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Catch and Release

Salmon caught during the season will remain in the river for many months before spawning and the need to treat them with utmost care when returning them to continue their journey is vitally important.

As a key player in the world of salmon fishing Fishpal CEO, and AST Ambassador, Mark Cockburn, wanted to increase the awareness of catch and release for salmon conservation through the FishPal site:

Each year the site receives over 24 million page views and 850,000 visitors buying permits, checking information and news on latest catches for fisheries across the United Kingdom, Ireland and Iceland.

Mark and Anne (Fishpal Marketing Director) approached the Atlantic Salmon Trust requesting their advice and assistance in producing an advisory film for anglers on catch and release.

The Atlantic Salmon Trust Research Director Prof. Ken Whelan filmed a series of ten minute films called The Gift (CLICK HERE TO VIEW) to promote the message of best practice for fishing for salmon.

The advice in each film is based on scientific evidence and is aimed at minimising the damage to released fish from angling.

The location chosen was the River Tyne which has recorded the highest catch of salmon in England and Wales since 1998, thanks to the conservation work on the river. The beat was Bywell which didn’t disappoint. During the two days a total of three fish were caught by our youngest angler Jess England (19) and eldest Tom Robinson (78), ably assisted by their ghillie Terry Paton.  All of the research to date clearly indicates that if properly handled the vast majority of rod caught salmon survive to spawn. In releasing their wild salmon anglers are making an invaluable contribution to salmon conservation.

Why did we call it The Gift? A 6lb hen will produce 5,000 eggs, while a 20-pounder could shed 15,000 eggs, by putting the fish back you are giving a gift back to the river of eggs.

We all have a social conscience to spread the word to others and to demonstrate that we are responsible guardians for the future of salmon.

Anne Woodcock


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