Catch statistics, salmon fishing 2013
Most of the 2013 catch results are now in and the final numbers tell us that last year was not a good one overall for Norwegian salmon rivers. A total of 91900 salmon weighing around 282 tons were reported caught in 2013, which gives an average weight per salmon slightly above 3 kg (6,5 lbs). This statistics excludes fish which have been released and if we add the C&R-numbers, the totals are 107800 and 344 tons respectively. The total catch is down roughly 30% compared to the average from the previous three-four years, which obviously is disappointing. However, we should keep in mind that we have had very good years lately.
Looking at the countywise statistics, we see that the negative trend continues in Trøndelag and the well-known rivers of Gaula, Orkla and Namsen. These still have a very high average weight per salmon, but the trend is that the fish gets more and more difficult to catch. Our region Rogaland is still ranked as the second best in the country, although the total catch is down year on year here as well. The total ended up at 44 tons – approximately 13% of the total national catch, but equally down 30% from the previous three years' average. Although 2013 was an exceptionally good year for our crew, it is obvious from the statistics that many other anglers were not equally lucky...
In Rogaland, the Bjerkreim river is as always by far the best in terms of number of salmon caught. Although down from last year’s total of 6300 salmon caught, a total of 4400 salmon caught in 2013 is still impressive considering that over half of the season had poor water levels and little rain. The average weight of the Bjerkreim salmon was 2,2 kg (close to 5 lbs) which is nearly 25% less than the national average. Bjerkreim is thus still the river where it is relatively easy to catch fish (which is why we consider it to be a good place for inexperienced anglers), but the big ones are rare. However, both Suldal, Dirdal, Espedal and Årdal are top notch when it comes to size, and Årdal hits number one spot in Rogaland this year with an average of 5,25 kg (11,5 lbs). All of the four decent-sized salmon rivers had fairly good total catch last year. One other curious thing to note is the river Hå which, although located in a very windy place and extremely dependent upon good water levels, consistently returns annual catch statistics close to the 4-ton mark. In 2013, Hå again approached the 4 tons with an average weight of 2,24 kg (approx. 5 lbs) which may lead us to take a closer look at the river in 2014.
Catch statistics, salmon fishing 2012
Salmon caught in Norwegian counties, 2012: Catch statistics 2012.jpg