The Board would like to make all owners, clubs and anglers aware that the entire River Ayr catchment has been designated a ‘Category 3’ river for the 2020 season and mandatory catch and release for all salmon will be required. These conservation measures are a statutory instrument and the Conservation of Salmon (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2019 come into force on 1 April 2020. No salmon may be killed before the 1st April on any Scottish river.
This means that exploitation of salmon is unsustainable within the Ayr catchment and therefore management actions are required to reduce exploitation for 1 year i.e. mandatory catch and release (all methods).
Consequently all salmon must be returned alive with as little damage as possible to the river during 2020. Salmon that die after capture or while being returned must also be released back to the river.
In terms of section 38(7) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003 it is an offence to act in contravention of the prohibition. Anyone found guilty of the offence is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of up to level 4 on the standard scale.
The District Salmon Fishery Board supports these measures.