Catch and Effort Reported by Scottish Fisheries in 2010
The net fisheries
15,577 wild salmon and grilse were reported caught and retained in the fixed engine fishery, and the national index of netting effort was 178 trap months. 11,738 wild salmon and grilse were reported caught and retained in the net & coble fishery, while the reported effort was 65.5 crew months.
Reported catch and effort have declined in both net fisheries over much of the period covered by our records and remain at historically low levels (Figures 1 & 2). In 2010, fixed engine and net & coble catches increased by 6% and 4% respectively compared to the previous 5-year average. In contrast, reported effort fell for both methods compared to the previous 5 and 10-year averages. This continued decline in netting effort suggests that the most likely explanation for this short term increase in net catch was an increased abundance of fish.
The rod and line fishery
32,712 wild salmon and grilse were reported caught and retained in the rod and line fishery. A further 77,784 wild salmon and grilse were reported caught and released. The combined retained and released rod catch showed an increase of 31% compared to the previous 5-year average. We have no time series of fishing effort information associated with the rod and line fishery.
Trends in rod and line catch show a distinctly different pattern from those observed in the net fisheries (Figure 3). The total rod catch in 2010 (retained and released) was 160% of the average over the period from 1952 when records began. Rod and line catch constituted 80% of the total Scottish catch in 2010 compared to 11% in 1952.
Trends in total rod catch vary among individual stock components (Figure 4). Spring salmon catch shows a general decline over the period. Although there is some indication that the catch has stabilised in recent years, it remains at a historically low level. Grilse catch, on the other hand, has increased over the period while the summer salmon catch shows little overall trend.
Catch and release
The proportion of the rod catch accounted for by catch and release has generally increased since 1994, when such information was first requested. In 2010, 86% of the spring rod catch was released compared to less than 1% in 1994. Similarly, 70% of the annual rod catch was released in 2010 (Figure 5).
Farmed salmon and grilse
A total of 103 fish of farmed origin were reported in 2010. Salmon and grilse of farmed origin represented 0.1% of the total number of salmon and grilse caught, but the distribution of farmed origin fish was highly uneven, the North West and Solway regions accounting for 82% of reports (Figure 6).