It seems I've said this about earlier seasons as well, but it's quite clear that this season is something out of the ordinary. I 2017, there was hardly a day, when the water level was as low as average, while this year, it's hardly been a day where it's been above average (not counting the rainfall we had roughly a week ago).
Lakselva has a big catchment, with a lot of water "stored" in bigger lakes, making it less volunerable to dryspells than many other river. However, getting into mid-July, the water lever started to get worryingly low. With warm weather and high temperatures, it was far from ideal conditions for salmon fishing. The temperature in the river was at it's highest measured to be above 20 degrees celsius. Then it's neither comfortable to be a salmon, nor a salmon fisherman in sweaty waders. It's also a common theory that the salmon is much less prone to enter the river, when the temperatures are that high, so probably quite a lot of salmon was at sea "waiting" for the conditions to improve.
Despite the catches not living up to previous season, Lakselva lives up to it's reputation as a river delivering big fish. Of the total number of reported fish so far, 42 % are fish bigger than 7 kilos, and the average weight is 5,9 kilos, which are both within the norm for Lakselva. In addition three fish (so far) of 20 kilos or more are reported, among others the one on the picture.
We've followed the river throughout the season, and conducted some drift counts along the way. We repeated the drift on the same pools today. With significantly more water than last time, and poorer visibility, we are a little careful in putting to much into what we saw today. However, there's not much indicating that there's more fish today than what we saw a month ago. Even though catches have improved, there's no way around the fact that 2018 will not be a record season for Lakselva. The most important focus for us now, is to make sure we have enough spawners when the season is over. We therefore strongly encourage everyone to release female fish.
Tight lines for the remainder of the season!