River catch

Updated: 27 January 2023

Next update: 26 January 2024

Salmon caught and released
Salmon caught and released
27 189

About the statistics

The statistics provides an overview of river catch of salmon, sea trout and migratory char, whether the fish are slaughtered or caught and released.

Anadromous : Term referring to animals that regularly migrate from the ocean up the rivers to spawn.

Weight : The weight is stated in kilos live weight.

Before 1993 salmon were broken down into two groups: salmon under 3 kilos and salmon 3 kilos or more. Since 1993 salmon are divided into the following groups: under 3 kilos, between 3 and 6.9 kilos and 7 kilos and over.

Name: River catch
Topic: Agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing

26 January 2024

Division for Housing, Property, Spatial and Agricultural Statistics

Figures for each river and county.

Annual. Preliminary figures are published in January the year after the fishing has taken place. Final figures are published in Statbank about two months later.

The Norwegian Environment Agency forwards data to NASCO (North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization).

Statistics Norway stores the data files. Register data and catch data are in Oracle tables. Final data files are stored on Linux.

The statistics cover a time series from 1876 and are vital elements in national and international monitoring and management work related to anadromous salmonoids.

Catch statistics are an important source of information for nature management, the media and various organizations and groups. Scientists use the statistics to evaluate changes in stocks and to estimate the socio-economic importance of salmon fishing.

Norway is also obligated to report annual catch statistics to NASCO (North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization).

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 8 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given inthe Statistics Release Calendar. Read more about principles for equal treatement of all users on ssb.no.

Figures on sea catches of salmon and sea trout are presented on the Internet.

The number of persons who have paid the national fishing licence fee allowing them to fish salmon, sea trout or sea char by rod or handline in rivers and lakes in the previous years (Source: The Norwegian Directorate of Nature Management):

2008: 75 000

2009: 75 300

2010: 68 000

2011: 69 900

The Statistics Act §§2-2 and 3-2

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The statistics include catches of salmon, sea trout and migratory char taken by fishing rod in rivers. As from 2009 data on river catch and release are available.

Catch reports from the individual fisherman.

Catch reports from the individual fisherman are collected by landowners, who send a summary catch report to the County Governor or enter data in the Salmon register - river catch reporting . The County Governor are responsible for reporting complete figures for each river in the Salmon register. Statistics Norway downloads a complete file from the Salmon register from a website.

Data is transferred to an editing system and computerized controls are applied. If necessary, the county governors are contacted to assess the data.

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The collection of data was reorganized in 1993. Previously, fishery boards collected data and sent reports from each salmon district and river to Statistics Norway. An own salmon tax resulted in that the reported figures could be unreliable. In 1993, the county governors started submitting reports, and after that there is reason to belive that the data quality has become better and better.

The number of rivers with reported catch has increased over time. From the begginning in the 1870s only 54 rivers were included. In the 1960s the number of rivers with reported catch had incresed to 170. In the last few years 350 rivers were included in the statistics.

In 1989, 15 per cent of the rivers were closed by different reasons. In 2011, 25 per cent of the rivers were closed. In additon, the last few years quotas from one to three fishes per person in a 24-hour period is introduced.

Over time there has been regulations that has influenced on the statistics. As from 1980, fishing gear as salmon trap and fish net was forbidden in most rivers except Numedalslågen and the county of Finnmark. The average fishing period for salmon fishing by fishing rods or handline is reduced from 200 days in 1850 to 75 days in 2010.

Missing or delayed catch reports from fishermen and landowners can be a problem for the river catch statistics. Statistics are also lacking from some small river systems where fishing is poorly organized. Consequently, the statistics are not totally complete.

In 2009 data on river catch and release are collected for the first time, and the quality of the data may be uncertain.

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