Marine Scotland has released their Scotland-wide 2021 Salmon and Sea Trout fishery statistics.
The total catch for Scotland is the lowest on record at 35,693 salmon and 12,636 sea trout.
You can view national and river specific catch data by using Marine Scotland’s interactive Salmon and Sea Trout Catch app. Below is a graph, from this app, showing the national catch for salmon in Scotland.
In a further publication, “Salmon Fishery Statistics: 2021”, Marine Scotland highlights important data and try to offer an explanation for the low numbers:
- Catch and release in 2021 accounted for 95% of the total rod catch and 99% of the rod-caught spring multi sea-winter fish (taken before 1 May). Reported spring catches in 2021, which were affected by coronavirus restrictions, were 66% of the previous five-year average
- In 2021 there was a 26% decrease in summer rod catches of both multi sea-winter fish and one sea-winter fish compared to 2020
- Stay-at-home orders associated with the coronavirus pandemic, along with restrictions on national and international travel, disrupted fisheries during the 2021 season. Fishing effort and catch for the 2021 season shows a decrease during the spring compared to 2019.
- Rainfall records from the Met Office highlight the dry conditions in rivers, with rainfall 11% to 56% lower than the 30-year average from June to September in 2021. Catches tend to be lower in drought conditions and this may have contributed to the low catches in 2021.
In response to the record low numbers caught, Fisheries Management Scotland (FMS) has issued a news release, calling for urgent government action to save the country’s wild salmon stocks and stem rural job losses.
In addition, FMS urge everyone who values their local rivers and the iconic wild salmon to join a national “Call to Action” to speed up delivery of critically-important conservation measures.
We collaborated with FMS to create the “Call to Action” and fully support its contents. The Call to Action outlines several critical actions that the Scottish Government must take to restore our wild salmon and can be read in full here.