Anglers pick up rewards for returning fish

The fishing season is now well under way on the Cree and Bladnoch.

Amidst plenty reports of kelts (spawned fish) being caught, Denis Dyson landed the Cree’s first spring salmon of the season on Monday, March 25, below the A75 road bridge.

Fishing for spring salmon can be very rewarding. These fish are all multi-sea-wintered, which makes them prized by anglers because of their good size, often around 10lbs. Hen or female fish are capable of producing up to 7000 eggs, making them key contributors to replenishing salmon in the upper reaches of a river catchment – areas often depleted of fish due to habitat pressures including acidic water quality.

Protecting spring salmon is vital to ensure the longevity of spring salmon stocks on the Cree and Bladnoch and Galloway Fisheries Trust has helped promote catch and release practice by coordinating a scheme that rewards anglers releasing spring fish with a side of smoked salmon.

This scheme will continue this year on the River Bladnoch. On the Cree, the Cree District Salmon Fishery Board (CDSFB) has taken further measures by introducing compulsory catch and release to its conservation code, on all spring salmon caught before June 1.

Useful information for anglers on techniques used to safely return fish to the water can be found at www.atlanticsalmontrust.org/assets/files/Catch-and-Release-Leaflet.pdf

If you return a spring salmon on the Bladnoch up to June 1 and would like to receive a side of smoked salmon, please provide a scale sample and photo of the fish being returned to the water. Pass this information to the Galloway Fisheries Trust in Newton Stewart, which will verify the information before claiming sides of smoked salmon shortly after the start of June.

For more details, please contact Rowan on 01671 403011.