U-turnon ‘one­for the pot’

Lennox Herald - - NEWS -

The de­ci­sion on a con­tro­ver­sial U-turn pre­vent­ing salmon an­glers from tak­ing “one for the pot” is set to be made this month.

Fol­low­ing a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion which took place in Oc­to­ber, the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment will make a de­ci­sion on the pol­icy – which if en­forced would place a manda­tory catch and re­lease or­der on Loch Lomond, the River Leven and other lo­cal fish­ing spots.

Mem­bers of the Loch Lomond Angling Im­prove­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (LLAIA) have strongly op­posed the plans to re­turn the wa­ters to a cat­e­gory 3 from a cat­e­gory 2, which al­lows some salmon to be taken home.

The as­so­ci­a­tion – which is made up of 400 an­glers – pre­vi­ously ap­pealed the de­ci­sion and re­cently met with Marine Scot­land to share their con­cerns.

Sec­re­tary of the LLAIA, Gareth Bourhill said: “We fully ap­pre­ci­ate that they have to take con­ser­va­tion into con­sid­er­a­tion and that is some­thing the LLAIA fully sup­ports but we feel like there are flaws in the data which will ul­ti­mately make this de­ci­sion.”

Dum­bar­ton MSP Jackie Baillie has also of­fered her sup­port, hav­ing pre­vi­ously worked with the LLAIA last year to have the ban lifted.

It was an­nounced in De­cem­ber last year the cat­e­gory would be down­graded from April 2017 fol­low­ing the hard-fought cam­paign by the LLAIA.

Fol­low­ing the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion – which ended on Oc­to­ber 13 – Ms Baillie has or­gan­ised a meet­ing with cabi­net sec­re­tary, Roseanna Cunningham and mem­bers of the LLAIA.

A spokesman from the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment said: “A pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion sur­round­ing the pro­posal to in­tro­duce manda­tory catch and re­lease at Loch Lomond closed on 13 Oc­to­ber, 2017. A full re­port of the re­sponses will be sent to min­is­ters, who will make their de­ci­sion in due course.”

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