The Future And Conservation

As a EDSFB member, fishing tackle shop owner and river ghillie I have a keen interest in the well being of salmon and sea trout stocks. I welcome the proposals to stop taking salmon outwith inland waters and would go as far as to say that this should be extended in inland waters aswell.

I would like this to be extended to sea trout aswell which are equally as important and which seem to be overlooked?

The times of killing salmon and sea trout are over and for the future of the sport and indeed the industry we have to embrace 100% catch and release as anglers aswell. Its the only way forward.

Why the contribution is important

For conseravtion of our fragile stocks this propsal is vital aswell as necessary now.

by AngusAngling on July 25, 2015 at 03:16PM

Current Rating

Average score : 1.5
Based on : 8 votes


  • Posted by tweedfisher July 25, 2015 at 16:03

    While certain rivers might have problems with stock levels, others are quite healthy, with a perfectly sustainable harvestable surplus. The problems that some rivers are experiancing have nothing whatsoever to do with angling. Calling for total C&R is not helpfull and implies that anglers are in some way responsible for the decline. Only if stock levels are at a critical level should total C&R be mandatory. Just look at the Dee to see that C&R has failed dramatically and is not the answer to the problem. It could be argued that if numbers are at a critical level angling should be banned altogether on these rivers.
    The problems facing salmon are more complex than angling or even netting. Banning killing salmon by rod and line is deflecting attention away from the real issues.
  • Posted by Tweedsider July 25, 2015 at 16:44

    Little mention seems to be being made by Scottish Government regarding predator control. I have counted 60 and there were more than this, goosanders fishing one pool during the smolt run. For arguments sake let us say there are 100 avian predators on a river system,each needs 5 small trout or salmon a day to survive.
    That makes 500 a day
    3,500 a week
    And a staggering 182,000 per annum
    On both the Berwickshire coast west of St Abbs Head every beach is now a pupping beach for seals. Up to 2000 have been counted in one season. Add to that the hundreds perhaps thousands which daily lie on Holy Island Sands and it becomes a problem. Official culls took place on what was the main colony on the Farne Islands but these were halted by Greenpeace at least 30 years ago. Since then numbers have spread in all directions. I know seals dont feed exclusively on salmon- but they dont eat grass either.

  • Posted by devronmac July 25, 2015 at 19:25

    I'm not sure if Tweedfisher is referring to the River Tweed as being one of the rivers with a sustainable and harvestable surplus of stock of salmon but so far as I can see salmon catches reported on FishTweed in 2015 so far on this river are pretty bad( each month so far in 2015 showing a decline in rod catches against the previous year) which would suggest that it is equally important that anglers on the river exercise maximum restraint on the number of salmon killed. I think it is unfair to suggest that catch and release on the Dee has failed. What has failed is an inability to control high levels of estuary predation or 'survival at sea' if you wish to use that common definition.
  • Posted by Scott July 26, 2015 at 10:48

    It's difficult to understand why many anglers don't think the killing of fish harms stocks. Of course it does.
    There are far many more fish killed by anglers than many of us would like to recognise.
    All of these figures are available on line.
    There is clearly a declining salmon population across the Atlantic. Salmon stocks have been in free falls since the 60s and 70s when rivers were full of them.
    5 year averages are dropping consistently.
    Yes predators have an impact and they always have, and always will.
    Anglers can take this opportunity to do something to help aid the recovery of salmon stocks and in future if it turns out fish can be taken then that's something you can look forward to.
  • Posted by HarryC July 28, 2015 at 22:23

    The first bit of commonsense on this whole forum. Instead on imposing a costly scheme for tagging, the time has come to end killing wild salmon and sea trout by rod and line. You can enjoy fishing without killing the fish and as current levels of catch and release show, most anglers are happy not to kill the fish. From the various threads it does seem that most of those that want to kill fish will not be happy whatever plans are put in place.
  • Posted by scaredforsalmon July 29, 2015 at 12:17

    I encourage my clients to C&R giving the reasons why, not least that it is a fish that has gone to extraordinary lengths to return to this river to spawn and still to my knowledge a male fish is still necessary for this to happen, not just a hen. The issue of tagging and licensing is not about conservation but about control and money making and box ticking. Otherwise the whole issue would be looked at not just rod & line fishing.
  • Posted by MJS65 July 29, 2015 at 13:30

    Cannot agree with that Neil.

    The 100% C&R position is logically/ethically flawed and we should not go down that route.

    C&R does kill fish. Not many (as I understand), but not all survive to breed. If numbers are that threatened on some waters, then quite simply we should not be fishing them at all. The Irish position on closing some threatened fisheries/rivers entirely makes a lot of logical sense.

    But this is not something Scottish proprietors are prepared to countenance - and it's not hard to understand why - income. This thorny issue is not being discussed, perhaps it should be.

    We definitely should not kill all fish caught, or even very many, but we must have the option to do so and to take the odd one here and there. Where that option does not exist, we are doing fish no good whatsoever purely for our own personal pleasure and thus for no ethically defencible purpose.

    However unfashionable it is to say so, game angling is hunting and the objective of hunting is to put food on the table and/or the control of vermin/problem species.

    100% C&R opens us up to logical anti-argument from the likes of PETA and should be avoided at all costs.

  • Posted by tweedfisher July 29, 2015 at 22:17

    Totally agree with everything MGS65 has said. Total C&R is not something that everyone is comfortable with. It certainly does leave anglers, wide open to the accusation, that they are tormenting salmon for fun. It is potentially a very dangerous road to head down, with the current animal rights movements gunning for a new target, now that hunting with dogs has been banned.
    C&R is actually banned in Germany, where it is illegal not to kill fish caught. This is a result of animal welfare regulations. Now that Europe calls the shots on everything, and Germany is the main player. Introducing total C&R for salmon could eventually end up with us fighting for the right to fish for them at all.
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