AN UPDATE FROM NIGEL MILNER AND APPEAL FOR SUPPORT

Dear all,

I hope you are all thriving and making contact with our silvery friends (no, not smelt!).

I’m sending a group e-mail, although  I know that you have  had different levels of contact and details from me in the past, through meetings etc.  Apologies if this repeats anything, I’m trying to bring everyone up to same level.

I am writing about the Celtic sea Trout Project, which is now thankfully fully staffed and underway.  As you will recall we are hoping to collect as many sea trout scales as possible from 24 river around the Irish Sea and the Conwy/Clwyd are two of the rivers.  Others are, in Wales: the Dwyfawr, Dyfi, Teifi, Tywi, and  Tawe,  and in England: Ribble, Lune, Ehen and Border Esk. We might need to adjust this selection,  depending upon how sampling goes.  There are many more rivers involved, but these are the ones where we doing the detailed life history work.

If we can hit our targets of 300+ /river as soon as possible we can then see if that is enough, or if we might need to increase in places.  Through this message I want to check if you have got scale sampling kits and scale envelopes.

In the interest of costs it is preferable to have lits/envelopes centrally dispersed and collected.  Foxons, in St Asaph, have kindly agreed to act as a hub for this purpose in North Wales and there are now scale kits and spare envelopes there.  If you are a long way from Foxons, or if it isn’t convenient for you then please let us know and we can mail you some.   If you are fortunate to get sea trout scale samples could you please leave them at Foxons, or hang on to them (just keep them somewhere dry) until we can collect through the Autumn meetings or other prearranged route. We will also get a Freepost system up in due course.

Our website (www.celticseatrout.com) is still basic,  but will be greatly improved very soon and on it we will have the month by month river totals as well as updates on other developments and other background sea trout information for around the Irish Sea, which we hope you’ll find interesting.  Currently, there is more information at the “Campaign for the Protection of Welsh Fisheries” site (http://cpwf.co.uk/home/), and many thanks to Alan Cuthbert for that.

Regarding the scales we had in 2009. We have had to wait to get these registered on a  central database to ensure we can manage the data set (which will be very big) in the long run.  Please bear with us and I’ll get scale reading results back to you in due course.

I really hope you can support the project as it goes into it first full year and look forward to meeting you again (or in some cases for the first time) through various channels as we go along. We’ll have some full feedback meetings in the Winter.

If you need further information or advice please e-mail me or Dr Carys Davies (carys.davies@bangor.ac.uk) the Project research Officer (tel:01248388603), who is now managing the sampling programme on this side of the Irish Sea.

Finally, tight lines and please feel free to pass this information and request for scale samples (and the supporting info!) on to any of your friends who fish the Conwy or Clwyd.

With Best Wishes,

Nigel

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