Tweed netting station row

Traditional net fishing at the mouth of the Tweed.
Traditional net fishing at the mouth of the Tweed.

Spring salmon stocks on the River Tweed and its tributaries are being threatened by a traditional netting station at Berwick which River Tweed Commissioners believe started killing the fish last week.

And according to the River Tweed Commission, which manages the river and its tributaries, that practice breaches its voluntary conservation policy which calls for all anglers to return fish to the river between April 1 and June 30.

However, under Scottish legislation, which applies to the Tweed fishery on both sides of the border, the killing of spring running salmon during that period at Gardo – operated by the River Tweed Wild Salmon Fishing Company and the only remaining netting station on the river – is not illegal.

The commission is addressing the issue of spring salmon management on the Tweed with the Scottish Government.

It said: “The only commercially active netting station on the river has now started to kill these early-running fish.

“While it is operating within the current Scottish Government law, it flies in the face of the anglers upstream who are returning all the spring salmon they catch to protect this fragile and scarce stock of fish.

“Nowhere else in England can spring salmon be killed.”

The Berwickshire News was unable to get a comment from Michael Hindhaugh, who leases the Gardo netting station from Berwick Harbour Commission.