April Fool?


Fish limit 

Following on from the current EU directives creating havoc in Scotland over killing of fish, tagging etc. there was an article in a Sunday paper regarding the directives and the effect it will have on those netsmen using Haaf nets in that they will have to return all fish caught. Later in the article it said that Englishmen will be limited to three fish per year. Well, this is news to me and the other committee members. We already have catch and release until 16th June, we now have no killing of sea trout on the Tweed and Till before 1st April because they are classed as salmon, we had an 81 per cent catch and release policy carried out by members last season and now the idiots in Brussels appear to be meddling in England. This is the first we have had heard of this limit and more investigations are required, no time to go fishing I,m afraid.

Good News 

At least fish are starting to move onto a couple of our beats with some sea trout showing on the Till and salmon showing on the Wear so prospects are starting to show an improvement. Stocking of Thornton Steward reservoir has already begun and Rothley will be stocked later this month. As usual members should have renewed their rod licence and the EA officers will be out and about looking to check that anglers are in possession of their new licence.

Wild Fisheries Review

Licensing To Kill Salmon

The Wild Fisheries Review (WFR) is starting to create a lot of disent within the angling community, both owners and anglers alike, on Scottish rivers. As a stakeholder with fishing on the Tweed and the Till we believe that our members should take part in the consultation process. Previous articles have shown how disjointed the approach of the Review is and is certainly creating a lot of disent among the angling fraternity. As previously stated, the WFR are looking to bring in a tagging system for the killing of salmon and to be able to do this a licence will be required. Being stakeholders the River Tweed Commission (RTC) have contacted our club requesting that we partake in the consultation process. The RTC have been advised by the Tweed Foundation that they believe this new regulation is not required on the Tweed system as it is already operating a self regulatory policy of catch and release until 30th June and does have around 77% total catch and release of the 10 per cent of salmon caught by rod and line throughout the whole of the season. We are not against the tagging of a salmon when it is to be sold. This shows the buyer the legality of the fish. Anglers feel that this new legislation will not come into operation in 2016 but be assured, the review goes before parliament in June 2015 and will become law for 2016.

As we have stated in previous articles about being a stakeholder and how difficult we as a club will find to operate the tagging system should the licence system come into operation then we ask members and readers of our site to take part in the consultation process by objecting to this proposal. The consultation process which ends at the end of April can be found by logging on to


Sea Trout on the Tweed System

Definitive Answer

Following our article in February regarding the Killing of Sea Trout on the Tweed and Till, presumably the Glen also, it has caused quite a bit of confusion between members and anglers alike on various forums including our own. Some say we were wrong and that it did not include the Tweed and the Till and over the last two days we have sought clarification from the RTC and their official reply is as follows,

Quote - "The change in legislation which the Scottish Government has introduced to change the closed season for salmon also applies to Sea trout in the Tweed district. This is because article 4 of the Tweed Order interprets "salmon" as meaning the fish of species Salmon salar and migratory fish of the species Salmo trutta. I do not believe it was the Governments intention to include sea trout but that is the effect of the change as they have drafted it" unquote.

There you go, a trout is a salmon. However, it does confirm our earlier posting that the killing of sea trout before the 1st April was correct and members should follow these guidelines.

Licence To Kill

Tagging of Salmon

Further enquiries regarding salmon fishing in Scottish rivers has led us to believe that salmon are not to be tagged. It appears that the situation may be as follows. A riparian owner has to apply for a licence to kill fish on their river/beat. They then apply for their tags for killing fish. They then allocate the tags to the angler that allows them to kill a fish. Any angler that has killed a fish must be in possession of one of the tags otherwise if caught with a dead salmon and does not have a tag can/will be prosecuted. This would still leave the club in a dilemma as to how to allocate the tags. It is still very early days yet as the consultation process still has a course to run but we will as usual keep on top of the problem.

No Not James Bond

Following the latest acts of the Scottish Parliament regarding fishing in Scottish rivers, see previous news items, they are now having a consultation on proposed conservation measures to introduce a licensing system for killing wild salmon in Scotland. The consultation process ends on 30th April 2015. We as a club are stakeholders in this process, with our fishing on the Tweed and Till, and we will be making our thoughts known to the Scottish gevernment. The outcome could have a significant effect on our fishing on these rivers.

They are looking to introduce a system where any angler must have a licence to allow them to kill a salmon. We already know that the majority of our members, along with no doubt thousand of other anglers fishing in Scotland, operate catch and release but now and then we do look to keep one for the table. If the proposals go through what could be the implications?. How will it operate? Nobody seems to know so here are some initial observations. We currently have around 240 members. So, do we apply for 240 licences?. Probably not as we know that some of our members only fish our stillwaters so shall we say 180 members fish for salmon. So, we apply for 180 licences, but hold on. A member may wish to kill 2 fish, in the legall period to kill fish that is from 1st July to 30th November, so do we apply for 360 licences. Is the licence for a specific date only?. What happens if you dont catch a fish on that specific date then is the licence still available to use at a later date?. How many licences will be made available for each river?. Say the Tweed system is allocated 5000 licences then how many will we as a club be able to request taking into consideration the number of beats on the system?. Will we suffer being a club rather than a riparian owner?. Will there be a cost for a licence, if so how much, and how do we pass the cost on to our members?. The understanding we have at the moment is that the Scottish gevernment intend to introduce this from the year 2016 but when could it become law?. We may as a club secure additional fishing on the Tweed system in early December say and committ to a five year lease then the new proposals come into force so where would we stand if we wished to renage on the new stretch of water.

Another item they are talking about in the same consultation is the tagging and release of a salmon. Having used such a system before it puts more stress on both the angler and the fish trying to insert the tag due to the further amount of time taken to return the fish safely to the water with as little harm as possible. We have this item on our agenda for our next committee meeting this coming Monday so it could be a long night. Again the nets men seem to get away with it yet again. The Faroe Islands have agreed not to net fish for salmon, and therefore hopefully increasing fish stocks, to return safely to our nets men to increase their catches again at the detrement of the rod angler. Ever wonder if it is worthwhile fishing because reading the fishing magazines anglers are not returning to fish Scottish rivers because of the new rules already introduced, and those proposed, and yet again it is the rod angler who will have to suffer. Whose fault is it that the number of fish returning to our rivers is dwindling, well, according to the nets men it is the rod angler. Watch this space but you do have the opportunity to take part in the consultation process as an individual. To take part in the process please go to www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2015/02/4158

Constitution and Maps

As you will have noticed we have made some slight alterations to our site and the latest is that members can now download the constitution and maps of the waters from our downloads section under the members section. You must have registered with the site as a member to gain access to these items. In future only emails sent to our fellingflyfishers email address will be read so please do not use the old Hotmail address.

Upstream Counts

February Fish Counts

The latest fish count figures have been updated for February. The first fish have taken the Riding Mill fish pass, only 5, but it is a start. This fish pass is generally regarded as a barrier to fish running due to the cold water temperature. The Wear has had the same number of fish through in February as it did in January and is double the number at this time last year. The Tees, well, the Tees is the Tees, no fish yet.


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