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Country diary: the autumn run is a bruising experience for the fish

Hexham, Northumberland Driven by the urge to spawn in the valleys where they were born, salmon and sea trout catapult themselves through the spilling weirCrossing the wet road, I hurry past the agricultural merchant's yard with its red machinery and silver trailers. The rain drums on my umbrella as I reach the trampled spot on the bank where I can look out over the Tyne. It's this rain that's made the river rise, triggering the autumn run of salmon and sea trout below Hexham's graceful nine-arched stone bridge. I'm on my own today, but in finer weather it's a popular place to watch the spectacle of leaping fish. There are two steps to the weir, the first being the greatest hazard as they hurl themselves, bruised, onto the concrete shelf in between. Some choose the easier fish ladder, bounded by concrete walls, its cascading waters ruched like a theatre curtain, but many still press on against the main flow, driven by the urge to spawn high up in the valleys where they were born. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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