The 2017 salmon-fishing season got under way on the River Tweed this week, sparking competition between fishermen to land the first catches of the year.
The start of the season comes as changes to catch and release legislation are enforced on rivers across Scotland, aiming to conserve salmon stocks as part of the Scottish Government’s ongoing reforms of wild fisheries.
Scottish rivers are given one of three conservation statuses according to the health of their stock, and the Tweed is classed as category one due to its good conservation methods and a healthy stock of salmon, meaning that taking the occasional fish is deemed to be sustainable.
However, since 2015 it has been illegal to kill any salmon on a Scottish river until April 1, and that measure remains in place.
Ewan Harris, rural director at property firm Savills’ Wooler office in Northumberland, said: “The Tweed has enjoyed a much gentler winter compared to 12 months ago, with little flooding.
“This will at least mean that the eggs and fry from the 2016 run will have a better chance of survival than those born 12 months earlier did.
“In the last few years, relatively high river conditions in the opening week have suited the beats around Kelso.
“With little rain forecast for the coming week and no snow, the beats slightly lower down the river might also enjoy some early action this year.
“Fishing is both an enjoyable sport and a valuable asset to the local economy.”
Savills ‘Prime Tweed Salmon Fishing’ catalogue details daily rod prices, five-year average catches and tips from local ghillies about the most productive streams and pools and local refreshments.