Wednesday, 24 November 2021

 Saw this on the WUF site.  Upper Irfon spawning area.  Did Allyson warn of wading on salmon redds I wonder?

"Other observations - because of the boundary fencing and high banks be prepared to Wade across river and back again to get from one field to another but thigh waders suffice easily for this in the low conditions. Great fishery and a big thanks to Allyson for assistance"

From a report on the Usk by Guy Mawle;

High flows in late spring and early autumn that offered good opportunities for salmon

migration and angling. Otherwise, flows were low limiting angling to tidal reaches.

• Rod catches were very poor in 2021, possibly the worst on record. The declared rod catch

for the Usk, when available from catch returns next April, is predicted to be between 124

and 170 salmon, best estimate 146.

• Catches peaked in June and October.

• The average weight of salmon in 2021 was relatively high at 10.5lbs reflecting a

particularly poor run of grilse.

• Adult stock status for Usk salmon will drop from ‘Probably at Risk’ to ‘At Risk’.

• Concern continues about the sustained low abundance of juvenile salmon. Climate and

now low adult abundance offer partial explanations but there appear to be other

unexplained problems within the river.



March: Overall flows were about average, less extreme than in recent years.

April/May: Flows dropped steadily during April to be followed by an exceptionally wet May which

should have encouraged salmon migration. The river was mostly unfishable until the last week when

angling conditions were good.

June to August: Early June continued to offer good angling conditions but flows thereafter dropped

fairly steadily, with occasional small rises. The second half of July was hot. Average daily water

temperatures at Trostrey weir exceeded 18 °C from the 14th to 29th, peaking at over 23°C. The Usk

Fishing Association advised fisheries to close until temperatures dropped.

September: Water temperatures were high again at the beginning of September, above 18°C, the

level at which NRW advises that salmon may not survive catch and release. Flows remained low until

the river rose on 27th.

October: As in late spring, conditions for migration and then angling were good until the season

closed on 17th.

2. Rod catch of Usk salmon

2.1 Seasonal totals: Catches were provided for ‘Index fisheries’ in the middle and lower reaches,

i.e. Upper Llangybi; Lower Llangybi (from David Addams-Williams); three Merthyr Tydfil AA fisheries

(from Gary Davies); Monkswood (from Helen Harrison); Llanover (from Ross Murray); the Usk Town

Water (Chris Brain) and Isca AC’s three fisheries (from Andrew Beattie). Together these totalled 109,


less than half the 2020 total of 232, and only slightly above the 105 for 2018, when the Usk recorded

its lowest ever rod catch.

2.2 Salmon licence holders are required to make individual catch returns to NRW by the end of

December. Not all do, but these ‘declared’ catches are used by NRW, with some adjustment, to

assess stock status. There is a strong correlation between the catches at Index fisheries and the

declared catch.


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