Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Letters -

Hav­ing fol­lowed the heated de­bates concerning the po­ten­tial dam­age caused to wild fish by fish farms on the west coast of Scot­land, I would like to know what is the typ­i­cal amount of sea-lice that one would ex­pect to find on a freshly caught sea-trout straight from the sea? Last week I caught a beau­ti­ful seatrout of around 2 lb while fish­ing from rocks on the Sleat Penin­sula look­ing out to­wards Rum. The fish had at least 40 lice on it. I have been lucky enough to catch the oc­ca­sional sea-trout from the same rocks in the past, which have hardly ever had lice on them. There is a fish farm in Loch Eishort, a lit­tle fur­ther up the coast. Could the heav­ily liced fish I caught be suf­fer­ing as a di­rect re­sult of the fish farm? Michael Wild, Cum­bria In News Reel (T&S, July), the to­tal rod catch of Scot­tish salmon in 2016 was re­ported as 55,109, against the fiveyear average of 68,308. These fig­ures I do not dis­pute, but surely the num­ber of rod days fished should be stated, too? Ev­i­dence of fewer rod days taken can be seen in the avail­abil­ity on Fish­pal. You can access many beats on the big four rivers that once were dead men’s shoes. We have had drier sea­sons of late, and the cat­e­go­riza­tion of all Scot­tish salmon rivers hasn’t had the de­sired ef­fect of en­cour­ag­ing more young an­glers into the sport of sea-trout and salmon an­gling. Some rods are jack­ing in the sport be­cause catch-and-re­lease has been im­posed on rivers. Some 50 per cent of an­glers take up the sport be­cause their fa­ther or a re­la­tion par­tic­i­pates in an­gling. How can we en­cour­age young an­glers into salmon fish­ing if all fish that are caught must be re­turned un­til the end of June? When I started fish­ing what spurred me on was see­ing a rod-caught seatrout or salmon on the bank. I have only met one teenager fish­ing in the last 20 years. I can­not re­call see­ing young an­glers in a tackle-shop, ei­ther. When I was young, even look­ing in a tackle-shop win­dow gave me a buzz, and go­ing in­side to pur­chase a new rod or reel was the tops. I still get a buzz to­day, 55 years on. F. Bell, via e-mail

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