Scottish Government take forward further protection for spring salmon by introducing mandatory catch and release

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Scottish Government News Release –Consvervation order laid in parliament.

Early-running spring salmon are being further protected through mandatory catch and release measures.

The measures, which come into force before the start of the 2015 season and will run for five years, have been introduced following the statutory 28 day consultation which concluded earlier this month. They have been designed to protect the currently low levels of spring salmon in Scotland.

Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“The Scottish Government places a high value on conservation of our wild Scottish salmon and other wild fish stocks. While I recognise the tremendous contribution that catch and release and the voluntary cessation of netting have had in previous seasons, I think more should be done to provide certainty about the protection of spring stocks.

“The Independent Review of Wild Fisheries has recently concluded and we are currently considering the recommendations from it and will consult further on firm policy propositions in due course. However the protection of the spring stocks cannot wait for that work to be completed and we have taken positive action to protect this iconic species.”

The Conservation of Salmon (Annual Close Time and Catch and Release) (Scotland) Regulations 2014 can be viewed here

Obviously this will have a different impact on individual rivers across the country, on the River Ayr this means a mandatory catch and release of salmon from Feb 11th 2015 until March 31st 2015 inclusive . This mandatory catch and release will remain in force between the stated dates up to and including the 2019 season. This regulation does not include sea trout and refers only to salmon, however, the river Ayr and all it’s tributaries has a catch and release policy on all sea trout however if this is ever relaxed then the board will ensure all owners and clubs are notified. It is crucial that all clubs, owners and anglers are aware of this change in the law as our bailiffs will be enforcing any current legislation and regulations.

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