2019 Redd Count

May 15, 2020

Each autumn River Office staff conduct our redd counts. The purpose of the count is to help assess the abundance of adult spawners in the river.

We have spawning fish in the Dee from just above the tidal limit, all the way into the headwaters in the Cairngorms. As a rule of thumb, we expect the early running fish to spawn in the highest reaches of the catchment, while later running fish will spawn further downstream. Mid-November is the peak of the spawning activity on the Dee.

Our Biologist, Dr Al Reeve has recently compiled the data from the 2019 counts

The 2019 redd counts are slightly above recent averages and it was noticeable that spawning was earlier throughout the catchment.

1. Maximum Numbers of Redds

The graph above shows the highest number of redds counted on a single day at each location through the catchment. The black diamonds are the redds from 2019 and behind them the large circle is the average of this figure across all years. The small circles are the actual max data from each year which is averaged to make the large circle.

The message from this chart is that 2019 was not massively different from previous years.

2. Redd Duration

The graph above details redd duration. It shows the week of the year when active redds where first and last spotted at a location. Again, black diamonds are 2019, large circles are the average and small dots the background numbers from each year. Here the locations are ordered upper catchment (top of axis) to lower (bottom of axis). You can see from this that:

  • there is a clear difference in duration of redd making between upper and lower Dee (fish in upper reaches have a shorter time to complete spawning the higher up you go). Dinnet is the start of the lower sites.
  • fish in 2019 seemed to start their spawning behaviour earlier than the long term average (~1.5 weeks both for the upper and lower sites). The redd activity in upper locations , on average, ended 1 week later than the long term average, though the end of activity at the lower sites showed no real difference.

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