After what was described as a very constructive meeting in late September attended by the Association Chairman, Carolyn Bryce the biologist for the Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust and representatives from Marine Scotland and the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries team we knew that we had put forward a strong case. It was also apparent that there was a real willingness on the part of Government to review the categorisation of the Lomond system for the 2017 season, however, this was no done deal as our case had to be fought and won.
Following this meeting the committee submitted their response to the consultation in good time and in line with the timeframe set by Government. It was then a case of waiting, we knew that we had done as much as we could, the question was would it be enough?
Early in November we received word back that things were looking positive but the matter had still to be referred back to the Scottish Parliament for consideration. The final decision when it came today was not just welcomed, but also we believe, well deserved.
There is no doubt that our categorisation would not have changed if your committee had sat back and did nothing and this result was ultimately down to old fashioned grit, determination and an extremely strong and coherent argument. The committee also avoided jeopardising any change to our categorisation through reporting prematurely the initial feedback we had received as this could have done untold damage to our cause. Trust in such situations like in other walks of life is vital, you either have it or you don’t, and when you lose it you can so easily lose the lot!
What does this mean for anglers on the Lomond system in 2017? Simply put we will once again be able to harvest limited numbers of salmon. Members will receive 3 tags with their 2017 permit allocation which they will be able to use between 1 May and 30 September. However, as always we ask that anglers show moderation and keep conservation and the future of your system to the fore when deciding whether to harvest a fish.
Finally, the committee would also like to thank the retiring chairman Malcolm MacCormick for the time and effort he put into the review, fantastic effort, and all our members and supporters who responded to the last consultation as this no doubt helped reinforce our very strong and persuasive case.