River Tya closes for fishing
Tya, the trout stream in Tydal municipality closes for fishing. The closure took place on May 8th, and will remain closed until further notice.
Written by Lars Reitan
Fishing is closed from Esfossen down to Håen, a stretch of roughly 5 km, which primarily lies along the county road 705. The closure will likely last for several years according to one of the landowners, Jens Peder Svelmo.
-Tya has been a very popular river for many years, but irresponsible harvesting has become a serious problem. The last evaluation proved that the population has nearly been decimated. In addition to this, many anglers have given the signal that something must be done.
Svelmo adds that reduction of the bag limit, maximum size limit, and reduction in the total amount of license sales was discussed, but due to the shocking results of the recent evaluation there was simply no other choice.
-We decided that the best thing for the river was to give it time to recover. The closure may last from 5-10 years. Once the river opens again there will likely be much stricter regulations for sports fishing.
Admitting Their Mistakes
Svelmo added that there has been an increase in littering along the riverbanks, as well as trespassing. This is a classic example of a handful of irresponsible anglers ruining things for everyone.
Tya is a regulated watershed, with very low water levels later in the summer. Some anglers have taken advantage of this to target vulnerable fish.
-Prior to the closure, there were several anglers observed over harvesting large trout. There is no cultivation of this watershed, so the fish population here is especially vulnerable.
Tya has receive much positive attention in the media recently, but unfortunately now we realize that we should have done something about this much earlier. Svelmo mentions that there may be potential for exclusive guided fishing in the future.
One of Norways Blue Ribbon Trout Streams
Ole Kristian Berggård, who previously managed the famous section of river throughout Tya Flyfishing, was along for the most recent evaluation of the river – three years ago.
-I don’t have any exact numbers to give, but can confirm that the population is frighteningly reduced. When we last drifted this section in 2007, we decided that it was no longer responsible to harvest fish. After we finished our time managing this section of river we recommended a stop to unregulated harvesting of fish.
Berggård does not necessarily agree that the river should be closed, but proposes strict catch and release regulations.
-This closure shows that the landowners are willing to do something about the situation. Tya has huge to potential to recover and once again become one of Norway’s best trout streams.
Berggård has fished Tya for nearly 30 years, and works daily with management of several salmon watersheds. He explains that there are plans for a new fish counts in order to give a current evaluation of the situation.
– The stretch of river between Esfossen and Håen is especially vulnerable. It lies between two blockage points for migratory fish, with very little natural reproduction. This watershed however does and can continue to produce many large fish. He explains that previously it was not uncommon to catch trout over 3 kg.
By undertaking a new fish count of the entire river this summer we can better understand the current situation, including how many fish over 1 kilo can still be found in the river.
Freedom without Responsibility
Angler Cato Bekkevold resides in Tydal, and believes there has been a migration to Tya, which has had an effect on the fishing.
-For too long the harvest has outweighed the rivers natural ability to produce. Just like the redwood forests in British Columbia, which take thousands of years to grow, can be cut down very quickly. When you realize Tyas potential, why not take advantage of it?
Bekkevold believes factors such as water quality, insect life, and spawning grounds are healthy and would allow for a solid recovery if the river is simply given time to recover. The only thing left to do is let the trout grow big.
-The fastest way to achieve this is simply to leave them alone. While the management strategy was previously unregulated responsible bag limits, it quickly became irresponsible. In addition to this there must be supervision and controls set in place, with strong consequences for breaking the rules.
Board Meetings? Nope.
The fishing closure took place abruptly both for anglers and for the river owners association, says John Paulsby, a member of the board of Moen Fishing Association.
-We can’t do anything about it until the next annual board meeting, which will be scheduled some time this May.
Jens Peder Svelmo confirms that the closure was not approved by the board, which both the landowners and Statkraft are members of.
– We took a telephone round with everyone involved. The landowners decided on an emergency closure, and the way forward will be decided upon during the next annual meeting.