As we approach the start of Salmon Fishing season in Ayrshire, Scottish Government has not yet responded to their Consultation on Conservation Measures for 2018. This is leading to confusion over what Clubs should print on their ticket for the coming season (on rivers that are proposed to change category). The delay in announcing the outcome of the consultation is unsatisfactory in our opinion and causing clubs and anglers much concern. It also leads to confusion on how bailiffs enforce the Law. As the Law currently stands, the rivers are the same category as they were in 2017 until the Law is updated.

Following the Ayr DSFB meeting last night when this subject was hotly debated, I sought clarity from Marine Scotland this morning over what is happening. This is the response I received this afternoon:

The proposed changes are expected to be laid before the Scottish Parliament next Thursday for consideration (as proposed during the consultation with the odd exception (but none of them are Ayrshire rivers)). It is anticipated that they will be enacted into Law and an announcement made to confirm this will be issued no later than the 1st April 2018.

Our advice is to keep an eye on the Scottish Government’s website for updates and progress.

The proposed categories for 2018 were:
Stinchar    Category 1
Doon         Category 1
Girvan      Category 2
Garnock   Category 2
Ayr            Category 3
Irvine       Category 3

Category 3 rivers will be subject to mandatory catch and release Conservation Measures.

We have nothing to do with determining these Conservation Measures and have not contributed data to support them. We are merely relaying the latest information available in an effort to help clubs get the correct information out to its members.