With all the recent focus on the problems caused by the recent volcanic activity in Iceland Fish&Fly Editor Paul Sharman contacted the local science community to find out what effects if any it may have on the salmon fisheries.

After getting in touch with the Ministry of Fisheries yesterday he was pleased to receive the following reply from Sigurdur Gudjonsson, Director of the Institute of Freshwater Fisheries in Iceland.

"As most people in Europe now know, at least those who had plans to fly, we have a volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallaj÷kul. This volcano is in South Iceland and is underneath a glacier. This means that we have had a lot of ash blowing to the atmosphere causing trouble for air traffic. Some ash has been falling in the south and southeast of the volcano. Other parts of Iceland have escaped.

In fact air traffic in Iceland has been all right except to Europe as the ash is blowing that way. The activity in the volcano is much less now and there is also not as much ash blowing from the mountain. A lot of volcanic ash can be bad for life in waters including fishes. Most of our salmon rivers are far away from this volcano and we do not expect that they will be influenced as everything looks okay right now. Through the years we have had volcanic eruption now and then without having large influences on the salmon rivers. Large events though can happen the last one was eruption in Laki in the 1780's . But large events are rare.

At the moment things look good for the salmon season this summer. But of course you can never foresee everything in nature especially not such things as volcanos."

So the good news seems to be (at least for the salmon) that because the ash is being blown up into the atmosphere and away from Iceland itself, the rivers will not suffer from being clogged up with ashfall and the salmon will return as normal to a hopefully relatively pristine environment as they have come to expect.