Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay Fishing Extention October 2011.

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay Fishing Extention October 2011.

Weather means Tay Salmon Fisheries Board learned little from extended season.

Published in the Courier : 03.01.12 By Richard Burdge

The first year of an experiment carried out on the River Tay was hampered by poor weather.
Anglers on the Tay were granted an extended season in 2011 with the start of a three-year trial. Instead of closing on October 15, the season continued to October 31.

The idea was to give anglers the opportunity to continue fishing when catches are peaking but far from ideal weather conditions did little to encourage the angling fraternity to take advantage of a couple of weeks of extra fishing.

When the experiment was announced, the Tay Salmon Fisheries Board explained their thinking saying: ''Given that the best catches of the season are often made in the last two weeks of the season and against this background of seemingly later runs, it has been decided to review the closing and opening dates of the Tay season.

''As part of this process it is necessary to obtain information about the types and numbers of fish which might be expected to be caught if the season was extended permanently.''

Board director Dr David Summers said they were still analysing the statistics but it was unlikely much could be learnt from the first year of the trial.

''I would say that the catches were not particularly high. Conditions during the extension were poor,'' Dr Summers said. ''It was very wet so the fishing conditions were not conducive (to fishing), none of the beats were particularly heavily fished.''

He said it would appear the situation on the Tay in 2011 mirrored that of the Tweed — the biggest runs of fish were in August into September.

''Our intention is to try it for three years but from the first year's results it does not look that there was a large run (during the trial),'' he said.

Restricted to the main stem of the Tay, not the upper Tay or tributaries, the trial was limited to the river from Perth to Dalguise and catches were released after statistics were recorded.

During the extension it was a legal requirement that all salmon caught were released and barbless hooks were used with no bait.

Looking ahead to the new season, which begins on the Tay on Monday January 16, Dr Summers said he was loath to make specific prophecies.

''What can we expect next year? In truth we have no idea,'' he said. ''I would not like to make predictions.''

He said what happened out in the Atlantic was in many ways ''a lottery'' but they hoped to see a continuation of recent trends which have seen a number of large fish taken from the river.

''Historically the big fish are caught early in the season,'' he said. ''We are hoping there will be more of them next year but only time will tell, there is no predicting.''

In April last year a novice angler caught a massive 38lb salmon on the Tay, the biggest spring fish for a number of years. Around the same time a number of large fish in the 25lb to 35lb range were landed on the Tay.

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