Salmon smolt

SMOLTRACK Project

Inland Fisheries Ireland is operating the SMOLTRACK project in Ireland which monitors salmon smolts from the Black Water, a tributary of the River Erriff which flows through County Mayo. The EU funded NASCO project is now active in the following locations:

  • Ireland – River Erriff
  • Northern Ireland – River Bush
  • England – River Tamar
  • Spain – River Ulla & River Tea
  • Denmark – River Skjern

The SMOLTRACK project involves rolling out a counting, tagging and tracking system to monitor smolts. Traps are used to catch downstream migrating salmon smolts for tagging before releasing them to continue their migration journey seawards. In order to provide stakeholders and other interested parties a chance to follow and compare the migration timing of smolts in several countries, the daily number of salmon smolts counted in each system is uploaded for online viewing.

The salmon smolts are tagged with miniature acoustic transmitters and their subsequent migration  is followed via acoustic listening stations situated at various locations. This information will help scientists to understand the survival rates of salmon smolts during their migration through the lower parts of rivers, estuaries and coastal areas, in addition to providing data on smolt run timing and migration behavior. The project will provide new data which will inform future salmon management and conservation work.

The daily smolt count for the River Erriff can be seen below:
Smolt run

Daily Smolt Counts for the other locations can also be viewed online: