I agree with the general principles of the kill licence scheme for salmon but am shocked that sea trout are not to be included in the licencing legislation.

Many of you will be aware that the Ythan, Don, Dee and Spey fishery boards provided significant amounts of funding to rent the Ythan netting interests at Newburgh in order that they would not be operated in 2015, in the hope that the proposed licencing system would limit killing of fish in the future.

Whilst the Scottish Wild Salmon Company (USAN Fisheries) will no longer be permitted to operate their coastal nets (unless they can come up with a clever way of catching sea trout, but not salmon) there is nothing to prevent them, next year and going forward, should they so wish, to use sweep netting techniques in the estuary, to capture and kill salmon (licenced numbers) and kill as many sea trout as they can catch (unlimited numbers) within the constraints of the netting season and slap times.  

Failure to protect the sea trout stocks in what was once the most famous sea trout fishery in Britain, and stocks bound for other local rivers, would simply be unforgivable.

Why the contribution is important

During discussions with Alex Salmond MSP, Dr Aileen MacLeod, the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, and civil servants, regarding inclusion of sea trout in the Kill Licence scheme, one civil servant expressed the view that there was insufficient evidence to suggest a decline in sea trout numbers – this is clearly at odds with the Marine Scotland Science Report 01/15 “Status of Scottish Salmon and Sea Trout Stocks 2014” pages 18 – 21.

If you feel as I do, that sea trout must be included in the “Kill Licence” scheme, please give your views and support this approach – also, don’t forget you have until 19th August to make representations to government on this matter.

Apathy is the anglers' greatest enemy.


by lgiebuchan on July 26, 2015 at 09:59PM

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  • Posted by devronmac July 27, 2015 at 09:14

    I agree wholeheartedly with this post. Not to protect seatrout in the same way as salmon is ridiculous. As a regular angler on Dee Don Deveron and Spey I have almost forgotten what a seatrout looks like, although probably due to the serious decline in sea trout numbers over recent years, I do not target these fish. Whilst there may have been a modest resurgence in sea trout stocks in the north east this year I am certain that it is absolutely fair to say that this stock remains fragile and needs the same level of protection as salmon.
  • Posted by Deesider July 27, 2015 at 21:54

    Couldn't agree more - killing of sea trout should be licenced in the same way as salmon.
  • Posted by boabs55 July 27, 2015 at 22:09

    its over 30 years since there have been any decent runs of sea trout in rivers i fish today you hear and see next to none. For someone from Govt to say there is no evidence of shortage of sea trout where the hell have they been getting their info from the moon? This whole thing stinks and as well as ordinary fishers the fish will both be lost for ever. Maybe that's what they want then all their mates can own the fishing's and land for their own pleasure.
    Thin and his fellow so called experts are only doing a job for the boys on the general public its shocking
  • Posted by Tayboy July 28, 2015 at 08:58

    Salmon and Sea trout should be classed the same.No to netting
  • Posted by Rowan July 28, 2015 at 14:58

    As I said in the previous thread Sea Trout are as endangered as Salmon, if not more so, they have been a dwindling resource for many years. As quoted above "one civil servant expressed the view that there was insufficient evidence to suggest a decline in sea trout numbers". What planet was he living on, probably the same planet that thinks salmon farms have no impact on wild stocks, and that bird and seal/dolphin numbers are not seriously reducing wild stocks. Sea trout stocks started declining in the 1980's, so a five year average tells no real story, factual records exist in all of the catch returns from in river beats up and down Scotland. Some areas are better than others, and they fluctate from year to year, but the overall decline over 30 years is indisputable.
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