Salmon catches trebled, trebled and trebled again! Reykjavik January 2010
The Angling Club Strengur, Iceland has just celebrated its 50th anniversary. Launched on October 29, 1959, the club’s activities have embraced several Icelandic salmon rivers.
The River Selá is the club’s pride and joy. Back on that day in 1959 the international headlines were all about a troubled world and centred on the President of France, General De Gaulle in France, Macmillan in the UK, Adenauer in Germany and India’s Prime Minister Nehru. Nikita Khrushchev was claiming that the Soviet Union was about to exceed the US in economic terms and President Eisenhower said the best response to that was to smile.
In complete contrast the Selá, then and now, offers the perfect escape from bustle and care. It runs through a totally peaceful and serene location. Pristine and beautiful, the river has remarkable strength, clarity and purity.
Club members have guarded this river as if it was their family silver and it has repaid them handsomely. Back in 1968 the annual catches were less than 100. Thanks to forty years of passionate endeavour that figure has now been multiplied 27 times.
It took a great deal of work. The habitat has been enhanced from the mountains to the icy waters of the North East Atlantic. The nets were bought out and the club undertook the demanding construction of a fish pass that allows salmon to surmount a high fall and reach waters from which they had previously been barred.
As a result the annual salmon catches first grew from 100 to 300. Then they increased again to 900. This was still not good enough for the club and the last 10 years have rewarded them with another threefold advance. The catch is now no less than 2,715 salmon and every one of them is a pure bred wild fish.
‘It’s still not enough’ said chairman Orri Vigfusson in a celebration speech to the members and guests at a gathering at the Hilton Nordica restaurant. He expects numbers to go even higher because the club has given the salmon the chance to climb right up to the very tops of the mountains.
‘I cannot promise another threefold increase,’ he said. ‘But if we continue to deploy the NASF principles and let nature herself do what only she does best, perhaps we will succeed one more time. Let’s wait and see what happens in 2019!’
Read more in Icleandic or English (Google translation)