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Salmonid assessment

Radio tracking salmonRadio tracking salmon

A national assessment of the status of the salmon resource in England and Wales is undertaken annually, using the Pre-fishery Abundance and National Conservation Limit Models originally developed by Cefas (Potter et al., 2004), and reported to ICES.  The total pre-fishery abundance (PFA) of salmon (the number of salmon alive on 1st Jan of their first sea winter) from English and Welsh rivers is estimated to have declined from over 350,000 in the 1970s to around 150,000 in the past 10 years, despite substantial reductions in exploitation both in homewater and distant water fisheries.  However, the reduction in exploitation means that there has been a less severe decline in the spawning escapement, from about 130,000 to about 80,000. Spawning escapement has also been buffered to some extent by an increase in the proportion of smolt emigration at an earlier age.

The status of individual river stocks in England and Wales is also evaluated annually against the stock Conservation Limits (CLs) and Management Targets (MTs) in line with the requirements of ICES and NASCO.  The 'management objective' for each river is that the stock should be meeting or exceeding its CL in at least four years out of five (i.e. >80% of the time).  Egg deposition requirements have been derived for each of the 64 main salmon rivers in England and Wales, and estimated deposition each year can be compared with these values.  There was a slight decrease in the proportion of stocks meeting their conservation limits over the period.

Details of these assessments are provided in an annual reports prepared by Cefas and the Environment Agency

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Last Modified: 14 May 2013