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2017 Frome Redd Count

Conditions were ideal for this winters Frome redd count, our “Casterbridge Fisheries” team were able to walk the whole catchment mapping the spawning salmon and sea trout, here is a snippet of our report..

1.0      Summary

Casterbridge Fisheries carried out a complete migratory salmonid redd count on the River Frome catchment between 3rd January and 13th January 2017.

Below average rainfall resulted in relatively stable river levels throughout the first two weeks of January. This allowed the teams to progress efficiently.  One high flow event occurred, which delayed redd counting for a single day.  However, with careful observation of weather forecasts and gauging weirs, it was possible to carry out a full count of the Frome under favourable conditions, although the lower Frome, below Bovington, was again carrying suspended solids as was the Tadnoll Brook, thus high-lighting the sediment issues in the Frome which is a concern.

A total count of 341 migratory salmonid redds were recorded, the majority being over the size threshold for salmon redds (2.0 Methodology). Results show a good spawning range on the main river, with Salmon redds recorded up to the centre of Maiden Newton.  Salmon and sea trout redds were not seen on the River Cerne, Sydling Brook, Hooke and South Winterbourne, indicating these water courses were not utilised under these low flow conditions.

As in previous years, it was noted that the size of some of the salmon, was surprisingly small; in the 4-5lb range.  As a result, some of the redds cut by these fish were below the size threshold expected, and this must be taken into account when interpreting the size data recorded in the Appendices.

There was no evidence of barriers to fish migration, nor extensive overcutting of redds.