Dr Nigel Milner

Dr Nigel Milner
Dr Nigel Milner
Fisheries Scientist
+44(0)1248 388664
c/o School of Natural Sciences,
Bangor University,
Deiniol Road, Bangor,
Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, UK


I am a fisheries scientist with focus on the population dynamics and ecology of salmonids. As a fisheries consultant with APEM Ltd my current work is mainly on fish stock assessment and the response of fish and fisheries to environmental factors. Through my fellowship with MEEB at Bangor I maintain active research in salmonid life history variation and ecology.


Quick CV

PhD – University of East Anglia, 1976, (NERC Fisheries Research Studentship). Uptake and regulation of zinc in juvenile flatfish.

BSc – (Hons) Zoology 2(i), University of Wales, Swansea, 1972.

Recent career

Current post – Senior Fisheries Biologist, APEM Ltd, Manchester (2007-) and Honorary Research Fellow, Molecular Ecology and Evolution at Bangor, School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University.

Fisheries Science Manager, Environment Agency, Cardiff (2007). Role and activities – as below, same job, but reorganised into National Science Group, left to resume active science.

Head of Fisheries Science, Environment Agency, Cardiff (2003–2007). Role and activities: as below plus; national fisheries science strategy development.

Head of Salmon and Trout Fisheries Centre, Cardiff (1997–2003). Role and activities: set up and lead national fisheries centre; direct the Agency’s Fisheries Research Programme; plus research into salmonid stock assessment method development; impacts of salmon stocking on stock recovery; optimising river habitat assessment and management.

Environmental Appraisal Manager, Environment Agency, Bangor (1989–1997). Role and activities: Direct multidisciplinary team of chemists, fisheries scientists, biologists. Plus research into extent and effects of acidification on fisheries, impacts of forestry on fisheries; movements and population dynamics of stream-dwelling salmonids.

Other activities / memberships / appointments

  • PhD co-supervisor, SOS, Menai Bridge. NERC CASE Project (Alice Ramsay) on use of microchemistry to identify geographical origins of sea trout.
  • Trustee of the Clwyd and Conwy Rivers Trust.
  • Member of the Institute of Chartered Environmentalists.
  • Fellow of the Institute of Fisheries Management, member of IFM Training Committee.
  • Member of Fisheries Society of the British Isles, Council member and Travel grant secretary in 1980s.
  • Member of SERAD Fisheries Research Programme Review Group 2003.
  • External Evaluator for Defra Research Programme, SF02, 2008.


Inter-specific competition between juvenile Atlantic salmon and brown trout in streams and the modifying role of habitat variation.

This work originated in the applied context of developing biological reference points (Conservation Limits – as egg deposition levels to protect stocks), for salmon first and more recently for sea trout. Part of this work is the subject of a current application to the Interreg 4A Ireland–Wales Cross Border cooperation programme 2007–2013 as a collaborative project (The Celtic Sea Trout Programme, CSTP) with the Marine Institute, Central fisheries Board, the Environment Agency, Cefas (Lowestoft) and Rivers Trusts. The CSTP is a programme of research into variation in genetics, ecology and life histories of sea trout (the anadromous form of Salmo trutta) around the Irish Sea, with emphasis on new research into the marine phase of the life cycle.

Other Scientific activity

Relationships between river flows and the upstream migration of adult salmon and sea trout.

In collaboration with APEM colleagues and funded by United Utilities, I am reviewing the as shown by resistivity counter data. The applications of this work include improved river flow management, better stock assessment and improved understanding of the potential impacts of climate change.

The biological basis of Salmon Action Plans.

Funded by the Environment Agency and in collaboration with Ove Arup, APEM are engaged in a review of the Salmon Action Plans for the EA’s North east Region. My role is to provide the technical background to the review and to test the validity of the underlying stock assessment methods.

The effectiveness of salmon stocking programme.

I am writing up a study into the role of stocking in the recovery of the salmon fishery of the River Tyne, North East England.


Milner, N.J. (1979) Zinc concentrations in juvenile flatfish. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. UK 59, 761–775.
Milner, N.J. (1982) The accumulation of zinc by 0-group plaice, Pleuronectes platessa (L), from high concentrations in sea water and food. J. Fish Biol. 21, 325–336
Milner, N.J. (1984) Fish (habitat requirements). In: Rivers and Wildlife handbook (Eds. G Lewis and G Williams), RSPB and RSNC Special Publication, 51–53.
Milner, N.J. (1985) The use of divers to describe charr and trout spawning areas in lakes. In: J. Shand (Ed). Progress in Underwater Science, Proceedings of 18th Symposium of the Underwater Association, British Museum, March 23rd-24th 1984. 10, 117–127.
Milner, N.J. (1988) Acidity in the United Kingdom, Second report of the UK Acid Waters Review Group, (Fishery Effects), HMSO, London.
Milner, N.J. (1989) Strategies to minimise the impact of plantation forestry on fisheries. In: Proceedings of Institute of Fisheries Management Annual Conference, University of Galway, September 1989, 212–226.
Milner, N.J. (1990) Editor. Fish Movements in Relation to Freshwater Flow and Quality. Proceedings of Atlantic Salmon Trust / Wessex Water Workshop, Bristol University, 1989.
Milner, N.J. (2000) Changes in Migratory Fish Populations. In: R.Earle (Ed) Coastal futures, Proceedings of Coastal Management for Sustainability 2000 – Review and Future Trends, CMS.
Milner, N.J. (2002) Fisheries Science and research in the Environment Agency. Proceedings of IFM Study Course, Greenwich, Sept 2001.
Milner, N.J., Gee, A.S. and Hemsworth, R.J.(1978) The production of brown trout, Salmo trutta, in tributaries of the upper Wye, Wales. J. Fish Biol. 13, 599–612.
Milner, N.J., Gee, A.S. and Hemsworth, R.J.(1979) Recruitment and turnover of populations of brown trout, Salmo trutta, in the upper Wye, Wales. J. Fish Biol. 15, 211–222.
Milner, N.J., Scullion, J., Carling, P.A., Crisp, D.T.(1982) The effects of discharge on sediment dynamics and consequent effects on invertebrates and salmonids in upland rivers. In: (Ed.) T H Coaker (Ed.) Advances in Applied Biology, Vol VI, 153–220.
Milner, N.J., Hemsworth, R.J. and Jones, B.E. (1985) Habitat evaluation as a fisheries management tool. J. Fish Biol. 27 (supplement A), 85–108.
Milner, N.J. and Varallo, P.J.(1990) The effects of acid water on fish and fisheries in Wales. In: Edwards, R W, Stoner, J H and Gee, A S. (Eds) Acid Waters in Wales, Kluwer, Dordrecht, 121–143.
Milner, N.J., Wyatt, R.J. and Scott, M.D.(1993) Variability in the distribution and abundance of stream salmonids, and the associated use of habitat models. J. Fish Biol. 43 (supplement A), 103–119.
Milner, N.J., Wyatt, R.J., Barnard, S. and Scott, M.D.(1995) Variance structuring in stream salmonid populations, effects of geographical scale and the implications for habitat models. Bull. Fr. Pêche Piscic. 337/338/339, 387–398.
Milner, N.J., Wyatt, R.J. and Broad, K.(1998). HABSCORE – applications and future developments of related habitat models. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 8, 633–644.
Milner, N.J., Wyatt, R., Jones, F., Roberts, D., Varallo, P. and Milne, R. (1998). Effects of the Sea Empress oil spill on salmon and sea trout fisheries of South West Wales. Journal of the Institute of Water and Environmental Management.
Milner, N.J., Davidson, I.C., Wyatt, R.J., and Aprahamian, M.A. (2000) The use of spawning targets for salmon fishery management in England and Wales. In: Cowx, I.G (Ed), Management and Ecology of River Fisheries, Fishing News Books, 361–372.
Milner, N.J., Davidson, I.C., Evan, R., Locke, V. and Wyatt, R.J. (2001) The use of rod catches to estimate salmon runs in England and Wales. In R, Shelton (Ed) Proceedings of Atlantic Salmon Trust Workshop, Lowestoft, November 2001. p46–65.
Milner , N.J., Elliott, J.M., Armstrong, J.D., Gardiner, R., Welton, J.S. and Ladle, M. 2001) The natural control of salmon and trout populations in streams. Fisheries Research 62,11–125.
Milner, N.J. and Evans, R. (2003) The incidence of escaped Irish farmed salmon in English and Welsh rivers. Fisheries Management and Ecology, 10, 403–406.
Armstrong, J.D., Kemp, P.S., Kennedy, G.J.A., Ladle, M. and Milner, N.J. (2003) Habitat requirements of Atlantic salmon and brown trout in streams. Fisheries Research 62, 143–170.
Barnard, S.J., Wyatt, R.J. and Milner, N.J. (1995) the development of habitat models for stream salmons, and their application to fisheries management. Bull.Fr.Pêche Piscic.337/338/339, 375–385.
Davidson, I.C., Cove, R.J., Milner, N.J. and Purvis, W.K (1996) Estimation of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) and sea trout (Salmo trutta L.) run size and angling exploitation on the Welsh Dee using mark-recapture and trap indices. In Stock Assessment in Inland Fisheries (Cowx, I.G Ed.). Fishing news Books, Blackwell Science, Oxford, 293–307.
Davidson, I.C, Wyatt, R.J. and Milner, N.J. (2000) Assessment of the effectiveness of byelaws in controlling salmon exploitation on the River Dee. In: I.G. Cowx (Ed.). Management and Ecology of River Fisheries, Oxford: Fishing News Books, Blackwell Scientific Publications.373–387.
Gregory, J., Johnson, P., Mawle, G.M., Milner, N.J. and Winstone, A.J.(1990) Collection of catch data from salmon and sea-trout rod fisheries in Wales. In: W. L. T. van Densen, B. Steinmetz and R. H. Hughes (Eds) 1990) Management of Freshwater Fisheries. Proceedings of a symposium organised by the European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission, Goteborg, Sweden, 31 May – 3 June 1988. Pudoc, Washington, pp 540–546.
Gee, A. S., Milner, N. J. and Hemsworth R. J.(1978a) The production of juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in the upper Wye, Wales. J. Fish Biol. 13, 439–451.
Gee, A. S., Milner, N. J. and Hemsworth R. J.(1978b) The effect of density on mortality in juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). J. Anim. Ecol. 47, 497–505.
Gee, A. S., Milner, N. J. (1980) Analysis of 70 year catch statistics for Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) in the river Wye and implications for management of stocks. J. Appl. Ecol. 17, 41–57
Moore, A., Potter, E.C.E., Milner, N.J. and Bamber, S.(1995) The migratory behaviour of wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) smolts in the estuary of the river Conwy, North Wales. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 52(9), 1923–1935.
Hughes, S., Aprahamian, M., Armstrong, J. D., Gardiner, R. and Milner, N.J. (2001) Status of freshwater fish habitat science in Great Britain. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management 4 (4), 393–400.
Mawle, G.W and Milner, N.J. (2003) The recovery of salmon rivers in England and Wales. Proceedings of Atlantic Salmon Symposium, Edinburgh, July 2002. Blackwell Science, Oxford, 186–199.
Walker, A., Beveridge, M.C., Crozier, W., O’Maoleidigh, Niall, and Milner, N.J. (2006) Monitoring the incidence of escaped farmed Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar (L.), in rivers and fisheries of the United Kingdom and Ireland: current progress and recommendations for future programmes. ICES Journal of Marine Science
Milner, N.J., Karlsson, L., Degerman, E., Jholander, A., MacLean, J.C & Hansen, L-P. (2006). Sea trout (Salmo trutta L.) in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) rivers in Scandinavia and Europe. In G.S. Harris and N.J. Milner. Sea Trout: Biology, Conservation and Management. Proceedings of First International Sea Trout Symposium, Cardiff, July 2004. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, 139–153.
Milner, N.J., G.S. Harris, P. Gargan, M. Beveridge, M.G. Pawson, A. Walker and K. Whelan (2006) Perspectives on sea trout science and management. In G.S. Harris and N.J. Milner. Sea Trout: Biology, Conservation and Management. Proceedings of First International Sea Trout Symposium, Cardiff, July 2004. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, 480–489.
G.S. Harris and N.J. Milner (2006) Sea Trout: Biology, Conservation and Management. Proceedings of First International Sea Trout Symposium, Cardiff, July 2004. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, 499pp.
Cross, T.F, McGinnity, P., Coughlan, J., Dillane, E., Ferguson, A.,, Koljonen, J-L., Milner, N., O’Reilly, P. and Vasemagi, A. (2007) Stocking and ranching. In E. Verspoor, L. Stradmeyer and J.L. Neilsen (Eds) The Atlantic salmon: Genetics, Conservation and management. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, 500pp.

In press (Nov 2007)

I.P. Vaughan, M. Diamond, A.M. Gurnell, K.A. Hall, A. Jenkins, N.J. Milner, L.A. Naylor, D.A. Sear, G. Woodward and S.J. Ormerod. (in press) Integrating ecology with hydromorphology: a new imperative in rIver science and management. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems.
Evans, M., Milner, N.J. and Aprahamian, M. (in press) Life in Welsh Rivers: Fishes. In: D.D. Williams and C.A. Duigan, (Eds) Rivers of Wales: A Natural Resource of International and Historical Significance, Backhuys Publishers, Leiden.