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Leaping for joy at Shrewsbury salmon sightings - with video and pictures

By Aimee Jones | Shrewsbury | Latest photos | Published:

It is one of the most impressive spectacles of autumn – and thanks to our dry summer there are lots of leaping salmon to be seen on the River Severn in Shrewsbury.

Every October, thousands of salmon start their migration to lay their eggs and many of them must tackle the weir on their epic journey.

And this week is the ideal time to catch a glimpse of the leaping salmon because the water level in the River Severn is still low, according to the Environment Agency.

Chris Bainger, fisheries technical specialist, said the one of the reasons people have spotted the salmon jumping so high this year is because water level.

That situation is unlikely to change as Shropshire is treated to a taste of summer again this week, with temperatures tomorrow expected to top 22C (72F).

The Met Office says with the rest of October offering temperatures well into the teens, the month could end up the mildest on record.

Chris said the river needs rain to stay healthy and is hoping rain forecast for this weekend may boost levels a little.

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There are fish passes at the weir, which make it easier for the salmon to pass, but many still stake their chances and decide to jump.

John Hughes, of Shropshire Wildlife added: "The salmon are really active at the moment because they are migrating up stream for mating.

"They're heading to spawning ground with a gravelly bottom. They go there because they lay their eggs on the gravel because it is more protected. They eggs are very vulnerable but in the gravel they sink down a bit and get more protection.

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"What is also interesting is that they always go back to the place they were born to lay their eggs.

"It's still quite early though - the height of movement will be over the next two to three weeks."

The weir is a prime spot to catch a glimpse of the salmon because of the way the river is formed.

John added: "While on their journey, the weir becomes an obstacle in their way. There are fish passes that makes it easier for them but some still try and leap up their weir which gives us the spectacle.

"It can vary though. Last week we were seeing one every minute, but this week it's more like every 20 minutes. But over the next couple of weeks is a good chance for people to see them and I encourage people to go and have a look because it's amazing."

Anyone who captures a leaping salmon on camera is asked to Tweet the pictures using the hashtags #shrewsburysalmon and #salmonwatch

Aimee Jones

By Aimee Jones
@aimeejones_star

News reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Shrewsbury office, covering North Shropshire, including Ellesmere, Whitchurch and Wem.

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