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Formal report series, containing results of research and monitoring carried out by Marine Scotland Science


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Using historic tag data to infer the geographic range of salmon river stocks likely to be taken by a coastal fishery

Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science Vol 9 No 6
A review of both published material and Marine Scotland records was conducted to identify data available from historic tagging studies of salmon in Scotland. These data have been analysed with the aim of identifying those river stocks likely to contribute to the catches of individual coastal fisheries.

Downie, H., Hanson, N., Smith, G.W., Middlemas, S.J., Anderson, J., Tulett, D. and Anderson, H. (2018). Using historic tag data to infer the geographic range of salmon river stocks likely to be taken by a coastal fishery. Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science Vol 9 No 6, 20pp. DOI: 10.7489/12095-1
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UK Open Government Licence (OGL)
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Two sets of tagging programmes were identified. The first consisted of salmon tagged as juveniles in-river and subsequently reported caught in coastal fisheries during their return adult migrations. The second comprised of adult fish tagged in coastal net fisheries during their return migration and recovered within rivers. Juvenile salmon were tagged in four major East coast rivers (the Conon, the Aberdeenshire Dee, the North Esk and Tay) and a total of 576 were recaptured from 60 different coastal fisheries around Scotland. For each of these four major east coast river stocks, returning adults were taken in widely dispersed coastal fisheries. Fish from the rivers Tay and North Esk for example were recaptured in both west coast and Solway fisheries. Such data confirm that coastal fisheries throughout Scotland may exploit fish which originate from rivers some considerable distance from where they operate. For the adult tagging programmes, data from 23 coastal fisheries were analysed and a total of 572 returning adult salmon were recovered from 59 rivers. The distances between coastal tagging sites and the mouths of those rivers where tagged fish were subsequently detected were estimated for each of these fish and the overall direction of travel (clockwise or anticlockwise) was also recorded.

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