, for those who may not have seen it yet, the Celtic Sea Trout Project Technical Report has just been published. Full of detail and insightful graphs, a wealth of information on Irish sea trout stocks is at hand. For anyone with an interest in sea trout and sea trout fishing, it is a must read. 

Celtic Sea Trout Project Technical Report.

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