Conservation of Salmon Being Urged

As the salmon fishing is set to get underway in Scotland strict conservation rules are being introduced by the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board.

It is hoped that the guidelines, which include returning the first fish caught each day until May and only taking one fish a day, will double the number of fish that are caught and released.

And to ensure that as many female salmon manage to make it all the way up river to the spawning redds as possible, anglers are being encouraged to return all hen fish caught from June 1 onwards.

And 'coloured' fish which have been in freshwater for some time should also be safely returned.

"All rivers are having to deal with the problem of increasing mortality of salmon at sea, which is caused by factors beyond our control relating to climate change," John Milligan, chairman of the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board, told the BBC.

And with as many as 90%  of Dee salmon and 70% of Spey fish being returned each season there seems to be a groundswell of support from salmon anglers embracing the conservation efforts.

"We are optimistic that anglers will heed our appeals. We have no desire to seek mandatory powers to compel anglers to release fish but we will not hesitate to do so if the new recommendations are not closely adhered to," added John.