For the 2017 salmon fishing season ‘Grade 3’ status (mandatory catch and release) will be in force across the Ness district until the 30th June. This aims to protect the vulnerable ‘spring’ salmon and early running grilse destined for the River Moriston Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
From 1st July it will remain mandatory that all fish caught in the Moriston SAC must be released, but the wider Ness district will be uplifted to ‘Grade 2’ status, allowing a limited number of fish to be caught and retained. This is subject to adherence to our ‘2017 Salmon Conservation Policy’ (see below), which has been approved by the Scottish Government and is designed to meet the requirement for reduced exploitation on ‘Grade 2’ systems.
It is hoped that these conservation measures will ensure all necessary protections are in place for the Moriston SAC, whilst maximising the economic benefits for the wider district. Failure to comply with the conservation policy could lead to the Ness district reverting to ‘Grade 3’ status in future years.
Further to the above, it is clear that our sea trout catches are in continued decline and at extremely low levels. As such, we have produced new ‘Sea Trout Conservation Guidelines’. This aims to raise awareness of key sea trout facts, their legal protection, current status and what anglers can do to help (click on picture to view or download).