TWO anglers who supported a fish scale sampling programme have won new fishing equipment.

Glyn Hall, of Consett, and Tom Watson, of Throckley, near Newcastle, have each been handed a fishing reel by the Environment Agency.

Both have supported the Angler Scale Sampling Programme for several years and were selected as part of a draw.

They are among 171 who took part last year, during which time 531 samples were submitted, 427 from salmon, 104 from sea trout.

Morton Heddell-Cowie, monitoring officer at the Environment Agency, said: “We have had a fantastic response from the angling community again this year, and we hope they will continue to support the programme.

“The scales of salmon and sea trout are remarkable structures. Considerable information can be obtained about the growth history and longevity of individuals by close examination of scales.”

The Angler Scale Sampling Programme started in 2005, with anglers sending in five or six scales from salmon or sea trout caught from various locations across the River Tyne catchment area.

Analysis of these scales is helping the Environment Agency to better understand fish stock composition of the river, aiding fishery officers with fish population management decisions.

Scales from some of the salmon sampled by Tyne anglers have also been used in micro-chemistry projects, which investigated where the fish go when at sea.

The Environment Agency is appealing for anglers to send in samples from salmon and sea trout of allsizes.

For more information call 0191-203-4140.