NEARLY a month into the coracle fishing season there are reports of large sewin (sea trout) netted in the lower reaches of the River Teifi.

Regulations require 12 licensed coraclemen at Cilgerran and three Seine boats at St Dogmaels to return all salmon caught between April 1 and May 31 and thereafter salmon can be taken until the end of the season on August 31.

Natural Resources Wales say the regulations were put in place to safeguard migratory fish stocks.

As the bigger sewin began to run last week there were reports of a whopper weighing in at 14lbs, a 12-pounder and a number of fish weighing around 10lbs.

A coracle handler told the Tivy-Side “It has been a very bleak time for us during the first few weeks of the season but some big sewin have been caught and hopefully the run will continue.”

Seine fishing in the estuary and St Dogmaels is set to take off next week with all three boats fishing two tides in 24 hours.

Many netsmen fear it could be the last season for the traditional practice introduced 900 years ago by monks at St Dogmaels Abbey, because of a controversial move by the NRW.

It is proposed that a catch and return policy be implemented when all salmon must be returned throughout the season as a conservation measure.

An experienced Seine fisherman said “We could make history in the next few months as the last Seine netsmen to operate in the River Teifi. But I’m sure there will be plenty of opposition to the controversial policy and hopefully it won’t be introduced.”