At 186 km, the Nissan is one of southern Sweden’s longest rivers. The southernmost stretches, just before the river empties into sea, have a long tradition of good fishing. It was from the Nissan, and the bay outside Halmstad, that the famous Halmstad salmon were captured and exported as early as the 1600s. Fishing continued until the 1920s when, as a result of deteriorating water quality, the last salmon were caught. Now the salmon are back – much to the delight of all anglers!
Fishing was made accessible for the general public through the creation in 1987 of the Nissan Fish Conservation Area. The fishing area has a wide range of fishing on offer for both experienced fly fishermen and enthusiastic novices. The usual method is lure fishing but the Nissan also offers many spots ideal for fly fishing.
Slottsmöllan power plant, in Halmstad, is just one such popular angling stretch. For fly fishermen, the stretches in Sennan and Sperlingsholm are ideal. The pool at Sennans Taxis is popular, as are Militärvadet and Helgarpsforsen. Colourful flies are recommended because the water is dark and amber tinted.
The History of the Nissan
Towards the end of the 1800s, William Widgery Thomas Jr, the American ambassador to Sweden, wrote in his book “From castle to cabin” that the salmon fishing near Oskarström was “great during the summer”. He had a favourite place, by a rock in the Mared rapids, which has been named after him; Minister Thomas rock. In the clear water, almost amber-coloured water, he counted 100 salmon leaps in just 12 minutes.
Sadly in the 1920s there was a strong decline in water quality and the last salmon was caught at Slottsmöllan in 1921-22. The main reason for this was the expansion of hydropower plants and pulp mills. In recent years, active fishery management has been carried out in the Nissan and a lot of liming has taken place.
In 1970, a hatchery was built at Oskarström, and this year 0.6 million fertilised roe were taken from 40 clutching females. In 1979 the first smolt were released into the Nissan. By that time trout had been caught in the river for several years. Catches of these fish have been very good. Today salmon reproduce naturally once again in both the Nissan and Senneån. The first young salmon were caught in the summer of 1981. In spring 1988 an estimated 5,000 smolt were thought to have bred naturally in the Nissan. 30,000 smolt are released annually.