Merry Christmas and the very best wishes for the New Year.
2018 turned out to be a very poor season for salmon fishing on the river Usk and the UK. The reasons for this could be many so a project has been launched by the AST focusing on rivers in Scotland to establish the root causes for the continued decline in salmon stocks.
Below is a link to a booklet providing more information on their Missing Salmon Project:
Click to access MSP_DEC_18_SP.pdf
Let’s hope for a turn around in salmon numbers running UK rivers however more than luck is likely required to ensure the survival of the salmon. Organisations such as the AST and the Wye and Usk Foundation need our support to make this a realistic ambition.
Below you will find a link to a short and educational video explaining safe handling and release of salmon.
The video also shows catches of salmon using bomber flies and fly fishing scenes on a beautiful river possible on the Gaspe peninsula in Quebec in Canada.
Maybe an idea to try a Bomber fly on the river Usk next year… 🐟🐟
Below is a link to another nice video from the rivers on the Gaspe Peninsula
Summary of 2018 Salmon Season and the catch made on ISCA beats
- 2018 was the worst salmon fishing season season for many years with a total catch of only 20% compared to the previous two years
- Both trout and salmon fishing was temporarily stopped on ISCA beats during July and August due to the severe drought conditions prevailing from the end of May to the end of August
- Our members released 100% of the salmon caught
- All except one salmon were caught on fly
- Most salmon caught were from 8Ibs to 14Ibs in weight
- The biggest salmon was 25Ibs and another salmon was also larger than 22Ibs. Both of these two fish were caught in May and on the fly.
The below link provides a summary of the salmon 2018 season and outlook written by Guy Mawle for the river Usk local fisheries group. Thought provoking reading….
A (bleak) summary of the Salmon Season on the Usk 2018
A 2018 season video is now available on You Tube showing a few salmon caught during the season that has now ended.
The 2018 salmon season turned out to be very difficult with prolonged drought conditions and a much reduced salmon run compared to recent years.
River Usk fishermen are now hoping that this is not a sign of worse conditions to come in the coming years accepting that salmon catches always have fluctuated due to natural and man-made reasons…
A few salmon were caught from the end of April and into the first week of May, some of these were 3-sea winter fish, all in excellent condition with a 25Ibs salmon being the largest.
25Ibs salmon (102 cm) caught on the 1st of May
However, after the first week of May the salmon catches have been very low in comparison to the last few years. By the end of June no more than 20% of the number of fish caught last year have been landed. The reasons for this are unclear but nearly all UK rivers from Scotland to Cornwall are reporting few salmon being caught.
Normally the first high spring tides of May will significantly increase the number of fish coming into the river but this year the salmon run has only been a shadow of runs seen in previous years. Only few fish are seen in the pools where they normally stop for a rest on their journey up the river or take up more permanent residency.
Not helping the poor run of fish has been steadily dropping water levels since the beginning of May. No significant rainfall has occurred and the river is now showing its bones. This combined with high water and air temperatures are a serious threat to the survival of the salmon in the river. Most fishing clubs on the river have therefore recommended their members to stop fishing until better conditions and rain arrive.
Most Usk fishermen are now hoping, if not praying, for cooler weather and significant rainfall and that some salmon are still waiting in the estuary to run the river….
The below photo shows a beautiful fish in super condition that was caught on one of our beats yesterday, the first salmon from Isca beats this year.
The season so far has been characterized by unusually high water conditions that has made the fishing difficult and at times impossible on Isca beats. Hopefully we will have less rain going into May so that the water levels will reduce and make the fishing easier.
Fish should start to arrive in greater numbers in May and June so there is still hope for a good 2018 season.
On the positive side then the high water conditions would have helped with the smolt migration and hopefully reduced the predation by birds, goosanders in particular.
This short inspirational video shows how river conservation has worked for the river Beiar in Norway.
Please note that the video is made by ArcticSilver.
This YouTube shows the number of fish in the river Beiar and provides some valuable insight into good salmon lies in low water conditions…
A short YouTube video with a few salmon catches from the 2017 season
Salmon fishing on the river Usk in April came and went without many salmon being caught. The trout fishing has also mostly been slow but is now improving with the warmer weather.
A couple of salmon were caught on our beats in April and another couple lost, one of these a heavy fish.
The water levels have continued to steadily drop into May and rain is now needed to bring more salmon into the river and to safely get any remaining smolts into the sea.