Monday, November 12, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Catch and Release.


Salmon Fishing Scotland Catch and Release Policy on the Tay Perthshire Scotland.
There are proposals being made by the Tay Salmon Fisheries Board for the coming season in view of the poor catch and release figures over the last couple of years.
The official 2006 catch figures for Scottish rivers were published recently by the Scottish Government. They make encouraging reading because the total catch of nearly 12,000 on the Tay was our best for several years, but behind this figure lies a matter of major concern. Only 35% of the fish were returned alive. As the national average is 55%, many other rivers do much better than the Tay.
Proposed changes to apply in 2008.

Before 31 May
The first fish caught each day by each individual angler must be returned. Each individual angler then has the option of keeping one subsequent fish only, per day.

From 1 June
All hen fish to be returned. The aim should then be to return at least 50% of cock fish caught, in particular cock fish weighing over 15 lbs.

Throughout the year
All coloured fish are to be returned.

For an effective Catch and release policy what is your view on Worming?
I think it goes without saying there should be no worming until the end of May to avoid hooking Kelts.
Should the worm be banned from September to avoid hooking coloured hens?
Please give me your views.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

These proposed changes whilst probably good intentioned, they could have a disastrous effect on tenants taking up fishing. Watch out for your livelihood Bob.
As for worming, it should be just like shrimp and prawn, banned altogether.
Why don't the board just decide to ban angling for a three year period? This could be the answer to the greedy Tay anglers.

"Pondering"

Anonymous said...

Ban the fly!!!!!!!!

Dr Summers etc. are at least trying to do something.

Ghillies who stand by and allow excess killing are as culpable as the "Anglers'" themselves.

The Tay situation plays right in to the "antis" hand.

Very Concerned

Anonymous said...

Bob
These changes are'nt so drastic!I thought the spring fishing already had the restrictions?How many fish do people want?The worm should only be used in high coloured water as a last resort.It may help to save someones week.I think most PROPER anglers would'nt have a problem with these restrictions.We need fishing for our kids & grandkids after all.

James Mckay said...

I agree with no worming till after May and agree all coloured fish to be returned whatever the time of year. I feel the other measures are on the draconian side and may effect beat incomes and livelihoods. I am not convinced these measures will have an effect. I feel any change to angling recommendations has to be done in tandem with other measures including habitat improvement, predator control, costal netting, pollution and more -all perpetual issues which have not been fully addressed as salmon numbers continue to decline.

Anonymous said...

Let's just go doon the pub.

Anonymous said...

why not make it fly only at peak times of the season, the tweed and the dee manage ok,i would say harling is a far more fishmunger practice than the worm.would a thin kelt like grilse survive after being returned?barbless hooks,,
i think many rods would go else where,get rid of the canoes and rafts,they are a bigger threat as one told me on the nith if it was up to him there would not be any salmon left. something to think about, cray fish? parrasite next.

Anonymous said...

As usual the honest hard working person who pays his taxes saves for their angling trip, and may be fortunate enough to connect and land a fish wont be able to take his catch home. I fished the Tay 3 times this year, payed out over £1,000. I took one small grilse back with me, the rents payable are justified by the angling returns, how much of the rents payed by anglers goes back in to the river? Greedy Tenants or greedy anglers.
The higher beats aren't that productive in comparision to the lower, you may only touch a couple of fish in a week unless you hit it spot on. Let the individual decide with gentle persuasion from the ghillies. Nobody likes being told what to told!

Jock Monteith said...

Hi Bob
The worm should have been banned throughout the season on the Tay many years ago as it has no place in any C&R policy for obvious reasons. This may well have been a contributory factor as to why the Tay hasn't had a great C&R record to date. Many big Tay hen fish every season fall to this natural bait and are subsequently killed losing their ability to reproduce. I am sure a big part of the Tay's less than normal salmon run this season is due to the cumulative effect of the heavy worm fishing that the Tay receives each year. The board and Dr Summers must attend to these highly obvious issues immediately before the Tay salmon runs get even smaller.
Best Regards
Jock

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,
I agree that certain restraint must be applied to conserve fish. Myself, like the majority of salmon anglers these days, struggles to get a handful of fish each season (in fact I never had a fish this year)If catch and release becomes mandatory on the Tay system, people like me will just go elsewhere or go back to fishing for trout. I have already stopped spring fishing on the North Esk and the Dee as I catch so few fish, that I refuse to put a hard earned fish back (unless obviously coloured)
I have to agree with some of the other posts......watch out for falling tenancies if compulsory measures are introduced.
Anglers put so much revenue into salmon rivers and the local economies and they are the only ones being singled out.
I also fish the worm regularly and agree that it should be restriced in the early season. But, like the shrimp, it's nowhere near as effective as the general belief.
But, as I have already said, regardless of methods,it is we anglers that are being asked to pay small fortunes to fish and go home with nothing.

"Disenchanted"

Anonymous said...

Ghillies on the lower beats should hang their heads in shame, they beyond anyone else have have contributed to this situation.

They have even been witnessed allowing tenants to take kelts to protect their gratuities.

It is all about money for some folk.

A complete ban on angling for a period of three years minimum would perhaps help to get some handle on this problem instead of just tinkering at the edges.

Also ban natural bait completed for all time.

"Taysider"

Anonymous said...

give the ghillies CCTV,it is appearing on every street corner. Ideal person -Geordie wearing Dirk and sporran as the enforcer.
toodle-piddle

Anonymous said...

Those who have suggested a ban on angling for a limited period of time have the right idea. This would allow us to find out if it is angling pressure or something more sinister that is causing the relentless decline in the Tay, whilst other rivers are beginning to improve.
So, lets bite the bullet for a three year trial period and see what emerges.

Kev.

Tay Fly Fisher said...

Well I never!
I have returned coloured fish on the waters I fish for over fifteen years, along with the majority of the other rods - before it was fashionable. It is difficult to disagree with proposal regarding worm in spring, but at other times it is a legitimate method, and enables some parts of the river to be fished that otherwise wouldn't be.
As to expecting us to return first fish etc. - what about the number of times we turn up and catch nothing? We are then expected to deprive ourselves of a hard won prize. There are few days when anyone hits the jackpot, but these measures will ensure we can't enjoy the occassional bumper day. Most of th eanglers I know exercise restraint and regularly return fish they do not need, but to have to return the first fish!
I agree totally with comments that anglers have a part to play, but what about the other aspects, seals, mergansers, illegal fishing, pressure on food at sea etc etc.
Surely before we get squeezed again we need to see evidence of this being tackled in a constructive way.
My concience is clear, I catch a handful of bright silver and generally sea liced fish each season, a great many get past me. Angling pressure alone cannot have such a detrimental impact on fish stocks. Recently I studied the government produced statistics on salmon catches. Despite the nets coming off and theoretically allowing a significant number of additional fish into the river, rod catches have remained static. We should be fishing over a great many more fish than we are, but no-one can account for this.
I am happy to play my part, but feel this is a step too far. These measures, potentially jeopardise the economic benefits to the Tay catchment area, and will be largely unenforcable!
As to comments about protecting fish stocks for our children - if these measures continue then our children will only be able to look at salmon.It is hard enough to get youngsters to come fishing now, but if they have to put the fish they catch back - they really will stay on the couch and play fishing on their Nintendo!!!
The Board must do better, address the real issues, and not keep expecting the angler to go home only with memories. Furthermore, I along with a number of others are not convinced that C&R is any good for fish mortality. The stress can be a killer, not immediately, but how many returned fish keel over later? Is the increase in baggots in recent years due to catch and release or lack of spawning conditions.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see a "Fly fisher" talking for some bait fishing instead of the usual snobbish attitude adopted to anyone angling in any other form than the fly.
I think I agree with those who feel a break from angling pressure on the river might give some answers, so a three year ban should be tried. I'm sure Tayside will survive without the revenue from angling in the short term, if it attains a long term remedy.

Bald BJ

James Mckay said...

It is highly contentious that a ban would make any difference. Why 3 years? My limited knowledge of the salmon life cycle would suggest that the results of such a ban would not be seen until the end of the fourth year after the first year of the ban. Such a ban would probably be legally challenged, especially by timeshare tennants. This would cause confusion, unwanted publicity and uncertainty. Ghillies livlihoods would be wiped out, forcing decades of experienced hands to seek alternative work to feed their families. Who would fund the squads of bailiffs required to police the river from poachers? The size of the Tay makes effective bailiff policing (without ghillies) physically and finacially prohibitive. Any gain in stocks would be lost to poaching or illegal fishing. Who would fund and carry out bank maintenance? And the biggest risk is that if at the end of the ban stock numbers had not improved angling on the Tay would be finished for good. What we need is sensible river system management, active habitat, predator and fish management, coupled with sensible, responsible angling.

Anonymous said...

Status quo is possibly the best way to go, with a little more encouragement to practice the "Board's" previous recommendations regarding catch and release.
The new recommendations are just a wee bit to harsh to keep people interested in paying good money for less return.

Even P&DAA are having to put up their subs for next year by 30 per cent., whilst returns are a shadow of the past.

Good for you to give this subject an airing Bob.

Worried

berty said...

Bob, interesting to see some of the replies to the tsfb proposals,enlightening by some, knee jerk by others and waffle by jock montieth!
Banning the worm will do nothing,(the shrimp should not have been banned either as it was not the shrimps that chapped the fish on the head.)I presume those who advocate this ban would like to fish the linn pool or henrys hole on burnmouth with the fly.
Having fished the Tay for 30 years,and sadly watched its decline,i know that the method of angling used to catch fish will make little difference to the number of fish now in the river.
The middle river has problems with gravel shift in big floods and there are few smolts to be found in the top end of the river,t( ask any trout fisher),the massive escapes of rainbow in the loch might explain this.No smolts no returning springers to the loch, so lets ban the rapala on the loch,while we're at it!

Anonymous said...

What about the sea trout,are we to presume that bait fishing has killed them off as well? More likely bad river management has a lot to do with the whole situation,beat owners take the money and put little back into the river.

Anonymous said...

There has been some nonsense written about this situation in the comments Bob.
Best leave it alone and the cycle will prove it is only the way nature intended, to many busybodies meddling is not the answer.
Some very authoritive sounding numpties in the preceding comments, (little to do but lots to say), maybe they should become politicians.

Parly

Anonymous said...

year on year the amounts of salmon smolts leaving the river is broadly the same. yes there are problems with the river but i firmly belive this is maily a sea problem and not a river problem. however when compared with other rivers tay anglers are greedy and blood thirsty and only have themselves to blame

Anonymous said...

Bobby,
You must be delighted with the response from your request for comments.
I don't think banning angling is the correct way to go, nor is a mandatory C&R route, but perhaps a bit more enlightenment on the anglers' part (don't be quite so greedy). Ghillies like yourself Bob should be a bit more persuasive in your approach to C&R (you'll still get tips).
Keep up the good work, photos etc.

Big Wull

Anonymous said...

I would bet that numpty calling himself Parly is in politics himself[probably green] as he has his heid stuck in the sand right up to his a**e

Anonymous said...

Shame on you, resorting to profanity and no I am not a politician, just well informed.

Parly

Anonymous said...

I would Start the season after 1st Feb to get rid of the baggots ,kelts and unspawned fish, and close it at end of Novemeber. I would ban the worm, harling and barbed hooks throughout the season. The whole C&R thing is starting to get stupid. The solution is not to put fish back but to look at the climate changes. The damage is not being done in the spring but in the autumn with the posh fishers killing everything that gets caught. The beats are charging excessive amounts to fish in the spring, probably to put every fish back for the seals or the ghillie on the next beat to take. Some anglers fish to eat the fish. probably if there was restocking programme done in all the burns and not the ones where money comes into play would be helpful. Look at the Tyne and what Mr Gray did there! this stupid nonsense of eggs is a waste of time, You need brood stock. obviously the Tay board are not the sharpest pencils in the box. Stop the stocking where the owner pays the most. Some obvious corruption here. You guys better start thinking of reducing your costs or you will have only a small percentage fishing. Oh and I doubt if you will get another tip!!!

Hey maybe you should ban fishing for a few years on the Tay and you guys can get on the dole!!!! And you are opening up a mine field with the animal rights facists. They will be down on salmon anglers like a load of bricks. At least when we killed fish we were using the argument of the food chain!!!! See I told you the seals have more brains than the numpties who sit on the Tay board.

Anonymous said...

The only solution is for every angler to look at their own catch and release policy.I have been fishing 6 years on the tay and in that time i have released two springers and took one home,(just to prove to the wife that i really am in perth fishing and not having my end away with the girl who works in the spar shop).One springer in this time is hardly damaging the fine ecological balance of the tay salmon. Personally i think it is down to global warming and the interference by man to the feeding grounds at sea. banning fishing for three years would only stop us from enjoying what is a dying sport

Anonymous said...

Have any of you guys been near the tweed the last couple of years? I know of 1 "Fisherman" who killed over 60, yes 60, fish in one november week, all on the fly, all coloured, the ghillie was well tipped! He was not the only such case,this would not have happened on the Tay.

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