No fungal outbreak sign this year

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Fishing on the two Esks has tailed off in the last two weeks as water levels drop and water clarity remains impeccable.

On the South Esk Kinnaird continues on it’s merry way with fish from both the upper and middle beats and also fish being caught and tagged in a net on the Upper beat. Early tagging was slow but I am told that in the immediate past few weeks more fish have been intercepted and tagged. It is hoped to follow their progress upriver and by way of recording stations to find out more about their time in the river and areas in which they spawn.

At Finavon Castle Tony Andrews has been pleased to see good numbers of fish in his beats and many anglers have been leaving the water with broad smiles.

North Esk anglers have been finding sport steady if not breaking any records but beats like Stracathro, Burn Estate, Gallery and Kinnaber have all fished well but are now experiencing low water levels which will curtail the movement of fish upstream.

The dreaded fungal outbreaks in the Edzell area, which have decimated stocks in recent years, does not appear to have hit the river this year, but if you witness any fish in that state please phone me on 01356 622753.

You will be very aware of my feelings on coastal netting and in particular the mixed stock fishery in Lunan Bay but this week I am reading of other groups becoming interested in Usan Salmon Fisheries but not for the netting of salmon but for the slaughter of seals in particular at their fishery at Gardenstown on the Moray Firth.

David Pullar appeared on the TV news and finally agreed to remove their firearms from the fishery and this is a fishery which is a big target for Moray Firth seals.

Led by the “Sea Shepherd UK” conservation group this collection of conservation organisations, now numbering around ten are seriously worried at the number of seals being shot and indeed if you look into the Usan Website you will see photographs of dead seals at Usan alongside photos of visiting dignitaries including our two MPs.

Only last week Usan Salmon Fisheries stated that they would not be using nets at their recently acquired Ythan Fisheries in Aberdeenshire. They also stated that they were no longer interested in acquiring any further fisheries in the foreseeable future.

Tight Lines, Bill Balfour.