A LONG-SERVING fisherman who runs a syndicate in the Newton Stewart area has voiced fears over his group’s futures after a poor year.
Phil Burgess, from Chorley, has been visiting the waters of Galloway Estates for more than 30 years and has enjoyed every minute of it.
But he says that this year some of his members have been put off by the lack of catch and have hinted that they won’t be making the financial commitment of visiting next year.
Phil told the Gazette he knows the waters probably as well as anyone locally, and added: “I’m not interested in the politics around this and I’m aware there are groups who work tirelessly in this field, but it’s a definite that the resident fish just aren’t here. What I am seeing are a lot more pike than ever before, and pike will eat fry all the time so this could be a contributing factor to the lack of salmon. There are also big boats out at sea hoovering up all the salmon, so there are other factors.”
When asked if the syndicate had any trips planned for next year, Phil said: “None of the lads wants to spend cash on a 200-mile trip to come here unless there’s a guranteed catch. They call the locals before coming to make sure it’s fishing well and they’ve not been getting the answer they want. I can see the syndicate folding if things don’t improve.”