Online survey looks at future of salmon stocks on River Tees

The Environment Agency is encouraging anglers to go online and help inform them about the main issues affecting salmon on the River Tees.

Fisheries officers at the Environment Agency have set up an on-line questionnaire to collect information from those anglers who fish for salmon on the Tees, in order to review and update the river’s Salmon Action Plan which was first produced in the late 1990s to help increase fish stocks. The review aims to make sure the right actions for the next five years are identified.

Anglers can log onto www.environment-agency.gov.uk/regions/northeast and follow the link to Regional Issues, then Fisheries to find out more and complete the survey.

Environment Agency fisheries specialist Philip Rippon said: “Over the last ten years salmon catch returns indicate that the River Tees has made great strides in recovering as a fishery, after many years of neglect.

“Historic records indicate the river has recovered to nearly 25% of its pre-industrial health over the past, which is in line with predicted rates of recovery, based on other salmon rivers in the region. But these improvements need to continue is we are to reach our conservation targets.

“We do know though that there are still issues of concern to anglers, such as the barrage, movement of fish, and the effects of climate change.

“We’ve listed these issues in the online surveys and we’d really like anglers to share their opinions, to help us prioritise everything and identify what we can do in the future.”

Anglers have until September to complete the simple survey and are also welcome to add their own comments.

The final Salmon Action Plans for the Rivers Tyne, Wear and Coquet have now been completed and are also available to download from the Environment Agency’s website.

Mr Rippon continued: “We’ve like thank all anglers and organisations who have contributed to the development of the plans through the on-line questionnaires and the workshops.”