It has been announced today (Tuesday 19 January) that the government intend to bring in regulations under existing fisheries legislation that will effectively make the Lomond system, like the rest of the Clyde catchment, a category 3 water.
As you are no doubt aware these proposals were initially contained within the wild fisheries consultation document that was published in September 2015. It is deeply regrettable that the government have not listened to the arguments put forward by this Association and other angling bodies and have decided to move to implement regulations on the back of what we consider to be an intrinsically flawed methodology.
We find little in the way of comfort in today’s statement but we need to be clear about 3 points:
First we shall continue to lobby government with regards to the unfair and arbitrary manner by which they have decided on the categorisation of waters.
Secondly while the government intention is clear there are still a number of parliamentary hurdles to be overcome before these proposals are made law this year, therefore we still have a chance at influencing the outcome of this debate.
Third, while we note that there is an intention to ban the killing of wild salmon throughout almost all of the west and south west Scotland this year the government state they will review this position annually and we therefore look forward to working closely with the Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust to provide the relevant evidence that we feel would justify our inclusion as a category 1 / 2 system in years to come.
While this may seem like dark news please remember they are still just proposals and parliament has still to have its say. We would ask members to continue to support your Association during these difficult times and make whatever representation you can to your local and list MSPs.