The Estuary

Salmon (Salmo salar)

Salmon migrate through the estuary and its associated rivers such as the Severn, Wye, and Usk.
Rarely feeding on its journey, and by the time they arrive at the spawning ground, the females are plump with eggs, and the males have developed distinctly hooked jaws. The females use their tails to excavate hollows in the gravel of the stream-bed, and the males lie alongside and fertilise the eggs as they are laid. Adult Atlantic salmon may die after spawning, but unlike other salmon a large number of the adults often survive, making their way back to the open sea emaciated and exhausted.

Some of the net fishing methods used on the Severn Estuary are unique to the area and have a long history. Notably Lave netting (using a 'Y' shaped net and 'stalking' or 'cowering' in the shallows to catch the salmon migrating), and putcher nets (rows of baskets which use the ebb tide to trap salmon).


To find out more on the traditional types of fishing visit