(Last updated: Sunday 20th April)
A relatively quiet week on the lower Tyne saw more salmon caught above the Riding Mill counter, some of the catches included Stuart Rose who caught a 15lb salmon at Dilston, Simon Brown landed 2 salmon at
Widehaugh, the largest a fish over 20lbs. In low water Haley Blades caught a fresh salmon at Hexham on a trout fly rod.
Upstream at Chesters Dr Neville Keep caught 2 salmon on fly in Upper Island, salmon have been seen at Chollerton.
© A Pollard
20 April 2014
The 2013 season opened in what was an extension of winter with water temperatures falling below 5 degrees on the 10th January and remaining below this level until early April. These temperatures were
unattractive to salmon as demonstrated by the fact that only 6 fish ascended the fish pass by the end of March the same period in 2012 recorded 198 upstream counts. This was reflected in spring catch returns
with one good spring beat reporting 9 fish for this year which was well down on the 47 reported last year.
From the cold spring the river temperature swung to the other extreme when river temperatures exceeded 20 degrees on the 8th July. Conditions in the estuary became critical for fish and a number of mortalities occurred, fortunately the estuarine water quality has greatly improved since secondary treatment began in 2000 at Howden Treatment Works and such events are less frequent. The Environment Agency arranged two reservoir releases to alleviate the situation, these releases combined with a change in the weather encouraged fish to run and they did.
Encouraging fish movement in June July and August totalled 22,868 upstream counts; this gave many beats some good sport, although this abundance of fish was not always reflected in the catches.The late season counts were lower than normal, the overall count for the year is quite good with 31,616 recorded up to the 20th December, and this count is above the 5 year average count of 31,087.
Some beats reported catches above the average, others particularly in the Tyne were well below average.
Highlights include the catch of a 34lb salmon from the North Tyne and one rod on the Lower Tyne landing 10 salmon and 1 sea trout in a days fishing.
Overall salmon catches are expected to be near average in 2013, the year may well be remembered as a good spawning year as indicated by the Kielder Hatchery which completed its egg collection earlier than usual and the number of good redds seen in the catchment which bodes well for the future.