Video – Big salmon passing fish counter

Here are a couple of 20lb+ salmon negotiating the fish counter in May this year. As you may know, the electrodes are 45cm apart, so both fish are around one metre in length. These are the largest we have seen so far but there have been several approaching this size.

The videos have a full speed run followed by one at 25% speed

 

Beavers

As the beaver reintroduction is happening on a neighbouring river (The Otter) Dart anglers may be interested in the following.

Firstly, here is a recent report on the reintroduction from the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-40048762

There is no mention of how beavers might affect fish migration so here is a policy statement from the Angling Trust regarding beaver reintroduction that covers that aspect among others.

http://www.anglingtrust.net/news.asp?section=29&itemid=476

Newsletter spring 2017 (Web version)

DART ANGLING ASSOCIATION -APRIL 2017

The season should soon be getting well underway, and one or two keen individuals have ventured out both to Totnes Weir and up river. A good run of sea trout would certainly be much appreciated by members and we will be monitoring the run carefully to check numbers both through the counter and visually. About 30 fish went up the fish ladder in early March and the average size of 400-500 millimetres would indicate these were probably sea trout. The counter is continually being fine tuned with enhanced overhead camera footage and replaced side cameras this spring. Some recent overhead photos are here

New Water

This season the Association will be renting one rod (probably for this season only) on Andrew Newman’s fishing above New Bridge (named Hannaford Fishery). The beat is about half a mile and true left bank. Details with maps, access etc are here. It will be best to park at Newbridge car park, walk upstream and just before the pond take the track past the meadow on your left and at the start of the wood take the small gate with the padlock (combination [applying to this water only] available from Hon Sec) The fishing is of course ‘Fly Only’, being above Holne Bridge.

I would advise members that the fishing is not available June 19th – 22nd and 19th – 21st July. I would also advise members that the fishing can become very busy with holiday makers and picnickers during the high summer months. Sea trout fishing would probably be best done before June, however the beat does have salmon fly fishing potential, particularly in a wet spell and would probably be best fished early and late in the day. Grilse fishing during July, August and September could be productive but please be aware of the public access which will be much in evidence particularly during fine weather.

Fishing Regulations 2017

The committee have decided these will be basically the same with some slight adjustment and recommendations as follows:

Salmon

On salmon the emphasis is to remain with the continued policy of as much catch and release as possible. Last year all salmon were returned. 100% Well done!

The first salmon caught by members after June 15th to be returned (This immediately boosts our C&R rate significantly).

A limit of no more than one salmon kept per member during the season.

The committee also agreed that spinning for salmon should be allowed at Totnes Weir throughout the season. We may at some stage place a new spinning height marker on the weir. Would members please use their discretion if spinning after April 1st, particularly if the river is becoming low(say 40 at Austins Bridge). This recommendation will of course be subject to annual review.

Sea Trout

A limit of no more than two per night to be kept.

Please also again consider a voluntary catch limit of no more that 25 sea trout kept during the season.

The return of sea trout caught over 6lb and a continued minimum size of 12ins.

Some concern has been expressed to the committee about sea trout being foul hooked when night fishing in Totnes Weir and how the use of a dropper may possibly increase the risk. The committee do not wish at this stage to introduce further restriction on method but if fish are being foul hooked regularly on the dropper particularly in low water conditions when there are a lot of fish in the pool, please consider either reverting to a single hook or possibly even moving position in the pool away from where fish might be shoaling.

This year’s membership cards will arrive in the post soon and new updated handbook inserts should be available in the next couple of weeks.

Tight lines

P.I.Prowse Hon Sec

Cormorant & Goosander sightings

The Association will be liaising with the Angling Trust to monitor Cormorant and Goosander numbers on the river. Members cooperation would be appreciated in making a note of sightings of the birds. Please report details of location, date and numbers seen and send the information to DAA member Chris Tozer [christophertozer(at)yahoo.co.uk]

Wild Trout Trust online auction 2017

The Wild Trout Trust annual online auction is now live.

There are 304 fabulous lots, catering for pretty much every purse and every taste in trout fishing, other fishing opportunities, tackle, tuition, art, literature and shooting.

The money raised will be spent to benefit our rivers and their trout and sea trout.

Details of the lots on offer are available on the Wild Trout Trust’s website, with a link to the auction hosted by eBay or go straight to the auction listing here.

Fish counter pictures Jan/Feb 2017

During January, six fish  were detected ascending the ladder by the counter as well as an otter. A few kelts descended, also about 20 kayaks.

In the first week of February seven fish ascended, including a couple of salmon around the 15lb mark. Although it is difficult to distinguish salmon from sea trout in overhead pictures, it looks like some of the fish were sea trout, earlier perhaps than we might have expected.

Below is a selection of grabs from the overhead camera. To remind readers, the horizontal strips, which are the counter’s electrodes are 45cm apart.

Salmon kelt descending ‘in reverse’
Salmon of about 15lbs ascending
Salmon kelt descending? Suggestions for the strange shape gratefully received!
Another good salmon
Sea trout?
Another sea trout? (left)

After more analysis of last years counter data and video, Fishtek (the counter’s operator) have estimated that, although about 700 fish were counted electronically, approx 3500 fish migrated up-river. The counter was undergoing much testing and modification during the year and it has been determined that for most of this time only the larger fish were being counted. A large majority of smaller fish, school peal in particular, were missed by the counter, but their number was able to be estimated by laborious analysis of video footage.  More detail on the method of estimation and assumptions made to follow. The modifications to the counter should now make it possible to detect the smaller fish in future.

Fish counter pictures Dec 2016

Here are some of the fish that passed through the counter during December and were captured on the overhead camera. It is hoped to improve the quality of the night time pictures in future by installing an infrared camera.

The fish in the second and third photos from the top are ascending the fish pass, all other fish are descending. Several of the latter are facing up-current while ‘reversing’ down the pass and most can clearly be seen to be kelts as they are so thin. (Flow is from top to bottom of photo).

In the second picture from the bottom (23:27:19), although it is hard to see, is an otter, rather than a fish. Apparently its movement in the video from which this was taken shows it up for what it is.

Some of these are big fish. To give an idea of size, the counter’s electrodes, seen as horizontal strips are 450mm (approx 18″) apart. Let’s hope they manage to avoid the seals in the weir pool and estuary and survive to spawn again.