The latest report on trout and salmon populations in Manx rivers shows that the Island continues to offer plentiful opportunities for local and visiting anglers.
The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture’s biennial report also highlights the initiatives under way to boost salmon numbers, which suffered from the severe floods that occurred in 2015.
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said:
‘We continue to offer great opportunities for river angling and it continues to be a popular sport among locals and visitors.
‘Most of our rivers and streams support healthy brown trout populations, while larger, migratory, sea trout are also widespread.
‘Although trends in some juvenile salmon populations were positive, the severe floods of December 2015 occurred as adults were laying eggs and this had an impact on the number of salmon hatching in 2016.
‘This emphasises the importance of conserving stocks so they remain resilient in the face of extreme weather, which may become more common due to climate challenges.’
As outlined in the Programme for Government, high numbers of young salmon is one indication that a river is in good health.
‘DEFA works in a number of ways to protect and improve these vulnerable fish populations including initiatives such as the construction of a fish pass that has led to salmon breeding naturally in the upper waters of the Santon Burn,’
said the Minister.
Some good catches of salmon and sea trout were reported by anglers in 2016, DEFA’s report states.
The 2017 river angling season started on 1 April and continues until 30 September for brown trout and 31 October for salmon and sea trout.
Sea trout are already present in the Island’s rivers this year with the main salmon run expected to start in September.
Anglers are reminded to check regulations governing river fishing and are encouraged to release all the fish they catch to help conserve stocks.
Anglers can assist the monitoring programme by submitting catch returns at the end of the season or reporting their catches via the free Ecosourcer app.
For the report on DEFA’s salmonid monitoring programme and more details of angling opportunities, licences and catch reporting, visit www.gov.im/defa and go to freshwater fishing.