Season closes at 21 year low

That’s it for another season. The search for salmon proved fruitless for many during 2021, leading to one of the lowest catch returns for decades.

The final count closed at a hugely disappointing 49. The club water, traditionally the most productive of the Ness beats, would normally expect to produce anything from 200 to 400 salmon and grilse.

Discussions will continue as to the reasons why — the long spell of low water at higher temperatures and lower angling effort. But we’ve been here before. While 2021 records the lowest catch in 21 years, catches have been even lower in a number of seasons. Club records since 1934 show that catches fell below 48 on seven occasions between 1934 and 1955 before soaring to 374 and above from 1956.

The trend continued in the 60s, 70s and 80s, recording just one season of 52 in 1968. Catches in these years regularly yielded 200 to 400 fish, with over 500 fish on six occasions.

While the new century brought some leaner years, catches continued to total anything from 200 to 500 fish per season. Catches have fallen from a high of 239 since 2015 — the most recent being 73 in 2019 and 170 in 2020.

The fortunes of the Ness reflect falling catches on most salmon rivers in Scotland. But anglers are the proverbial optimists. We will be looking forward to a new season in which our search for the stunning Salmo Salar will meet greater success.


Inverness Angling Club

Ness Walk

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