The answer to that question really shouldn’t take much thought……
When it comes to improving our salmon stocks, there is no doubt that the only real way forward is through letting nature take it’s course.
A lot of time, money and dedication was put into our hatchery operation, only for it to be eventually abandoned. Similarly, the smolt programme, which was terminated rather prematurely it seems…….
What we have found very interesting, and many of you will have contributed to it, was the survey of members conducted several years ago. These results have now come to light and it shows that a very high percentage of members were in favour of some degree of catch and release. Nothing was ever put in to practise…why?
We can assure our members that while this has not been an easy transitional period, the members of the committee have been working very hard to set the Association back on track, with ‘Improvement’ our main thought. A clearer picture of how the Association stands will be presented at the EGM in June.
The recent ‘Report’s’ section mentioned the work carried out by the Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust and the siting of smolt traps on the rivers Endrick and Blane. The numbers of fish recorded to date show a marked increase in the natural salmon population, which is very encouraging. How has this come about? One definite reason. We know that many of our members have been returning fish and as mentioned earlier, there can be no replacement, no matter how ambitious or expensive, for Mother Nature’s ‘own way’.
A survey will be circulated prior to the EGM, which will cover a wide range of topics affecting the Association. This will also cover your thoughts on Catch and Release.
Spring salmon play a very important part in our plan and rather than introduce a mandatory catch and release policy, members are asked to subscribe to the voluntary release of any salmon caught between now and 31st of May. As an incentive we are offering a bottle of finest malt whisky for each fish returned. It is expected of course that any claim will be authenticated by witnesses, photos, video and if possible fin clipping and scales. This is a chance for everyone to invest in the system’s future and drink to it’s health! If you don’t partake of the ‘water of life’ we’ll give you a voucher for Glasgow Angling centre instead.
We hope that you will give this initiative the full consideration and support that it deserves and help in the restoration of our wild salmon stocks.
Look forward to meeting and hearing from you very soon.