The Environment Agency is asking anglers to help them collect valuable information about the River Tyne:
The scales from freshwater fish give a tremendous amount of information about their growth and life histories; for salmon and sea trout the time of hatching, departure from the river, return to the river and number of spawning runs can all be determined by viewing the scales under magnification. The scales also provide a biological and chemical sample from each fish that can be used in DNA, microchemistry and stable isotope studies.
By sending in a few scales from the fish you catch, you will contributing to improving the understanding of the River Tyne salmon and sea trout stocks. Ideally it is hoped that a scale sample will be submitted from each fish taken and that a few samples will be taken from those that are to be returned. Please note, that if taking scales is likely to cause undue stress or harm to a fish that is to be returned we would ask that it be returned and no sample taken. There is a very good video of how to take scale samples on the Tweed Foundation website
Scale samples can be sent in using a freepost address and after examination the aging information about the fish sampled is returned to the angler.
A fish going through a counter
Using fish counters, looking at video footage, examining catch records and collecting scales will tell you lots about the status of our returning stocks of salmon and sea trout but they do not give you any information about how the river is fishing or the effort being applied to catch fish.
By participating in Environment Agency's Angler Logbook Scheme you will contributing to valuable information on quality of fishing available on the Tyne, and adding to national data on salmon and sea trout populations. Each logbook is a pocket diary in which information such as fishing location, date, duration and number of fish caught are entered. With the Tyne now widely regarded as the best game fish river in England, it is also vital that the best possible data is available with which to manage this important resource.
If you would like further details please contact the Environment Agency's Environmental Monitoring Team in Newcastle on either email to Morton Heddell-Cowie at Email Us or telephone 0208 476 6542. Any data you provide will remain entirely confidential and the more anglers we have contributing information and scales, the more useful it becomes.