PDAA received the following letter from TDSFB, dated 30th May 2018, with a recommendation that angler's should keep no grilse and no salmon , and should fish catch and release from 1st June to the end of the 2018 season. Please see below a copy of the letter. This is a follow up to the disastrous start to the 2018 season following on from 2017 and 2016. Letter from Iain McLaren, Chairman of TDSFB.
TAY DISTRICT SALMON FISHERIES BOARD
Perth & District Anglers Association E.Eadie, 13 Queens Avenue, Perth PH20EL Wednesday,30th May 2018.
Dear Proprieter/Tenant/Angler, As you will know, the Board for some years recommended that all salmon caught in the Tay district before June 1 should be returned alive to the water. Thereafter, we used to recommend that anglers keep no more than one fresh grilse per day, returning all salmon over 10 pounds. However in view of the reduced grilse runs of the last two years and especially last year’s very poor run, we recommended at the start of this season that anglers should keep no more than the ‘occasional’, grilse and no salmon from 1st June to the end of 2018 season. We did say that we would keep this under review as the season progressed.
Now that May is nearly done, it is clear that this year’s run of what we call 2 sea winter spring salmon, fish of the same brood as last year’s grilse, have done poorly. This springs’s catch is almost as low as it has ever been. This is particularly disappointing because spring catches had improved in recent years, but suggests that those young salmon ‘smolts’, that went to sea in spring 2016 have suffered very poor survival. This is not only a local problem, but seems to be affecting rivers throughout the country.
We are now very concerned over the number of fish that will spawn this autumn, particularly if this summer and autumn’s grilse run is again below par. We have concluded that the only responsible course of action in the face of this unprecedented situation, is to recommend to you as proprietors, tenants and anglers to refrain from taking any salmon and grilse for the remainder of this season and only fish catch and release. We particularly appeal to anglers in the various tributaries of the Tay who might catch coloured salmon as they head make their way to spawning grounds, to release all fish and do so carefully. Given the necessity to ensure released fish survive, we are also asking anglers to refrain from using worms as bait, or if anglers absolutely must, then to use circle hooks which are easier to release.
We appreciate that some anglers may already have booked fishing in the hope that they might take home the occasional fish and certainly do not wish to dissuade them from coming fishing and enjoying their time here. However, we did not come to this decision lightly and hope they too will act responsibly.
As the new chairman of the Board, it gives me no pleasure to write this letter, but I do hope that you will appreciate the situation that we find ourselves in. In my new role I am determined that we should do all that we can to look at other ways that we can put as many young salmon to sea as possible and in this the Board has been busy.
With your help and support we hope to do what we can to help our great river.
Iain McLaren, Chairman TDSFB.