Meeting to focus on Esk salmon stocks

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THE ESK District Salmon Fisheries Board has called a meeting for all anglers, proprietors of river beats, ghillies and those concerned with salmon stocks in the South Esk.

The meeting will provide a forum to discuss the response by the Minister of the Environment to the recent request for regulation of coastal netting and rod angling for the next five years.

All anglers have been astonished by the part of his response which will allow the coastal mixed stock net fishery to extend their season into the first two weeks of September. This is apparently to allow salmon to be sampled genetically and by tag and release in order to get a clearer idea of just which river they are from.

John Craig the president of Brechin Angling Club said: “This should not be allowed, it is not right to net coloured and mature fish which are ready to enter the rivers and spawn in a few weeks.

“All anglers are appalled, for years now they have been returning fish in the interest of conservation.

“Brechin Angling Club adopted a restrictive policy on catches many years ago as they were aware of dwindling stocks.

“In many ways the club was the forerunner of conservation on the Esks.”

Hugh Campbell Adamson, chairman of the Esk District Salmon Fisheries Board, said: “We have called this meeting to seek views of all stakeholders, whether proprietors, anglers, scientists, netsmen, angling clubs and anyone else involved directly and indirectly with the rivers in our area.

“It is very important that we hear all views, which we will take on board and use them to respond to the Government.

“We have arranged a meeting with the government to discuss this, and will have more information to give on Thursday.”

The meeting on Thursday, October 27 at 6pm at the Northern Hotel, Brechin, is open to all, and has been called by the Board to gauge the public feeling, and to help the Board decide how it will react.