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Divers in Lancashire help recover lost salmon tags from river

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Reefers and Wreckers Scuba Bus

The Scuba Bus from Reefers and Wreckers.

Reefers and Wreckers of Clitheroe (www.reefersandwreckers.com) recently teamed-up with the Ribble Rivers Trust (RRT) in a pursuit that turned the heads of Sunday strollers.

Sea to Sky

Walkers were greeted by the unfamiliar sight of drysuits and snorkels in river between Sawley and Edisford last weekend. Donating their time and skills, the divers performed a ‘search and recover’ of the Ribble depths to seek out a series of fish tags.

The tags were originally used to track the movements of spring salmon as part of a conservation study being undertaken by the Trust. The three-year study has seen local angling groups and landowners help identify where these fish go to spawn. The mercurial ‘springers’ have reduced in number over recent years, prompting the fact-finding mission. The salmon, which naturally die after spawning, have dispensed the tags and these can potentially be re-used rather than lost to the riverbed.

Liquid Diving

Using a combination of the Trust’s tracking gear and a team of five scuba divers, the riverbed was tirelessly searched by eye. Recaptured tags will now be re-used over the remaining two years of the project. Despite the gusting winds and driving rain, the day was hailed a success. There was even time to retrieve one novel treasure at Edisford – an old Victorian iron!

Gareth Jones, fisheries scientist at the Trust said: “The day was a great success thanks to the good will, co-ordination and desire of the divers, angling clubs, Environment Agency and landowners on the day. All have been pivotal so far and we hope to rely on their continuing help.”

Reefers and Wreckers have been involved in a range of conservation works, helping to reduce litter problems in a range of aquatic environments and in making a generous donation to the Trust. By forming a new link with the RRT, they hope to contribute to the improvement of their local watercourses.

The salmon tracking study is now in its second year following a successful first year. More details about the project can be found via the Trust’s website: www.ribbletrust.org.uk/projects/salmon-tagging.



About Author

Lee has been in the marketing industry for the last 15 years and now specializes in teaching marketing techniques to people in the scuba diving industry. He is founder of Dive Media Solutions which, in addition to providing complete marketing, media, communications and IT solutions exclusively for the scuba diving industry, also produces The Scuba News. You can connect with Lee via Twitter by following @DiveMedia

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