Monday, 2 January 2012

Salmon Fishing in the Ure

Apparently, salmon and sea trout are returning to inhabit the river Ure in encouraging numbers. A hundred years ago the river was famous as one of the finest salmon rivers in the country. Its fast flowing water and many gravel beds made it ideal to support a huge salmon population and around 13 tonnes were caught every year. Sadly, by the 1940s, pollution lower down the river - the Ure joins the Swale to become the Ouse - meant that the salmon had mostly disappeared. They had to swim up the Humber estuary in order to reach the Ure and the more industrial rivers like the Aire and the Calder that flowed into the estuary, as well as the effluents from factories along the Humber, were so heavily polluted that oxygen supplies in the water were insufficient to sustain the salmon.

Aysgarth Falls on the River Ure

Today, the levels of pollution have dropped significantly and wild salmon and sea trout have been returning in encouraging numbers. The Ure Salmon Trust is a body specially formed to return the river to its former place among the major salmon rivers of the UK. Increased salmon fishing will hopefully mean a significant boost for the local economies along the river as those coming to enjoy the sport will contribute to local hotels, restaurants, pubs and tackle shops outside the usual holiday season. Fishing is at its height in the months of Februray - April and September - November. There will also be employment for ghillies who maintain the banks. The Trust has work to do in controlling the erosion that affects the river banks and restocking the river with locally produced fish. It is estimated that it will take five years to restock the river so that popluations reach levels that enable the Ure to make the impact it should be making as a salmon river.

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