Spanner in the works?

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WITH the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation annual conference due to be held in Edinburgh from June 5 to 8 local coastal fishery Usan Salmon Fisheries have thrown a massive spanner in the works with the purchase of the dormant netting stations at the mouth of the Thurso and Deveron rivers.

And they have already started to harvest fish from both these rivers.

This increase in the capture of wild salmon will no doubt anger the fishermen of Greenland and Faroe Islands, who have a subsistence quota on over exploitation dating back over a decade.

Seeing increased commercial netting on Scotland’s shores they will, no doubt, respond with a demand to increase their quota and we will be facing over exploitation straight in the face once again.

I can really see no reason to blame these island fishermen as they are the people who have acted responsibly in the past with a view to saving the diminishing stocks of Atlantic Salmon and, with the new uncontrolled harvesting on Scotland’s foreshore of the same stocks as they have already conserved, you can well appreciate their point.

There is simply no valid reason why they should not take a profit while Scottish fisheries reap the benefit or their voluntary conservation.

Just where this puts the future of the wild Atlantic Salmon is a real worry and, with stocks being so low already, it is time for those in power to look far more seriously into the conservation of this iconic fish which we in Scotland are so proud off.

About one kilometre of the West Water is for sale. The beat borders Clochie and Tilydovie farms on the north bank.

It has salmon and sea trout from April onwards and although it has been dormant for a number of years it as great potential.

The sellers are asking offers over £20,000. There is also a cottage high on the hillside overlooking if you are so inclined.

It has been good to see the rivers running at better levels of late and, although not many fish have been seen, I am sure that fish must now be well distributed through the North and South Esk systems.

Inverbervie Angling Association is issuing permits for their beat of the “Bervie”.. They are available at the Crown Hotel and the Post Office.

This “wee” river has been improving of the past few years and is well worth a try when we get good flow levels.

Tightlines, by Bill Balfour.