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Autumnwatch viewers to learn about the Sea Trout

Autumnwatch viewers across the UK will learn about a project that’s hoping to improve  the situation for the sewin or sea trout, on the programme to be broadcast on Thursday 18 November (BBC 2 21.30pm 18.11.10).


Samplers on the Celtic Sea Trout project with Autumnwatch presenter Iolo Williams at Ynyslas.Samplers on the Celtic Sea Trout project:  Dan Moore, Andy Marriott, Bekky Jenkins, Carys Ann Davies, Niklas Tysklind and Joe Lavery with Autumnwatch presenter Iolo Williams (centre) at Ynyslas.utumnwatch presenter Iolo Williams visited north Wales to learn about a ‘Celtic Sea Trout Project,’ being led by Bangor University, in conjunction with other partners in the UK and Ireland.


Sea trout, also called sewin in Wales, are an important fish for commercial and recreational fishing in Wales.  But catches have been declining and the fish caught smaller. The project aims to understand more about the habits and habitat of this important resource, and ultimately to guide policies that will safeguard this important fish species.


The programme followed the project’s sampling activities; beach seine netting at Ynyslas on the Dyfi estuary. Iolo Williams was shown the range of fish species that are caught and recorded before being returned to the sea alive.  The project has completed juvenile sampling in all the rivers in Wales, North West England, Scotland, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.  


Although exactly the same species as brown trout, instead or remaining in the freshwater river, a proportion of the fish from each river take to the sea and become sea trout. Not a great deal is known about this part of its life cycle, other than that it returns to spawn in its native river.


"Sewin, like other fish from the salmon family, are a good indicator species of the health of a river. Although juvenile trout in fresh water have been well studied, we know very little about sea trout once they migrate to sea. It's not known exactly where these fish actually feed in the Irish Sea, whether sea trout from different rivers or regions congregate together or have separate feeding grounds. Learning more about the fish is the first step in planning to secure its future," commented Dr Ian McCarthy of the School of Ocean Sciences.


The project is keen to work with anglers to collect samples from Wales’ rivers. If anglers wish to contribute then they should contact Dr Carys Ann Davies by e mail to or one of the river contacts (these are on the website: to get more information and angler packs sent to them.

Publication date: 17 November 2010

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