Monday, 12 February 2018

This is awful;

Saw this on the dreaded  Fly fishing forum-  I am not allowed to reply on their so please indulge me if I do so on here.  This is what was said by Mr stephen marsh smith.  Much of it is complete bulls==t and some speculation, and some hypocritical.

"The fish survival data was submitted to an owners AGM following a few years of radio tracking. Year? I cant remember. Fish were caught on rod and line and a tracker installed under GA then released, so survival rates are likely to be better than these (from memory) 75% survival in the spring 60% survival in summer and 98% autumn. These are the figures used by NRW to assess risk of carrying on fishing although (I would contend) while few if any anglers shove a transmitter into a fish under general anaesthetic some lift them out of the water and spend rather too long photographing them, plus the variables you mention Washington.

However the statistics could also suggest if logic was applied (Don't worry, this is a fishing forum) that we don't start fishing until September based on these survival rates. Every fish caught would have the highest chance of survival and, can it be forgotten so quickly, that you and others promoted taking fish out for the hatchery. Were there huge deaths that were kept quiet? No there weren't because these late fish have the best survival rate so where would the extra fish to go on the redds come from if we stopped 17 days earlier? Nor will it have gone unnoticed that calls to end the season earlier come most frequently from sections of the river that tend not to catch many autumn fish. 

Interesting observations re ethos and economics. We are seeing a swing back to season rods as the fishing has improved. There was a time we couldn't give a season rod away and the only takers were day tickets now several beats are full and offer only occasional day ticket. Climatic conditions are different too. Warmer water temps have encouraged later spawning and later arrival in the river. The most likely best month is June, only occasionally surpassed by May, quite different from the historic great days of late March and April when fish were in the river for a very long time."



There have been NO fish survival surveys carried out on the Wye regarding survival rates of fish caught by anglers.   Can he name any angler or scientist or anyone who has caught a fish on rod and line and given it to a scientist to try to determine its survival rates.  NO NO NO>
Some fish may have been netted to have trackers fitted but this is by no means the same thing as an angler caught fish.

He always trots out the better survival of fish taken to the hatchery.  As someone has already pointed out no iffy ones were ever sent there -what would be the point.  In fact we used stringers which I made and still have, to retain the fish in the river to determine survival/ fitness or not .  Some did not survive of course -some were already dripping eggs or were in poor condition otherwise.
His 'observations ' are just that and it remains to be seen if any are anywhere near the mark. Why would warmer water encourage fish to run the river later than they used to when they prefer lower temperatures.   He forgets the days when our latex waders were crackling with ice on the upper river in February with fish already at Builth Wells or above.  His memory, as always is selective to the result he seeks to achieve
As for fish too long out of the water for photo's etc.  Pleaseeeee!  Remember the one- his-  in the bottom of the boat!

As for beat numbers and some beats being 'full'perhaps he can explain to me why his beat and the one below with a five year average of around 16 fish achieves the income it does. Very nice too!!  Perhaps he should seek a new career in advertising for something that mostly does not exist- many salmon!
These days I no longer believe a single words he says unfortunately and no one else should either in my opinion.

From WUF figures; Related Party Transactions As part of the Passport scheme amounts of £10,502 (2015: £5,524) were collected by the Wye & Usk Foundation (WUF) as agent for, and were, paid to Dr S Marsh-Smith for the letting of a fishing beat owned by him. A creditor of £Nil (2015: £Nil) was owed to Dr S Marsh-Smith at the year end. Income of £6,254 (2015: £3,120) was received from Dr S Marsh-Smith for work done.
 As part of the Passport scheme amounts of £53,560 (2015: £50,727) were collected by the WUF as agent for, and were, paid to, Mr M Timmis for the letting of a fishing beat owned by him. A

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