GWCT communications officer Joel Holt spent a day on the River Frome with the fisheries team who were tagging fish as part of the newly-launched SAMARCH (SAlmonid MAnagement Round the CHannel) project.
The team braved the cold snap on Tuesday (February 6th) in search of sizeable sea trout they could tag.
Their efforts are part of the five-year multi-million pound project (2017-2022), funded by EU’s Interreg VA France (Channel) England programme, which tracks wild salmon and sea trout through four English and French estuaries to fill the gaps in our knowledge of how quickly these fish migrate through intertidal habitat, the dangers they face there and where they go once they reach the sea.
See the pictures from the day here:
Fisheries scientists Bill Beaumont and Luke Scott head down the River Frome looking for sea trout
The first catch of the day! Celine Artero, fisheries scientist, holds the sea trout
Busy with the press! Head of fisheries Dylan Roberts explains the importance of SAMARCH to The Times' countryside correspondent Jerome Starkey
Head of fisheries research Rasmus Lauridsen on the bridge with Jerome Starkey
This sea trout was over 50cm long and weighed over 6 pounds.
Experts start the tagging process
A glorious day for fishing on the River Frome
The SAMARCH Project – Improving the way we manage salmon and sea trout in our estuaries and coastal waters
We know that
95% of our salmon and sea trout die at sea after leaving our rivers as juveniles, called smolts. This compares to only 75% in the 1970’s and this is the main reason why the number of adults returning to our rivers has declined so dramatically in recent years.
However, it is not known what proportion of this mortality occurs in our estuaries and coastal waters compared to the open sea.
By using small acoustic tags implanted into salmon and sea trout smolts and the strategic deployment of receivers in the Frome and Tamar estuaries, our new EU project called
SAMARCH will provide scientific evidence to answer this key question.
Each tag costs £250 and each receiver costs £1,200. We are using 480 tags and 25 receivers with the EU contributing 69% of the cost. Therefore, we are seeking contributions of £78 and £372 towards the cost a tag and receiver respectively.
Please support the project and help us reverse this alarming decline.
Donate here >