After a lengthy dry period and listening to anglers complain about low water levels and few fish the rain finally came. As expected large quantities of debris has been transported from beat to beat and as also expected the large numbers of summer fish that have been in and out the basin on every tide for nearly six weeks also got the chance to begin their final migration.
Fresh fish were seen going over all dams on the system within 36 hours of the rise in levels.
Bailiffs have been planning this latest activity for the duration of the dry spell. Bailiffs are now on the water all hours of the day and night, they have been arranged into day and night shifts where available to cover as much of the system as possible, our numbers have been boosted lately with two more bailiffs to add to our own compliment and an agreement made with neighboring rivers across Ayrshire to actively support each other at times of high risk and pressure . There are now more bailiffs on the Ayr than there has ever been in memory. Police Scotland are routinely made aware of every patrol, it’s location and are ready to respond to any call for assistance from any bailiff. The relationship that the bailiffs now have with Police Scotland is closer than it has ever been. Police officers have joined bailiffs on routine patrols of the lower beats in the last week and this will become a more regular sight on all beats. Police Scotland are treating fishery related offences extremely seriously and wildlife crime is now one of the Police priorities. Police have also been requested to make regular visits to Catrine during this busy period to which they are happy to do so.
Please ensure if you venture onto the system to fish you have the correct permits in place to do so, bailiffs on the river Ayr do have POWERS OF ENTRY, SEARCH, SEIZURE and ARREST in relation to fishery legislation, contrary to belief the powers are no different to those of a police officer and are given to the bailiffs under the same legislation, bailiffs can and will apply for search warrants to enter any property in connection with fishery related offences.
It is the anglers responsibility to ensure he or she is fully conversant with the law regarding their own activity on the system. In the case of the regular angler this means ensuring permits are in your possession, the method used is lawful, equipment carried is lawful and you are aware of the code of practice of the RADSFB and the beat you are fishing. If you are approached by bailiff’s they will be professional and courteous and will be making routine inquiries. Please ensure you cooperate with them, its in your interest that they check anglers on the system. If an angler does not have written permission to fish on their possession bailiff’s will attempt to identify the angler by other means, if they can not do that the angler is at risk of having their equipment seized until you can be identified.
For the more serious poaching instances bailiffs will use all avenues open to them to ensure individuals or groups are prosecuted, equipment and even vehicles will be seized by bailiffs and police, individuals will be arrested and detained and further action may include applying for search warrants from a sheriff or a justice of the peace to obtain further evidence.
If any individual suspects poaching activity they can contact bailiffs on the bailiff number as detailed on this site or contact Police Scotland on 101. Every report will be investigated.