Assessing the status of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) from juvenile electrofishing data collected under the National Electrofishing Programme for Scotland (NEPS)
Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science Vol 10 No 2
Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) are a species of high cultural, conservation and economic importance that are worth ca. £80 million per annum to the Scottish economy. Quantitative and scientifically defensible assessments of population status are required to inform evidence based fisheries management across a range of spatial scales. Juvenile electrofishing data are one of the most commonly collected sources of information on the status of Atlantic salmon in Scotland. However, their interpretation is fraught with technical challenges that include the need to 1) estimate salmon densities from electrofishing count data 2) develop a suitable “benchmark” against which to compare observed densities 3) obtain appropriate (representative) annual monitoring data 4) develop approaches that allow site-wise estimates of observed and benchmark densities to be scaled to larger areas. This report presents an approach for assessing the status of Atlantic salmon in Scotland from juvenile electrofishing data.