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Huge salmon caught in the River Ewe

Posted: Wednesday 15 October, 2008 @ 13:39:54

Ray Dingwall with Ewe salmon of 105cm, landed by Jon Penny, 4th Oct 08 (Photo by Glyn Williams).

This fish, a male salmon of 105 cm, was caught on the River Ewe on 4th October by ghillie Ray Dingwall and is the biggest caught in the River Ewe in recent years. In line with the catch and release policy, the fish, estimated to weigh 30lb was released (see gallery for larger picture). Only one larger salmon is known to have swum in the River Ewe in recent years, another male salmon of 115 cm that was found dead by the side of the river having been partly eaten by an otter in January 2003.

Two days later, Ray hooked another large salmon, which was landed by Peter Cunningham. This fish, a female of 98cm (estimated weight 22lb) was released after samples were taken (click here for picture of fish) as both Ray and Peter thought that the fish looked like a 'wild' one. However, subsequent scale reading indicates that the fish was an escaped farm salmon (click here for picture of scale) that had spent two winters at sea after escaping. In retrospect some signs can be seen from the photo of the fish that the salmon was an escapee: unusually spotty back, a slightly shorter gill cover than usual. Escaped farm fish which have been living in the wild for a year or more are particularly difficult to recognise because their fins have grown to look like wild fish. For this reason, escaped farm salmon are probably under-recorded in rod catches.