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A frustrating start

The water levels in our Dorset chalk streams can only be described as low, even lower than the summer levels, so the few Salmon that venture up to spawn are having a fairly tough time, we know that the higher up the catchment these fish can spawn the higher the chance of survival for the juveniles.

After a frustrating start to the day in terms of the number of Redds I managed to snap the Propshaft on the trusty “Riverworks” landrover, which slowed us down for a couple of hours……

Miles and miles of upper water and only a handful of Redds to mark with the GPS, seriously frustrating, then we come to one of those lovely tilting weirs, absolutely NO way can a Salmon leap this particular structure, ten miles of great habitat and cleaned gravel wasted, we need to take over the control of these hatches!!!!!

The light was not to good for taking pictures today but we did capture a handful of pictures of spawning fish and a little video, all good useful material, handy for our Redd counting workshop we are doing later in the week.

Believe it or not, and to give you an idea of scale the Hen fish in this picture is possibly twenty pounds!

The Redd numbers are already looking a lot less than the count this time last year, particulary up stream of Dorchester, we will see what the coming days bring……