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Shrimp and Prawn Ban

River Tay Salmon District (Baits and Lures) Regulations 1999

As of the 1st March 1999 the use of shrimp and prawn baits has been banned by the Secretary of State throughout the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board area (River Tay and all tributaries and lochs). This includes the use of natural prawns and shrimps (whether freash or preserved, dyed or natural colour).

Following the mostly successful removal of high seas, estuary and riverine nets responsibility for the preservation of salmon stocks is now largely in the hands of rod and line anglers. On the Tay system nets now account for less than 60 salmon per annum - an insignificant total when compared with rod catches. With the exception of the English North East Drift nets which continue to infuriate, fishing pressure has been dramatically reduced.

Rod anglers already restrict their practices in order to preserve stocks:

  • No salmon fishing is allowed on Sundays

  • Only a single rod and line is allowed

  • Set lines are forbidden

  • All kelts and baggots must be returned

  • There is a voluntary catch and release scheme and badges are on offer.

  • Many beats are fly only

Nevetheless it is up to anglers to continue to play the lead role in looking after our sport. Many rods are already looking abroad for their fishing because of the scarcity of Scottish salmon. Unless we have a healthy salmon stock the angling/tourist industry will suffer and jobs will continue to be lost.

The argument that rods will not fish if they cannot use the shrimp and prawn does not add up. This argument was no doubt used by the guns when the last dodo was shot! If an angler is only there to kill fish then he would be better advised to go to a put and take fishery where results are guaranteed. Alternatively farmed salmon can be bought for £1.40 lb and with wild fish estimated to be valued at over £1000 a piece it makes economic sense to preserve them.


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