Additional fund set up to help angling clubs

Salmon fishing legislation will change from April 1
Salmon fishing legislation will change from April 1

Government support is to become available for angling clubs, such as those on the Tweed, potentially impacted by new rules to protect wild salmon.

The measures are in response to concerns about declining fish stocks and come after consultation about the most effective and proportionate means of conservation.

From April 1, the killing of wild salmon will not be allowed in areas where they are deemed to be most at risk.

Environment Minister Aileen McLeod last week confirmed up to £100,000 in Scottish Government support will be made available to help angling clubs in fishery districts where catch and release will be mandatory.

The minister said: “Scottish wild salmon is a valuable and important asset but fish numbers have been declining for a number of years. We need to take action now to protect stocks for the future. These new regulations strike the right balance between conservation and the interests of those who fish for salmon. They were the subject of extensive consultation and have been generally welcomed by fisheries organisations.

“I have listened to some concerns about the potential impact that mandatory catch and release will have on angling clubs that are already facing declining membership numbers. This is in spite of the fact that an estimated 82 per cent of wild salmon caught in Scottish waters by anglers are voluntarily released already. To help mitigate the potential impact of these measures, I will be funding a two year programme to support angling clubs that need assistance in promoting catch and release.”