After almost 23 consecutive days in the field, today we achieved our target of tagging 10,000 juvenile salmon and 3,000 juvenile trout with the small PIT tags as part of the SAMARCH project WPT3 work-package, which aims to improve the stock assessment models used by the authorities in the UK and France to manage their salmon and migratory trout stocks. It has been a long three and a half weeks, without a day off for most! A huge thank you to everyone involved, particularly the students from Agrocampus, Bournemouth Universities, other institutions and the numerous volunteers who worked tirelessly and without complaints during the long days.
Ray Kitchen, a student from Bournemouth University who helped us achieve our tagging target this year, has written the piece below which reflects his thoughts on his time working on the SAMARCH project.
“Once deep-rooted in the atrocious ideology of not knowing the existence of UK-based wild salmon; now I stand at acquaintance with nearly 5,000 of these torpedo-shaped, jovial juveniles in the River Frome. Not even concerning the other beautiful beasts that make-up this gin-clear river – from gudgeon to grayling, perch to pike and eels to seals (not really the last one) – the salmon survey has lent to a fascinating, blue planet-esque understanding of chalk stream inhabitants. As empirical evidence continues to shed light on a bleaker future for these creatures and their habitats, the need to appropriately plan a sustainable future will stay ever apparent.”