Ian Gordon/Salmon & Trout Association petition

Ian Gordon and the Salmon & Trout Association (Scotland) have combined forces with a petition asking for the Scottish Government to pass legislation to ensure that no salmon are killed by either rods or nets until the 1st July for a period of five years and that action is taken to end the indiscriminate harvest by coastal, otherwise known as mixed stock, netting at any time of year.

Given the low stock levels experienced on the Spey over the last couple years, and almost universally this year, it is difficult to argue against the petition motives. Details of the petition can be found here. Signing the petition takes seconds and if changes in legislation were forthcoming it would save many thousands of salmon destined to spawn in Scottish rivers including the Spey.

Recent tagging work has confirmed the work of earlier studies which showed that salmon destined to enter the Spey are exploited by mixed stock nets as far apart as the north coast of Scotland and Montrose. Our own electrofishing has shown that juvenile stocks in some of the outlying parts of the catchment have declined; we really do need to ensure that the survivors, those few fish that have made it to the distant feeding grounds in the north Atlantic and returned to our shores are protected and allowed to spawn.

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Ray Mcdonald at 9:00 pm

    I am fully behind the no kill proposal till the 1st July.I have witnessed on my home river the Deveron the relentless decline of our salmon and particularly the sea trout in the last 5-6 years.Also the proposed no kill policy before April will have very limited benefits for the Deveron for example as most of our spring fish as any Deveron regular will tell you run IN APRIL&MAY, THUS GIVING THE INDISCRIMINATE ANGLER A LEGAL!!! LICENCE TO KILL SCARCE SPRING FISH.Myself and fellow conservation minded anglers have returned spring fish for the last 6-8 years in the hope of building a better spring run which not only benefits keen conservation minded anglers but the owners of beats whom will reap the benefits in better letting numbers in the near future. Netsmen at Gamrie must stop killing sea trout immediately as our run is on its knees and worse.Rant over for now.!!!!!

    • Brian Shaw Author at 9:59 am

      Hi Ray,

      I hope it was good to get that of your chest! You point about the conservation impact of the existing measure is well made. Very few fish will actually be saved by the recent legislation. However, the no-kill legislation before April is likely to be an interim measure in advance of the consultation on the Wild Fisheries Review which discussed a number of exploitation control measures. The legal position hasn’t changed for the rapidly declining number of anglers who would have been minded to kill a springer in April or May but most rivers have conservation policies in place, albeit voluntary, to cover that period. On the Spey at least the message about conservation has been getting across with our return rate increased every year with 92% returned over the course of 2014.
      We were pleased to see an upturn in sea trout catches on the Spey last year although still well below the level seen in the 80s and 90s. However that was only one better year after a few poor ones and I am sure that we were are far from a situation where the run could be cropped commercially!

      Lets hope for a better year everywhere in 2015.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.