Two Environment Agency Wales fisheries scientists have recently won the Contribution to Science award from the Association of Rivers Trust for their work in monitoring salmon and sea trout on the River Dee.


The 15 years of research carried out by Ian Davidson and Rich Cove as part of the Dee Stock Assessment project has contributed greatly to the work the Agency has carried out in improving the quality of fishing throughout Wales.


This research was recognised as having a significant input into how the Agency and other organisations can conserve and increase the number of migratory fish returning to spawn in the rivers of Wales and England.


The programme collects information from every stage of the fish’s lifecycle using trapping, tagging and other survey methods. This includes information on the numbers of adult fish returning to the river each year, the catches of net and rod fisheries, and the abundance of young fish and their survival at sea.


The scientists have provided evidence to support by-law changes and facilities to monitor their success. They have also contributed to the development of population models and research into the consequences of climate change on the salmon and sea trout in the rivers of Wales and England.


Jim Gregory, speaking from the Agency said:


“The work that Ian and Rich have done is fundamental to our understanding of the effects that climate change, pollution and exploitation are having on salmon and sea trout stocks in Welsh rivers and what we can do to increase their numbers. Their findings are used to manage salmon stocks throughout the UK.


“We are delighted that their dedication and hard work has been recognised and thank the Association of Rivers Trust for this award.

Here’s to another 15 years!”