Today was opening day on the Lomond System with several keen and hardy anglers braving the icy conditions from 7.00am on the River Leven just glad to get out on the water. Within a few hours there were reports of two fish landed near the “Top Pool”.
Unfortunately these turned out to be farmed fish. Further reports later in the day increased the number ‘reported’ of farmed fish landed to four. These fish ranged in size from 6lb-9lb.
We would like to remind all anglers as to the required procedure which must be followed should any angler land one of these farmed fish.
Actions required should you catch a suspected farmed fish
As a reminder you are requested to take the following important actions should you believe that you have landed a farmed fish:
Inform immediately the LLAIA or LLFT (since we don’t have a District Salmon Fishery Board (DSFB).
Photo to be taken and scale samples, we need to know where and when caught, method and approx. weight.
Fish to be immediately humanely dispatched and not returned to the water. Please note that farmed fish escapees have been declared as ‘not fit for human consumption’ by Fisheries Management Scotland.
Online form at FMS to be completed and Fish Health Inspectorate informed ( If anglers give us the info we will do those steps for them). The FMS reporting form and further information can be found using this link http://fms.scot/reminder-on-farmed-salmon-catches/
Fish is not to be kept or eaten!! ( Official advice for any farmed fish by FMS)
This only applies to farmed fish, anybody dispatching a wild fish, must only do so within rules of the L.L.A.I.A, they may be subject to prosecution under fishery law with regards retaining of wild fish.
Scales should be stored in paper packaging (e.g. wrapped in kitchen roll or in a paper envelope). It is important that scales are not stored in plastic nor dried on a direct heat source.
The L.L.A.I.A will provide scale envelopes and we will distribute these to bailiffs, VOLDAC . So as soon as a farm fish is caught please get immediately in touch with ourselves or the LLFT and we can arrange collection of the scale samples plus a photograph where at all possible.
The above advice and steps relate to the capture of any farmed fish not just those relating to the MOWI Carradale North incident.
Identification of a farmed salmon
Below is a link to a video from the “Ayrshire Rivers Trust” illustrating how to identify a farmed versus wild fish and also how and where to take required scale sample should you believe that you have captured a farmed fish.
Video : https://youtu.be/WwKwPv1yGBM
The diagram below shows the area that any scale samples must be taken from:
To further aid the identification of farmed fish then below is a link to an illustrated leaflet from Fisheries Management Scotland (FMS).