Many thanks to The Ford and Etal Estate for facilitating this camera's location.The River Till is England’s only tributary of the mighty River Tweed; as such it is governed by River Tweed fishing regulations. It is particularly well-known for its run of sea-trout from the spring to summer months, but grilse and salmon are also regularly taken, as are grayling during winter months. On the banks of the River Till, this is the only working water-driven cornmill in Northumberland which continues a tradition that stretches back over 700 years on this site. The fully restored mill machinery still makes high quality, stoneground, wholemeal flour from wheat grown in the surrounding fields.
The Visitor Centre. Heatherslaw, Cornhill-on-Tweed, TD12 4TJ
One destination, over 20 attractions. From steam railway to working corn mill, unique 19th century artwork to historic battlefield, a host of outdoor activities and the only thatched pub in Northumberland, this rural estate offers a full day out.
added: 2nd Mar 2014
posted by: Atlantic Salmon Trust
Mixed Stocks Fisheries. The Lairds of our Coast and wild salmon. Breath-taking arrogance, unsustainable, out-of-date, and cause for international censure.
After years of abuse of the netting...
slap periods, Usan Fisheries have at last been brought to account. To anyone concerned about the state of salmon and sea trout stocks on the east coast of Scotland, they will feel that this legal action is long overdue.
Sailing close to the wind. Did Usan jibe?
It is widely recognised by everyone involved in salmon fishery management that the activities of the Usan Salmon Fishery have at times been somewhat ‘close to the wind’ in terms of the law. The weekly slap times, when nets are by law supposed to be rendered inactive by removing the leaders to the bag nets, are in place to support the conservation of salmon, grilse and sea trout. They are most certainly not regulations for a pick and choose approach by Usan Fisheries, arguably the most destructive mixed stocks fishery remaining in the UK.
The owners of the Usan Salmon Fisheries company now face 12 charges relating to alleged incidents in Angus and Fife during August and September 2013. The locations cited are at Boddin, Dysart, Ethie Haven and Scurdie Ness. If it transpires that their nets were operating in the month of September it will confirm the extraordinary arrogance – some might say the behaviour of people who seem to regard the Scottish coast as their fiefdom, and all salmon as their property – of a fishery which surely is now an anachronism, putting Scotland’s inept management of its wild salmon into international pariah status. The fact is that September is outwith the netting season. Transgression of statutory season closures is surely tantamount to poaching?
Of the twelve charges, five are related to netting salmon every weeekend in August from 1800 on Fridays to 0600 on Mondays, all outwith the statutory weekly close time for net fisheries.
All this may seem petty and somewhat arcane to anyone unfamiliar with the operations of Usan Salmon Fisheries. This company, which has long received political and moral support from government and funding from the EU, takes salmon in unknown numbers from most, if not all, east coast salmon rivers. No-one knows which populations of fish are being exploited, some of which may be in a fragile condition (as is the case with the government’s own assessment of South Esk spring salmon). The activities of Usan Salmon Fisheries make it impossible for fishery managers on all affected rivers to assess the condition of their salmon stocks.
The existence of that mixed stocks net fishery is simply bad fishery management, and it is time to take full control of their exploitation. If it is found that they have been flouting the law, notwithstanding health and safety considerations, it will become absolutely clear that they cannot be trusted to manage their operations within the law. Appropriate measures to curb their activities, on conservation grounds alone, must surely follow?
And I haven’t even touched on the immense damage being done by one small family business to the rural economy and communities from Fife to Inverness!
« Older En
added: 25th Feb 2014
posted by: Fish Tweed
Updated (Monday 24th February)
Another difficult week for anglers and Ghillie's alike due to continuing un-settled river conditions. Just as the river levels dropped and started to clear, more rain...
would have levels rising once again, and it would take another 2 days to settle down again.
There was a total of 15 Salmon caught from Drygrange down to Upper North Wark, which is very good considering the conditions that anglers had to cope with this week.
It was good to see that Drygrange picked up a Springer on Tuesday, as there must be some fish that have crept upstream with all the high water levels recently. Ghillie Edward Dodds took some scales from the fish and handed them in for analysis at the Tweed Foundation, and they confirmed that it was indeed a Springer.
River levels were falling after Sundays spate and levels were showing 2ft 6" at Boleside and 3ft 6" at Sprouston. The river was still carrying some colour but Sprouston managed to pick up a 8lb Springer and that was the only fish reported from the river.
River levels had risen again and were up approx 6" from Monday and the river was carrying a bit of colour which would affect fishing by the afternoon.
There were 6 Salmon reported from the river, with Hendersyde catching the biggest fish at 14lbs.
Once again levels were rising but this would occur later in the day and allowed anglers to fish all day, the river was still a bit coloured but fishable.
There were 4 salmon reported from the river, with Sprouston and Junction sharing the biggest fish at 9lbs.
River levels were falling and were showing 2ft 4" at Boleside and 3ft at Sprouston.
There were 2 Salmon reported from the river, with Upper Hendersyde catching the largest fish at 9lbs.
Overnight rain had river levels up from the previous day and were showing 3ft at Boleside and 4ft at Sprouston and the river was coloured.
There were no fish reported from the river.
River levels were falling and were showing 2ft 4" at Boleside and 3ft 1" at Sprouston. The river was carrying a bit of colour but was fishable. There was a strong west wind blowing by the afternoon and this would bring with it more rain.
There were 2 Salmon reported from the river, with Hendersyde catching the biggest fish at 9lbs.
If you have any stories or information on catches that you would like to share with us here at Fishtweed, please feel free to contact me here on firstname.lastname@example.org
Beat catches reported
(week ending 22nd February)
SALMON & GRILSE: Upper North Wark 3, Birgham Dub 1, Sprouston 2, Hendersyde 4, Upper Hendersyde 1, Junction 2, Lower Makerstoun 1, Drygrange 1.
Total: 15 Largest: Hendersyde 14lbs
SEA TROUT: None reported
added: 18th Feb 2014
posted by: Fish Tweed
Iain Wilson of Borders Gunroom reports for FishTweed.
Another frustrating week on Tweedside with fluctuating river heights and unsettled weather conditions which...
made fishing very difficult, as no sooner did the river settle down to a fishable condition then we had heavy / steady rain and the river levels were rising again and we had another dirty spate. At least the rods who fished at the beginning of the week had some success, unfortunately from the Thursday onwards it went downhill again with rain / wind and high river levels.
I was invited to fish on Birgham Dub Thursday to Saturday by Mr Simon Cotton, and we only managed to fish on the Friday morning, as by 3pm the conditions had deteriorated with a strong East wind blowing up the Dub, that had white horses crashing into the boat as Davy rowed us downstream back to the hut. The Saturday was a non starter due to a very high and coloured river. Still we caught a few kelts and had few pulls also and it was nice to be able to have a cast or too on a lovely beat. Thanks to Wattie and Davy for entertaining us with their stories in the hut and their hospitality with Tea / Coffee and something a bit stronger.....!!!
River levels were falling( 3ft at Boleside and 4ft Sprouston) and the river had cleared sufficiently for beats on the middle river to fish.
There were 2 Salmon reported from the river with Birgham Dub and Rutherford both catching fish at 10lbs.
River levels were still falling (2ft 4" Boleside and 3ft at Sprouston) and the river was running reasonably clear.
There were 2 Salmon reported from the river, with both Junction and Sprouston catching fish at 8lbs.
River levels were still falling (1ft 10" at Boleside and 2ft 10" at Sprouston), unfortunately we had steady rain which would have levels rising by the evening.
There were 6 Salmon reported from the river, with Birgham Dub catching the largest fish at 12lbs.
River levels were rising and showing 3ft at Boleside and 4ft 6" at Sprouston.
There were no catches reported.
River levels were falling 2ft 6" at Boleside and 3ft 10" at Sprouston and the river was carrying a bit of colour.
There were no catches reported.
River levels were rising in the morning and would continue too throughout the day, 3ft at Boleside and 5ft at Sprouston. The Teviot was to peak at 7ft at Roxburgh.
There were no catches reported.
A total of 10 Salmon reported for the week on http://www.fishtweed.co.uk, which was only the first 3 days of the week and with not ideal conditions, not too bad considering. It will be interesting to see what the catches are like, if we were to get settled conditions as I have been speaking to a few Ghillie`s up and down the river and the general consensus is that there are a few Springer's about, so hopefully this week coming the weather is kind to us and we can get a full weeks fishing.
added: 12th Feb 2014
posted by: Fish Tweed
FishTweed report by Iain Wilson
Tweedside Tackle Trophy for the First Salmon of the Season Caught on Tweed
The first Spring Salmon of the season on Tweed was caught on the 1st February,...
2014, by Kent HÃ¥kansson from Sweden. Kent was fishing at Upper Floors on the Weetles pool, aided by Boatman Richie Donnovan, who netted and safely released the 9lb cock fish. The Springer was caught on a Cascade Tube fly, using a 15' Loomis Stinger and a Sage reel. As is now the tradition, there was a good turnout at Tweedside Tackle on the evening of the opening day, which was well attended by fishers and boatmen alike. Drinks followed by the presentation of the Tweedside Tackle Trophy, took place in the shop that evening.
Kent HÃ¥kansson is the Fishery Manager on the Em, the famous sea trout river in Sweden. When asked about the opening day he commented 'This is my 10th year fishing the opening day on Tweed. Besides all the nice people we have met on Tweedside, and the chance of an early fish, there are two main reasons for us coming to the Tweed every year; the rich salmon fishing history - fly fishing for salmon has probably longer traditions on Tweed than any other river in the world. The other main attraction for us is Tweed being a pure wild fish river, free from hatcheries. As a Fishery Manager, I am really impressed by the work of the Tweed Commission and the Tweed Foundation. I often use Tweed as an example of what can be achieved with good management'.
The Tweedside Tackle Trophy presented by Tim Pilcher, was sculptured by the locally renowned artist Jason Sweeney. Kent is now the 8th fisher to win this trophy, which was first commissioned in 2007 and remains on show in the shop. In addition to the trophy Kent received a Certificate and a 'goodie bag'.
A promising start for the first full week of the 2014 Salmon fishing season with the springer's that were caught spread out on Lower and Middle Tweed. Considering the unsettled river conditions 10 Salmon were reported on http://www.fishtweed.co.uk, along with a similar number reported from other beats, bearing in mind that the river only fished for three days out of six, due to rising river levels throughout the week, it was certainly a positive start, and lets hope that the catches increase once the river settles down, and the weather behaves itself. I was fortunate to see some pictures of some of the Springers caught last week, and was glad to see that most of them were the proverbial 'Bar of Silver' and had only been in the river for a few days.
It was interesting to note that the water temperature this week was around 40- 42f, and this will encourage fish to continue to head upriver. There was quite a bit of snow on the hill tops in the Ettrick Valley and on the hills in the Peeblesshire area and this may effect water temps next week.
River levels were falling today, but the river was still carrying a bit of colour and there was very little fishing done.
There were no Salmon Reported of the river.
The River was around the 3ft mark on the Boleside gauge and around 4ft on the Sprouston gauge, and was carrying a wee bit of colour.
There were 4 Salmon reported from the river, with Birgham Dub catching the biggest fish at 9lbs.
River levels were down about 6" from Tuesday`s levels and was still a bit coloured, there was steady rain for most of the afternoon and this had levels rising by 6pm.
There were 2 Salmon reported from the river, with Upper North Wark catching the biggest fish at 10lbs.
The River was in a high and coloured condition and was showing over 3ft on the Boleside gauge, and just under 5ft on the Sprouston gauge.
There were no salmon reported from the river.
River levels were falling and were over 3ft on the Sprouston gauge and 2ft 6" at Boleside. The river was carrying a bit of colour.
Again heavy rain showers and persistent rain/sleet in the evening would affect River levels by the morning.
There were 3 Salmon reported from the river, with Junction catching the biggest fish at 15lbs.
River levels were rising and starting to colour up by lunchtime which put paid to any fishing in the afternoon.
There was 1 Salmon reported from Lower Birgham and weighed 8lbs.
added: 11th Dec 2013
posted by: Fish Tweed
This week saw an improvement in catches from the previous week with 341 Salmon and 12 Sea Trout reported. It was interesting to see that catches were still spread throughout the system, with the upper...
and middle river continuing to pick away, considering that river levels were starting to get on the low side for some of these beats.
The lower river continued to have good catches which is surprising as normally things would be very quiet towards the end of the season, but I was still hearing reports of fresh sea liced fish being caught.
Once again we had some big fish feature in the catch returns with fish reported from 20lbs through to a 30lb fish caught at Glenormiston on Tuesday.
During the last couple of weeks I had reports of some Salmon Kelts being caught and a few more of these were appearing this week, along with reports of Sea Trout Kelts seen splashing around in the tails of pools on some beats on middle river.
The day started with frosty and bright conditions and continued for the rest of the day, winds were light and variable, and we had a stunning sunset to finish with.
There were 67 Salmon and 3 Sea Trout reported, with Hendersyde catching the biggest fish at 26lbs.
The day started with bright and frosty conditions, and again we finished the day with another fantastic Sunset.
There were 78 Salmon and 6 Sea Trout reported with Glenormiston catching the biggest fish at 30lbs.
The day started with mild conditions and dry and bright overhead conditions, winds were light and from a westerly direction.
There were 66 Salmon reported with Birgham Dub catching the biggest fish at 26lbs.
The day started with mild conditions, but as the morning continued there was a cool NE wind that had temperatures falling by the afternoon and this seemed to put the fish off, with only 39 Salmon and 2 Sea Trout reported, with Junction catching the biggest fish at 23lbs.
The day started with a cool breeze which picked up as the day went on and made fishing difficult due to strong gusting conditions. There was a notable drop in temperature. with the wind making it feel a lot colder.
There were 43 Salmon and 1 Sea Trout reported, with Lower Birgham catching the biggest fish at 22lbs.
The day started with Frosty and bright conditions and light to moderate wind from a westerly direction. There was a slight increase in daytime temperature as it was a nice sunny day, and there was a slight increase in catches to end the season. There were 48 salmon reported with Birgham Dub and Tweedswood sharing the biggest fish at 20lbs.
added: 1st Dec 2013
posted by: Atlantic Salmon Trust
The role of the AST blog is to give comments on or flavour to AST's activities. I hope our readers will appreciate that its purpose is only to give brief descriptive overview of the stocking conference,...
which ended last Thursday, and that full details will emerge later.
The proceedings of the conference will of course be posted on the AST website in due course. In the meantime the job of this blog is to give our readers a flavour of what took place. I find it instructive that the event was oversubscribed. The fact that so many people wanted to attend the conference says something about how we should engage with people in the world of salmon management. It suggests, for example, that people with an interest in salmon who are very often not scientists, need to receive information in clear, plain English, and not in the sometimes obscure language of the scientist. Perhaps, more importantly, it suggests that by declaring that we are ready to listen to all points of view, to avoid being prescriptive or proscriptive, we can open up a good natured debate, however different views may be.
I think it is also important that there is clarity in distinguishing between the role of the scientist, whose job is to advise on the basis of available facts, and the manager, whose task is to make decisions taking into account all the aspects and needs of the fishery. The two roles are separate and distinct.
[b]IBIS - Integrated Aquatic Resources Management Between Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland[b/] - an EU initiative, provided the funding for this event and it was because IBIS covered all the conference costs that numbers were limited. While it was certainly a pity that we didn't bring in everyone who wanted to attend we did have an exceptionally knowledgeableand broadly based audience. In terms of who the conference attracted, it really could not have been better; 150 practitioners, anglers, scientists and managers gathered together to debate this contentious subject. Our congratulations and thanks go to our IBIS partners for excellent organisation and a successful conference.
[b]Stocking as an instrument of salmon fishery management[b/] has for many years been a matter of contention between those who advocate its use as an immediate reaction to counter perceived reduction in numbers of fish, to those who see its use as an action of last resort. The debate has become polarised. One of the objectives of the conference was to remove that polarity in views by dealing with the issue objectively.
The key questions that emerged from the debate were; [b]"What is the purpose of your stocking project? What outcomes do you want/expect, and how are you going to know whether you have achieved them?[b/]
Those questions were dealt with effectively over the course of the two days. While I have no doubt that there are some people who arrived at the conference as advocates of stocking as the first 'go-to' instrument of management, it is fair to claim that the debate gave recognition to all views on the basis that in each case the desired outcome of the stocking action was clearly stated. The antithesis was inferred - that without clarity of desired outcome there can be no place for stocking as a rational instrument of management.
[b]An excellent example is the SAC (Special Area of Conservation)[b/] catchment where natural biodiversity is the stated outcome. The conference agreed that in all SAC salmon rivers there should be a presumption against stocking. In other words, in those rivers, because the objective is natural biodiversity, there should be no human intervention that in any way interferes with the natural process of smolt recruitment.
On the other hand, where the manager's desired outcome is a profitable recreational fishery, and in circumstances where the capacity of that fishery to recruit sufficient naturally recruited smolts is impaired, it may be necessary to introduce stocking as a means of boosting numbers. Examples such as the Ranga in Iceland and the Lochy in Scotland were cited as rivers where for specific reasons - poor spawning and juvenile habitat on the Ranga and impacts of salmon farming on the Lochy - it is expedient and effective to boost salmon numbers artificially, despite the costs of so doing.
The conference achieved a consensus that, provided the manager is clear about why he is taking action and what outcome he wants, stocking does have a place in a toolkit of intervention instruments available to him. Underpinning and informing the moment of decision is the absolute necessity of the fishery manager to understand his stock, in terms of structure, quality (of the individual fish) and numbers. The example of the Moy catchment in Ireland, that supports populations of salmon with different run timings and destinations within the catchment, made the point that stock structures can be complex and require sensitive treatment. The underpinning aspect of stock definition is of course genetics, and that there is some way to go before genetic differentiation between populations within a river's stock will be extensively available.
If there was a simple message for the fishery manager, dealing with a complex issue, it was "If you think you have a problem with your river's salmon stock, pause and think hard before you take action". The 'thinking' requires knowledge of the stock, an understanding of the perceived problem, evaluation of available options and a clear statement of desired outcomes. That considered approach should encourage managers to make the right decision.
I feel the conference did much to clear the air. It certainly seemed to erode a few prejudices! Speaking for myself, it also cleared my head on a few issues!
AST 1 December 2013
added: 13th Nov 2013
posted by: Fish Tweed
(Last updated: Monday 11th November)
Another successful week on Tweedside with 922 Salmon and 32 Sea Trout reported for the week. Catches were again spread throughout the river system with river levels...
being around 2ft 4" on Monday this height suited the upper and middle river beats as well as a fewer lower beats also, the river still carrying some colour this affected catches and also the amount of leaves in the river were a nuisance. It was good to hear of an increase in some fresh fish being caught and again these were being caught from the lower river up to some beats on the upper river.
I spoke with Mr Simon Cotton who along with his son and daughter, Frank and Lilly and friend Ralph Brown, had a successful 3 days fishing at Birgham Dub, catching 29 Salmon. Ralph Brown had the biggest fish of the trip with a coloured Cock fish measuring 40" long and weighing 27lbs. Lilly Cotton also had her biggest fish yet with a Sea Liced Salmon at 14lbs, not to be out done young Frank Cotton also had a sea liced fish at 19lbs, he also had a red letter day at Sprouston, where he was invited to fish there by Mr John Marshall and managed to hook and land 7 salmon on a small Snealda Tube.
I bumped into Tom Davis, head Ghillie at Lower Birgham who said that they had a good week landing 32 salmon and a Sea Trout, he also commented that the smaller fish were fresh as paint, with the bigger fish being in the river a while.
Again there were some big fish around with Boleside landing a 32lb Salmon, which was caught by Mr Edward Evans from London out of Glenmayne on a Comet tube fly, Nigel Fell the head ghillie also mentioned that a Dr Sefton Suffren caught a 12lbs salmon from the garden back whilst wading, which is no small feat as he is 94 years old!!!. Also Ravenswood landing a 29lb Salmon, congratulations to all these anglers. I also heard of a fish that was lost on Friday on the Mertoun Syndicate beat, that was played for over an hour and snapped 20lb Maxima nylon.!!!
The Rivers levels were falling after a rise in levels on Sunday and the river was carrying some colour, the moderate to strong westerly wind was also making fishing difficult with the addition of more leaves in the river, but there were 100 Salmon and 14 Sea Trout reported, with Upper Makerstoun catching the biggest fish at 22lbs.
River levels were still falling, and this lower river height started to suit middle and lower river beats, with the wind and the leaves still present catches were an improvement from the previous day.
There were 216 Salmon and 2 Sea Trout reported, with Tillmouth, Middle Pavilion and Cardrona sharing the largest fish at 25lbs.
River levels were up by 6" from the previous day, due to heavy rain in the west of the catchment, and the river was to rise again mid afternoon and start to colour up, with what could only be described as road wash, as it had a greyish tinge to it, water temperatures were dropping also due to overnight frost, and the leaves were again an issue in the afternoon.
This affected catches slightly with 169 Salmon and 2 Sea Trout reported, with Boleside catching the largest fish at 32lbs.
The morning started with a hard frost with blue sky and sunny spells for most of the day, the wind was to pick up mid morning again causing leaves to become an issue, the river was carrying a tinge of colour. catches were down on the day previous with 131 Salmon and 1 Sea Trout reported. Junction caught the biggest fish with a 22lber.
Again it was a hard frost in the morning with sunny spells and light winds with the river in perfect condition, catches were up slightly on day previous with 152 Salmon and 10 Sea Trout reported, with Fairnilee catching the biggest fish at 22lbs.
Another hard frost and again bright overhead conditions, with the river running clear and ideal conditions, winds were light and a manageable amount of leaves were coming down the river, there were 154 Salmon and 3 Sea Trout reported with Ravenswood catching the biggest fish at 29lbs.