The opportunity to increase salmon numbers
For over 30 years the River Frome in Dorset, once famed for its 30lb salmon, has been providing some of the best evidence of the Atlantic salmon decline in our rivers across the country. Over that period a large amount of monitoring equipment has been installed making it the most instrumented natural river laboratory in Europe.
The Trust has taken over these facilities to understand the process that has caused this decline and go to the next stage – to work out how to reverse the decline.
The ground work has been done: the scientists there have already tagged over 50,000 salmon that are now spread from the upper reaches of the Frome to the icy Arctic waters off south-western Greenland.
It is crucial that, when these fish return, we are on site to collect the data to help us find the answers about the best freshwater river conditions that prepare salmon for the sea.
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Numbers of salmon returning to the Frome
Despite the ongoing international conservation efforts to reduce over fishing at sea we lack the scientific evidence for managing our rivers better. We desperately need to identify which environmental conditions the fish experience in fresh water rivers best prepare them for their survival at sea.
To reverse the 70% decline in returning salmon numbers over the last 20 years, and to see more 30lb salmon returning to our rivers, we urgently need to unlock these secrets.
We can do it. By implanting small electronic chips our sophisticated equipment detects and records each individual fish as it leaves and returns to the river. We will build a better picture of how our freshwater river conditions affect migratory patterns and survival rates.
Why we need your help
- To save the huge data and knowledge bank waiting to be harnessed from 50,000 fish already tagged.
- To continue the crucial long-term monitoring research programme.
- To build on decades of goodwill built up with landowners and their huge co-operation.
- To avoid having to raise funds to build a new facility - far more than the funding required to run the existing site.
- To avoid delaying the international recovery of salmon numbers indefinitely, a source of significant concern for fishing enthusiasts.
- To grasp the opportunity to contribute to the recovery of this key game species, the king of fishes
How your donation will help
- £66 will cover the cost of tagging enough fish to send one juvenile salmon to sea, monitor its departure for Greenland and its return one, two or even three years later.
- £268 will cover the cost of keeping the intricate monitoring equipment running for a full week, to record 30lb salmon returning to the river.
- £1,224 will cover the cost of keeping the juvenile ‘smolt counter’ working for 24 hours during one of the prime six weeks of their migration from the river at the start of their incredible journey.