River Tay’s Start of Salmon Season Highlights Debate on Delaying Fish Killing
Today sees the start of the Salmon season on the River Tay in Scotland. To mark the event Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond has attended a ceremony at Hilton Dunkeld House Hotel which included Mr Salmond casting the first fly of the season. During the event he announced that there would be an independent review set up into the management of wild fisheries in Scotland. Less than a week ago the Association of Salmon Fishery Boards (ASFB) called for a moratorium on killing Salmon throughout Scotland, by net or rod, until the 15th May. This follows concerns that some stocks of spring salmon are so low that additional protection safeguards are now urgently needed. Anglers throughout Scotland already operate a catch and release policy unlike coastal fisherman who recently abandoned a blanket voluntary delay to the start of their fishing resulting in a war of words between these and the anglers. Members of ASFB say that the number of returning adults are so low that some stocks of spring salmon are close, or below, being self-sustaining and that no fish should be killed before May 15th to help the most vulnerable early running fish. However, George Pullar, director of the Angus-based Scottish Wild Salmon Company has called these proposals “perverse”. Mr Salmond has therefore stated that Scottish Natural Heritage Chairman Andrew Thin shall chair a review into fisheries management. The review is expected to begin in March and will take about 6 months. This obviously comes too late for any changes to be made for the early stages of this season which is why the ASFB is calling for a ban on killing fish until May 15th. The River Tay will continue its catch and release policy until May 31st and their salmon season will run until 15th October 2014. Salmon season has also begun on the River Eden with their catch and release policy running until 15th June. To keep up to date with all aspects of fly fishing, including tips, tricks and the best equipment, be sure to come back and visit us here at the John Norris of Penrith fly fishing blog.