Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Salmon Fishing Scotland 2008 Opening Day on the river Tay.

Salmon Fishing Scotland 2008 Opening Day on the river Tay.

Burnmouth at Stanley, Perthshire, Scotland on the Opening day of the 2008 Atlantic Salmon Season.
Marking first day of salmon season.

WITH HEAVY RAIN and melting snow on the hills, the Tay will be running high today, the start of the 2008 salmon season, writes Ken Bell, angling correspondent.
Traditional opening ceremonies are taking place at Loch Tay Highland Lodges at Killin and at Kenmore where several hundred enthusiasts are expected to turn out.
The celebrations commence in the village square at 9.45am, with welcoming speeches by Mark Stephen the presenter of the BBC’s Out of Doors, and Ally Gowans, writer and fly fishing instructor.
The Vale of Atholl Pipe Band will then lead the procession to the river bank for the blessing.
The Kenmore celebrations are being held in aid of Angling for Youth Development, and over 20 teenagers from East Perthshire, will be taking part in activities to promote the work of AFYD.
They will be joined by AFYD patrons Professor David Bellamy and Fiona Armstrong, as well as representatives of Tayside Police, Tayside Fire & Rescue, Perth and Kinross Council, and staff from Blairgowrie High School where the AFYD modular angling course is being piloted.
To help with fund-raising MacNab Guns, purchased in 2007 by the Cheshire Gun Room, are releasing a new range of shotguns and fishing rods at Kenmore.
A number of demonstrations will be held including one by Allan Suttie, of Trout in the Classroom UK, on his work with primary schools, as well as fly tying demonstrations by Allan Bithell, who has written the AFYD Fly Tiers Journal.
Following the opening ceremony, Professor Bellamy will visit Kenmore Primary School to present pupils with their Trout in the Classroom UK micro hatchery system which has been sponsored by the Kenmore Hotel. Two pupils from Rattray Primary School who were involved in the pilot micro hatchery will tell pupils about the project.
*The start of the new season will see new conservation methods introduced by the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board aimed at reducing the number of fish being killed by anglers.
Board chairman John Milligan, said, “All rivers are having to deal with the problem of increasing mortality of salmon at sea which is caused by factors beyond our control relating to climate change.”
As a result more stringent conservation is advocated.
The board recommends that from January 15 to May 31 the first salmon caught each day by each individual angler should be released and anglers should then have the option of keeping one subsequent fish only, per day.
From June 1 to the end of the season all hen fish should be released and at least 50% of cock fish, particularly those over 15 lbs. All coloured fish should be released throughout the year and worms can only be used from June to August.
John Young, chairman of the Tay Ghillies Association, said, “Most of us working on the riverbank would like to see catch and release levels rise to 75% or higher.”
On the positive side, the Tay Board Hatchery has three million salmon eggs on the hatching trays.

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