Mystery of huge reduction in U.K.'s wild salmon population

(Above image is a capture of fishing on the River Spey in the Scottish Highlands)

There have been reports in the media of a huge decline in Wild Atlantic Salmon numbers across the U.K. The population has dropped by two thirds over the past 25 years the reason for which is not known with certainty although influences under consideration include water obstacles, predation, water quality, climate change and sea lice. An organisation called the Missing Salmon Alliance has been established to investigate the collapse in numbers.

To assist readers' understanding the life span of a salmon is summarised as follows:
  • Young salmon live in the cold headwaters of river systems before migrating to the ocean.
  • The fish then swim long distances to such places as coastal Greenland where they grow into adults.
  • After maturity the fish run a gauntlet of obstacles to return to their birthplace to spawn and the cycle starts all over again.
The fall off in numbers has negative implications for Scotland which traditionally attracts sport fishermen on such popular rivers as the Spey, Tay and Tweed.

Fishing on the River Tweed at Kelso, Scottish Borders

Fishing on River Tay at Dunkeld, central Scotland

Fishing on River Spey at Aberlour, Scottish Highlands

River Tay fishing beat in winter


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