River research at Paxton this season

Members of the public are invited along to watch traditional net fishing at Paxton netting station this season.
Members of the public are invited along to watch traditional net fishing at Paxton netting station this season.

Paxton netting station will be used for research this fishing season and will no longer operate as a commercial netting enterprise.

Dr Ronald Campbell, the foundation’s senior biologist, said: “The Tweed Foundation will make two main uses of the Paxton fishery for routine sampling and tagging.

“Sampling of salmon and sea-trout adults for: scales (scales collected by river fisheries are now doubly biased as not only are the fish selected by angling they are also then selectively killed); lengths (weights); damage types and their frequency (mainly by predators); disease symptoms (types and frequency); external parasites (Sea-lice frequency).

“External tagging of salmon and sea-trout adults: fresh fish on their way up river, and tagging will show the percentage caught by anglers, the “Exploitation Rate” and allow estimates to be made of total numbers entering the River; kelts on their way out of the river.

“Sea-trout recaptures at sea show where Tweed sea-trout migrate and the timing of their movements. Salmon recaptures at sea are unlikely, but are made more possible by tagging right at the bottom of the river, where they have almost made it back to the sea.

“Any recaptures would be particularly valuable in showing the marine migrations of Tweed salmon, which are little known.

“Other uses may also be made of the facility in the future, as it provides an opportunity for a wealth of monitoring and data-harvesting.”

Members of the public are welcome along to the netting station to learn more about the netting of fish on Tweed and the tagging procedure that the foundation undertakes before releasing the salmon and sea-trout caught to continue their journey upstream.

Each month the Foundation’s netting dates will be advertised on the Tweednews website - each session lasting between two and four hours, depending on tides, water conditions and catches.

March dates are: Thursday 19 (today), starting at 11am; Friday 20, at 11.45am; Monday 23, at 2pm; and Tuesday 24, at 2pm.

The netting can only take place if the water level is 1ft 6ins″ (48cms) or less on the Norham gauge.

Check with The Foundation at least 24 hours beforehand if you are planning to go to Paxton to see the netting taking place.