Anglers Caught Over 45,000 Salmon in Icelandic Rivers This Year Skip to content

Anglers Caught Over 45,000 Salmon in Icelandic Rivers This Year

By Larissa Kyzer

salmon fishing iceland
Photo: Helgi Halldórsson, CC 2.0.

A record 45,300 salmon were caught by anglers in Iceland this year. New figures issued by the Marine and Freshwater Institute (MFI) show that this year’s catch is 8.5% higher than the average catch in Iceland for the last 48 years, or since 1974. Fishermen caught around 8,800 more salmon in Icelandic rivers this year than they did in 2021.

Several factors have likely contributed to the increase in this year’s salmon catch. For one, smolt stocking programs have supplemented the natural production of Icelandic rivers. Some fish are also counted more than once because they’re caught more than once; anglers will often release salmon back into the rivers once they’ve caught them. Overall, this year’s salmon catch was higher in all regions of the country except the Westfjords.

See Also: Record number of pink salmon caught in 2021

Wild salmon catches have been down over the last seven years, hitting a low in 2019, when around 24,000 wild salmon were caught. This summer, however, 27,800 wild salmon were caught, which marks a 21.7% increase over last year.

The number of salmon that will migrate in a given year depends on the success of a whole generation of fish: how many smolt migrate from rivers to the sea, then survive adulthood in the ocean and return to spawn. There’s been an increase in the number of salmon dying in the North Atlantic, although MFI says the exact reason for this is not known. Several explanations have been offered as possibilities, however, including climate change, bycatch, the impact of fish farming, and changes in freshwater habitats.

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