Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Salmon Fishing Scotland Report on the Opening day of the 2008 Tay Salmon Season.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Report on the Opening day of the 2008 Tay Salmon Season.

This was the Article in the Daily Telegraph to-day By Charles Clover, Environment Editor.
New rules for River Tay salmon fishing

The first salmon caught should be released according to voluntary conservation rules for anglers on the River Tay, introduced with the start of the new season on Tuesday.
Tay anglers and proprietors have lagged behind other rivers in adopting conservation measures, which in the past decade or so have seen a majority of fish on other rivers returned to the water alive.
Anglers mark the opening of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay
Angler on the opening day of the River Tay salmon fishing season.
Last year on the Tay, only 35 per cent of the fish caught were released. Some 90,000 fish were caught, the highest figure since 1952.
The improvement in salmon returning to the river is thought to come from the buying out of nets on the high seas and along the coast but fishery managers are now worried about the falling survival rate of salmon at sea.
Under the new rules, the first salmon caught every day by each individual angler should be released. Each angler then has the option of keeping one fish only, per day. Then from June 1 to the end of the season all hen fish must be released.
The Tay and District Salmon Fisheries Board hopes the new rules will double the number of fish surviving to spawn.
John Milligan, chairman of the Board, 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.
"Indeed marine survival of our salmon has fallen from 20 per cent to 30 per cent or even higher in the 1960s and 1970s to some 5 per cent now. This is a massive drop and it is of course the Board's responsibility to act to conserve stocks.
"On the Dee over 90 per cent of salmon caught by anglers are released and on the Spey over 70 per cent. There is absolutely no reason why Tay anglers should not achieve similar figures so that many million more eggs can be laid in the river."
Mr Milligan said he was optimistic that anglers would heed the appeals as the board had no desire to seek mandatory powers to compel anglers to release fish but he would not hesitate to do so if the new recommendations were not closely adhered to.
The rules also say the aim should be to release at least 50 per cent of cock fish caught, particularly cock fish weighing over 15 lbs. All coloured fish should be released throughout the year. The use of worms will only be permitted from June to August.
All proprietors of fishing on the river are being requested to make the new conservation recommendations a condition of let.
John Young, chairman of the Tay Ghillies Association, commented: "Most of us working on the riverbank would like to see catch and release levels rise to 75 per cent or higher. The new code is an important step in this direction".

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