Wednesday, 12 September 2018

A dash of rain in the headwaters with a small slug of extra water, about a foot, on its way downriver.
Freshen things up a little but unlikely to provoke fish movement to any great extent.

See below some information in respect of WUF claims.
Having had some recent email exchanges with the Chairman of the Wye Conservators I have asked him to comment on this.  You may find it interesting.

After a desperate summer for the rivers, there is some good news to report from our Gravelling the Elan System (GES) project. This week, electrofishing surveys confirmed that for the first time since monitoring started in 1972 (and possibly well before), salmon and trout have successfully spawned in the upper section of the river below the dams.
The Foundation, along with partners Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water and Natural Resources Wales have been replenishing the lost gravels in this part of the Elan over the past two years. The project was designed to restore the river's ecology and to enable salmon and trout to once again use the full potential of this important upper Wye tributary for spawning and juvenile habitat.
Following gravel introductions in 2016 & 2017, initial monitoring results showed improvements in the invertebrate populations in the previously depleted areas. Last year, adult trout numbers were also found to have risen, probably taking advantage of this improved food supply.
Last winter an adult salmon was seen leaping below the weir at the Visitor Centre, just upstream of the gravel introduction point. Then, in December, at least one probable salmon redd was observed in the new gravel but confirmation of whether this was evidence of successful spawning would have to wait until this summer.
At a site near the Elan Valley Village, where some of the new gravel had accumulated, the monitoring team found 6 salmon fry. Trout fry were also recorded at 6 of the 8 upper Elan monitoring sites. The result shows that the newly introduced gravel has been used by both salmon and trout to spawn.
The monitoring team also found that numbers of bullhead (Cottus gobio), an SAC designated species that lives in gravel, were also up in the previously denuded areas. Additionally, densities of  salmon fry in the lower sections of the Elan had increased fivefold.
Looking ahead, the Elan could become an increasingly important spawning area for salmon and trout. The extreme hot and dry conditions of this summer are probably a sign of things to come. Provided the habitat is right, the controlled flows of the Elan dams provide them with some refuge to the extremes of temperature and flow.
This project has been several years in development, requiring lengthy and, at times, painstaking negotiations. We would very much like to thank Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water and Natural Resources Wales for their support and determination in making it possible. This result is proof that the gravel initiative was worthwhile.
There will be a further introduction this year and some work to loosen compacted old gravels. We hope then to be able to secure the funding required to continue with yearly top-ups so that the newly restored areas do not fall back into their pre-project 
Do you have access to this raw data from at least 1972 and continuing to the current year? If so can you share it?
Do you have this data and if you are using 2016 as a baseline remember this was a year of the worst electofishing numbers for the Wye on record (50% down on the 5 year average)
Increased 5 fold compared to what? 2016? See above. Please produce evidence
No mention that the Gravel was extracted from the upper Wye instead of above the dams?

Are there more Salmon thanks to WUF?
Depends on what you mean, the Wye Salmon Owners and the Wye Foundation were active in estuary net removal, supporting Mr Vigfusson and supporting the Irish drift net removals led by the Wessex Rivers Trust.
In WF's own words
" Last year we bought off for good, the drift nets in the estuary and persuaded the Agency, who own the Wye putchers that they should stop too. Finally we have bought out the Goldcliffe Putchers which operate between the Usk and the Wye for five years. All this was made possible through the generosity of a keen and generous supporter, a contribution from Orri Vigfusson's NASF and from a levy of the members of the United Usk Fishermen and the Wye Salmon Fishery Owners Association. At the very least, over 1200 fish will be freed to spawn the two rivers but in all probability, many more than that."
Source WF website January 2003
So let us consider these 800 fish that escaped the nets and ascended the rivers to spawn - 80 would have been caught - 30 killed by rods, lets say 300 additional hens spawned in 2003. Lets assume (for arguments sake) that each pair of brrodstock produed 2.5 returning adults. In 2008 that would mean an extra 750 fish plus of course every year 800 fish will escape the nets. It would be simple to expand this until the current date and even add in the escapees from the Irish Drift Net removal in 2006.
Note that on the same webpage back in 2003 WF report - " Thirty years ago, there were noo goosanders on the Wye. According to the recent Maff (now Defra) survey up to 98% of the salmon parr produced on the Upper Wye are eaten by goosanders. Additionally, Cormorants are seen in groups of up to 55, eating 2 - 3kg of fish each per day. How does the mathematics of this sound: 200 goosander eating, say 10 salmon parr per day. They feed on 300 out of 365 days/year. Result: 600,000 salmon parr gone, not counting the activities of cormorants and other fish eating birds. All this on top of the salmon’s other problems.
What has been done? 15 years and nothing?
Next let us consider the great improvement in catches and therefore, by implication, fish stocks.
The last 3 years on the Wye have seen reasonable catches but how do they compare to rivers close by or with historic spring runs similar to the Wye. Discount the scottish east coast as there salmon almost certainly split feeding grounds.
Hants Avon

2017 figures are provisional.
As you can see having a £million rivers trust on the Wye brought an increase of almost double from 2014 to 2015, the Severn (despite poor catch reporting) was over double and the Hants Avon was a 4x increase. Similar figures were seen on Taw, Exe Frome etc.
So was this anything to do with WUF or was it improved escapement of the 2SW class in Greenland?
Wye v Spey
Lets take a snapshot of two things.
How do the two parties disseminate Information?
Both have an annual meeting, both have talks on various subjects.
The Spey board produce detailed documents to support what was said at the meeting.
 On the Wye we have little or nothing.
Spey Board 2017 £467,615  rod catch - 7,632 - cost per fish - £61 (Includes Spey hatchery cost)

WUF 2016 £1.3 million.  rod catch - 1691 - cost per fish - £768

Not a great comparison is it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.