Fishing syndicate loses ‘all-season’ licence

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A keen fisherman who spoke to The Galloway Gazette recently about his concerns over the lack of fish in the local river system has spoken of his disappointment at having his “all-season” licence revoked.

Phil Burgess, from Chorley, has been coming to fish the waters of the Galloway estates for three decades and in October he commented in the Gazette that the lack of fish this year might mean some of his syndicate would not be spending their hard-earned cash on fishing trips to this part of the country in future.

Soon after, Mr Burgess heard from the Galloway Estates that the terms of his lease on the Cree were being changed.

According to Mr Burgess, the reasons given by estate owner, Andrew Stewart, and river keeper Peter Stafford were that his “all season” syndicate was not ecomonically beneficial enough to them to continue in its present format.

The fisherman said: “The owner’s ability to charge ‘whatever’ is linked to the number of fish caught and my syndicate were not catching many due to the fact that we did not frequent the water regularly enough.

“We are still welcome to fish the estate waters but cannot purchase the whole season, We simply have to book as we did many years ago, by the date/week although we can block book a limited number of weeks subject to availability and a slightly reduced rate as goodwill.

“Our deal in the past was very attractive but if Peter Stafford can ‘fill’ more of the weeks and therefore record more fish for the season, then it will be better for your community, the river, the owner … everything in general, so I suppose it is for the best that this has taken place.”