Posted 5th Oct 2017
Image courtesy of © Jack Perks
The great Atlantic salmon run will be coming to an end as autumn progresses
After spending the past five years way out in the Atlantic maturing, salmon will gather during the autumn months at river mouths dotted along our coasts. As the rainy autumn season arrives, river levels rise, and salmon start their journey back up stream.
Weirs and waterfalls pose no obstacle for this mighty fish when he's looking to get to his spawning grounds - they instead hurl themselves up and over. Why not gather at the riverside and cheer them on?
It's by the end of November that spawning will be complete and the surviving adults will make their way back out to sea at a more sedate pace on their return journey.
How to do it
You need to pay attention to the clock, the calendar and the weather forecast. It's early morning and evenings which, during October and November, will be best, and a period of rain after a dry spell offer the best condition for the salmon to leap. Start by finding a good vantage point by the river - bridges over weirs will be the best. Remember to take care on wet slippery banks!
If you can't access the special places listed below...
You could always watch Jack Perks' film of UK freshwater fish. The salmon is one of many fascinating species for which he has footage. Atlantic salmon will be over-fished and salmon farming is fraught with environmental costs. If you're looking to enjoy eating salmon sustainably, you should try wild-caught Pacific salmon from Alaska, according to the Marine Conservation Society.
Gilfach in Powys is bisected by the River Marteg, an important tributary of the River Wye. Follow the 'Salmon Stone Circular Walk', which takes you to a special viewing platform which is perched above a waterfall, from which you can get a birds eye view of the salmon leaping upstream. The area is also a good way of spotting an otter, as he'll be looking for an easy meal.
When running along the side of Tees Valley Wildlife Trust's, Maze Park nature reserve is the River Tees. By visiting in October or November for a chance of seeing the salmon jumping up the fish ladder at the nearby Tees Barage, while seals will also hope to catch a simple meal.
Perthshire, Tummel Shingle Islands
Text and information courtesy of The Wildlife Trusts