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SPOT THE SALMON with West Cumbria Rivers Trust

Image for article SPOT THE SALMON with West Cumbria Rivers Trust

The life cycle of an Atlantic salmon is an amazing thing. Spawned high in one of our rivers or becks, the young salmon make their way to the sea, transitioning from fresh water to salt water. Once adult, salmon may spend up to seven years in the ocean before migrating ‘home’ to their place of birth, once again moving into fresh water and making their way up those rivers and streams. They mate, lay their eggs and then die. The survival of salmon is dependent upon a high-quality stream habitat with navigable channels that include boulders, logs and shade.

In the Lakes, summer heralds the start of West Cumbria Rivers Trust’s annual fish surveys in the Derwent catchment area, across 150 sites.

SPOT THE SALMON George Fisher West Cumbria Rivers Trust 

The surveys provide vital information on the populations and breeding success of both salmon and trout and indicate the overall health of our rivers and becks. The information collected isvital to help West Cumbria Rivers Trust and other partner organisations in deciding where best to focus efforts on improving river habitat. Previous surveys have helped understand the impact of floods on salmon and trout numbers, highlighted watercourses which should be suitable for salmon and trout but do not support any at all, and confirmed which watercourses in the Derwent system are the most important for salmon and trout. With a continued long-term general decline in Atlantic salmon numbers across these catchments, the surveys are vital to help properly target funding to the right places.

Although the programme is generously supported and funded by local angling clubs, the River Corridor Group, and this year, Patagonia’s World Trout Fund, the Trust is entirely dependent on the hard work of volunteers for the surveys to happen. Ruth Mackay, Project Officer at West Cumbria River Trust says, “We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help conduct the fish surveys and this is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who has a bit of spare time, to do something fun - something a bit different but also gain some valuable work experience and skills within the environmental sector.

If you’re interested, you can contact Ruth via ruth@westcumbriariverstrust.org or 017687 75429

SPOT THE SALMON George Fisher West Cumbria Rivers Trust

The Trust is also keen to thank local landowners for their continued support for the project through allowing access to their land to undertake the surveys.

15 November 2018 by West Cumbria Rivers Trust

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