The Big Salmon has returned to Norwegian rivers

This year's salmon season is approaching an end in most of Norway's 400 salmon rivers, and there are some encouraaging news! It is a prominent trend throughout the country - that the big Salmon is back!

According to Erik Sterund in Norske Lakeseelver,  2009 was a strong age group of salmon. Smolts went into the sea and had good growing conditions. This generation now returns as salmon wighing over seven kilos. There are still small grilse caught from the 2011 generation, which might not be  a good sign for next year's fishing.

The catch from Orkla is the major disappointment this year. Although hunting reports show a large percentage salmon over seven kg, it is a 25 percent decrease in the number of fish caught per 1 august. Among the bright spots are Namsen and Bjerke, showing a higher proportion of Grills (Medium size salmon)

In 30 years the the number of individual Atlantic Salmon counted in Norwegian rivers has gone from about 1 million individuals to 500,000. On this basis, the wild salmon is threatened. According to Sterud, conditions in the ocean play a huge role, but also factors such as sea lice and escapees from aquaculture, and more re-stocking of fish caught, has a lot to say in the years to come.

Here are some statistics:

  • 173,000 salmon and sea trout were reported caught in Norwegian rivers in 2011.
  • 21,400 of these were set out again alive.
  • 70. 000 fishermen accounted for the catch.
  • 400 salmon rivers are found in Norway. 124 of these are closed to salmon fishing.

Legend Status

The story of fishing for salmon in Vosso started with "salmon lords" who came to United Voss and Bolstadøyri already in the 1850s. They spread rumors about the good genes and exceptionally large fish. The amount of fish could certainly not compete with other Norwegian salmon rivers, but the size was unbeatable.

Englishman Cyril Wells was one of the prominent personalities who fished here from the turn of the century until the 60th century. He caught more than 1,000 salmon and recorded all of their particulars. Over 500 of them weighed between 10 and 15 pounds. 68 fish weighed between 20 and 25 kilos, and 12 carrying salmon weighing over 25kg. Today a salmon more that 8 kg is considered a "big salmon"

As the situation for the Atlantic salmon in Norwegian rivers is under scrutiny, a system for reporting has been established, Visit SCANATURA, to get details about the catch pr. week in respective rivers reporting. The Directorate for Nature Management also report catches, and gives you a good overview of where the rivers are located.

The Norway Post

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