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The story behind the crown's salmon fishing in the Mörrum river

Salmon fishing in Mörrum is very old and since ancient times regal (which meant that the crown owned the fishing rights). Today, salmon fishing is managed by Sveaskog through Mörrum's Kronolaxfiske.


Regal fishing
The earliest known confirmation of royal ownership of salmon fishing in the Mörrumsån river can be found in the Danish King Valdemar II's Jordebok (list of land properties and their yields) dated 1231. The Land Book states: "Mørum caputra salmonum" which means "Mörrum with salmon catch" in direct translation and would perhaps in today's language be written; "Mörrum and its salmon catch are part of the Court State"!

About 100 years later, in 1333, the Danish king pawned the fishery in Mörrum for a time and then periodically belonged to the archbishop of Lund.

Through the Peace of Roskilde in 1658, it was confirmed that Sweden had conquered (among other things) Blekinge from Denmark, which drastically changed the conditions for Kronan's salmon fishing in Mörrum. This "Swedish process" resulted in a significant curtailment of the Crown's fishing rights in Mörrumsån, among other things it meant that the Crown's fishing was limited to the route from Grinderna in the north (pool 19) down to and including Vecklebäcksnoten in the south (pool 15). Furthermore, the Crown transferred certain fishing rights to some homesteads that needed support for a weak agriculture or because they had previously had a duty to work at the Crown's fishing.

Crown salmon fishing
The crown's individual salmon fishing in Mörrumsån was, as I said in older times, sometimes pledged as in that time in 1333 when the king needed money. As a rule, however, it was leased to the highest bidder, normally for six years at a time. The oldest surviving lease is stated to be from November 21, 1645. In this lease, Mats Andersson Kock was given the right to use Kronan's salmon fishing in Mörrumsån for life for an annual fee of 200 riksdaler. He thus became not only the first documented tenant of Mörrum's Kronolaxfiske, but also the last during Danish times.

07-06-15 Laxburar Mörrumsån 2.jpg

The tenant of the Crown's salmon fishery, and the farms granted certain rights to fish for salmon by the division of estates in 1670 and the subsequent taxation, must appropriately divide the catches according to the shares each had in the fishery. This happened every morning on the farm between the salmon shed and the smokehouse in Laxagården. The crown smoke is Mörrum's oldest preserved smokehouse, and Laxagården can today be lived in as it is one of Mörrum's Kronolaxfiskes accommodation options.

Later, the State redeemed the individual salmon fishing rights on Kronolaxfisket's stretch of Mörrumsån in the late 1920s and 1930s.

In older times, a type of trident was used to catch the salmon in Mörrumsån. The varying old fixed fishing methods were in use until the mid-1960s. Nowadays, all commercial salmon fishing is closed, but the old permanent fishing spots at Kungsforsen and Hönebygget, among others, can still be seen. All salmon and trout fishing is practiced today as sport fishing.

Recreational fishing
During the first part of the 1900s, some valiant attempts were made by mainly Englishmen to practice sport fishing in the river. Among other things, two anglers from England tried in 1908 to fish in the river through the then tenant of kronolaxfisket Sven Mattsson, which took SEK 10 per man per day for fishing incl. rowers. But in the midst of warm July, the catch luck was rattled and they went home after a few weeks of grinding without a catch and were never seen again by the river.

In 1910, a new test was made by two other Englishmen, who were given the opportunity to fish on the waters of Susekulls farm above Svängsta. They got salmon on the fly! A lot of salmon too! However, the owners were downright when they learned that the English hooked off and released the fish instead of leaving them to the farm. Guests quickly received travel passes from further fishing.

In 1937, Gunnar Johansson was appointed Fishmaster at the then newly established salmon and trout hatchery in Mörrum, which was created in collaboration between the Swedish Domain Authority and the Swedish Board of Fisheries' predecessors; The Fisheries Unit of the Board of Agriculture.
During the years 1939–1940, in the midst of the burning world wars, the test fish was carried out on the stretches of the Kronolax fishery.

And since the spring of 1941, Mörrums Kronolaxfiske has been run as a pure sport fishing destination, this despite the fact that there was a saying in old Mörrum that said that the river's salmon and trout did not cut on artificial baits...

Mörrum's Kronolax fishing has over the years grown into what we can today proudly call Sweden's crown jewel in sport fishing contexts and one of the world's most well-known waters for salmon and sea trout fishing!

More information about our long and exciting history can be found in our exhibition in Laxens Hus!