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Fish and Chips - Part IV

Corrie and Hadrian, our tagged Salmon, have made slow progress up the River Tyne. Brett speaks to CEFAS' Barry Bendall to find out whether this summer's heavy rain is the cause.

Atlantic Salmon

Fish and Chips - Part IV

How have Corrie and Hadrian coped with the heavy rains this summer?

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If you have read the previous reports you’ll know that Wylam, the first female Salmon we tagged, met an unfortunate end at the hands and hook of an angler. We now have two more Atlantic Salmon to follow and they are Hadrian and Corrie.

Hadrian is the male Salmon and Corrie is the female, named after the town Corbridge, near to where she was tagged on the Tyne. Both are heading for spawning grounds along tributaries of the Tyne but having tagged these two Salmon, Barry Bendall from CEFAS has had to wait a while before charting their progress upriver. River levels have been very high during September, and the fixed receivers that register the fish moving past have been beneath feet of water, so he has only recently been able to download the data and get positions for the fish.

From the data, it seems there have been two distinct Salmon migrations this year - those that pressed ahead early on and those that stayed where they were. Both Hadrian and Corrie have stayed in similar locations to where they were tagged and this might be because of the heavy rain over the summer. Heavy rains increase the flow and temperature of the Tyne. Salmon migration is linked to water temperature - the ideal time to move is when the water is between 10-14 degrees centigrade. If the river flow increases and the temperature rises above 14 degrees centigrade, more energy is required to swim upriver.

Therefore, when there is a lot of rain and the river flows faster, the Salmon delay their migration in order to conserve their energy.

Barry expects the Salmon to reach the end of their migration and start spawning from the middle of November to the beginning of December but in our next report we report from the middle of Wales where Ed Drewitt finds spawning Salmon fighting to secure the best mate.

Further Reading:

Next report: Salmon spawning in mid-Wales
Last report: Wylam R.I.P.

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