THE Scottish Anglers National Association became the latest national angling body to endorse Brechin Angling Club’s application to the European Commission at their annual general meeting in Kinross on Sunday.
Readers will recall that, in an unprecendented move, the local angling club has submitted a formal complaint to the European Commission over the Scottish Government’s failure to protect stocks in the River South Esk Special Area of Conservation.
Earlier the migratory fish committee had decided that it was time to make the endorsement and it was carried unanimously.
The news that the move has the support of the Scottish Anglers National Association means that, with one notable exception, angling in Scotland is wholeheartedly with Brechin Angling Club .
We hope that politicians all over Scotland will be taking note of their call.
Pressure on the Scottish Government is being kept up as it transpires that Usan Fisheries have purchased the netting rights on two miles of the coastline adjacent to the River Thurso and that they intend to reinstate the coastal fishery forthwith.
What sort of a message this sends to the Faroes and Greenland governments is yet to be seen, but many fear some sort of marine fishery by these countries is inevitable.
Another five-mile section of coastline at Dornoch Firth southern shore, which has only been lightly fished, has been sold to a yet unknown buyer despite a substantial offer made by the local Fisheries Board.
We await with concern the outcome of this sale, which could affect all the Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries.
Locally the rivers are so low that only light fishing is possible but there are few fish on the Kinnaird beats and fish are being taken in very difficult conditions.
However, we just have to pray for rain.
The North Esk is fishing in similar vein and it is only the lower middle river beats that are getting returns and most fish from deep pools like the Luther Junction.
Trout fishing started on Loch Saugh and good sport has been reported, although the trout seem to be coming very lightly to the fly and causing the unwary some consternation.
It wouldn’t be the sport it is if fish were easy to catch, would it?
I am quite concerned at the amount of giant hogweed which is appearing on the banks of the South Esk, both above and below Brechin, as we are now going into the third year of spraying.
At first a near vertical bank at Kintrockat came on early in the spring-like weather, but now I am seeing much more over a wide area and like everything else on the riverbanks it is flourishing in the sunny conditions.
Not only the vegetation but the wild birds, mallard, etc., are starting to nest and unfortunately a fair population of merganser seems to have moved in and they will be decimating the juvenile fish populations.
As I write today it is raining and we are expecting snow.
Perhaps this is what we are waiting for but I will not get excited as the land is parched dry and will absorb a lot of rain before we see it affecting the rivers.
By Bill Balfour.