Anglers reel in top prizes

13 June 2012: Salmon anglers on the River Tees continue to put their catches back to help Environment Agency conservation efforts to restore fish stocks.

Tees salmon anglers returned 64 per cent of their catch in 2011, slightly higher than the North East area average of 62 per cent, according to Environment Agency data, which is good news for the recovering River Tees.

Two Tees anglers have been rewarded for their efforts to record their catches by the Environment Agency. They were awarded prizes for the highest number of fish put back by an angler, and for the largest fish returned.

The largest salmon reported in the rod licence records for the 2011 season was 18lb 6oz, by Reeth angler Bob Forsyth. Bob has won a Haze salmon reel, worth £170, courtesy of John Norris of Penrith. Another angler from Weardale won £250 John Norris gift vouchers for returning all of his catch.

Environment Agency fisheries officer Paul Frear is encouraged that local anglers are keen to release their catch and promote the conservation of salmon.

Paul said: “It is great news that more and more anglers are returning their salmon catches to safeguard populations in the future. For every salmon returned that goes on to spawn successfully, we can expect up to 50 adult fish back. Every salmon returned can make a significant difference to the overall population.”

The Environment Agency continues to promote catch and release of both salmon and sea trout on the River Tees where stocks are recovering after decades of poor water quality following the industrial revolution.

The River Tees is cleaner now than it has been for over 20 years which is great news for salmon stocks and other wildlife.

Anglers holding an Environment Agency salmon licence are reminded that they must submit a catch return and can enter the 2012 prize draw by simply filling in their rod licence return at the end of the season.