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Board Members

Board members are elected triennially with the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003 specifying who may stand for election, how many may be elected and how many may represent the lower and upper rivers. Board members are all volunteers and are non-remunerated for their time and effort.

The elected Board members subsequently elect one of the members to be their Chairman. The Board may also co-opt and invite others to attend its meetings with co-optees empowered with voting rights if required. The current Board members are as follows:

Representatives of Upper Proprietors Michael Martin, Chairman (Mandate Dochfour, River Ness)

David Sutherland (Proprietor Ness Castle, River Ness)

Ryan Rutherford (Mandate Ness-side, River Ness)

Angus McGruer  (Proprietor, River Oich)

Steven Gray (Mandate, River Moriston)

Dr Robert Morgan (Mandate, River Garry)

Representatives of Lower Proprietors Cllr Janet Campbell (Mandate Highland Council, River Ness)
Co-optees of salmon Anglers and Tenant Netsmen Alexander Patience (Salmon Netsmen)

Graham Mackenzie (Ness District Anglers)

Walter Mackay (Inverness Angling Club)

Neil Cameron (Ness and Beauly Fisheries Trust)

The River Director and Clerk attend Board meetings without voting powers. Although not a legal requirement, the Ness DSFB invites further representation onto the board in a non-voting capacity:

Non-voting Attendees Dr Alastair Stephen (Scottish and Southern Energy)

Kenneth Knott (Forestry Commission Scotland)

Ben Leyshon (Scottish Natural Heritage)

Dr Melanie Smith (UHI Inverness College)

Andrew Steel (Scottish Environment Protection Agency)

The Board meets four times per year and reports to all proprietors once a year at the Annual General Meeting. Section 24 of the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2013 places new good governance obligations on District Salmon Fishery Boards relating to Board Meetings, including a new requirement to hold an annual public meeting.

Information on the working of the Board and its staff is given throughout this website. The Board policy is to be as open as possible about the way it conducts its business. Please contact the River Director if you require further information about the Board and its activities.

Board Staff

Director & Clerk0

Chris Conroy BSc (Hons) MSc MIFM

Chris joined the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board as River Director and Clerk to the Board in August 2013. He has over 20 years of experience working as an aquatic resource manager, specialising in maintaining and enhancing the ecological, social and economic benefits of the aquatic environment.

Originally from Cheshire, Chris gained an Applied Biology degree at Liverpool John Moore’s University during which he spent a   year working in the Environment Agency’s National Fisheries Laboratory. He then went on to secure a role within the Agency’s Thames Tideway team in London, before returning to university and securing a Master’s degree in Aquatic Resource Management from King’s College, London.

Later he worked as the Fisheries Technical Specialist and Biodiversity Team Leader in Kent area of the Environment Agency. Following a period as a Principal Environmental Consultant for Capita Symonds then Cascade Consulting, he was appointed as Superintendent and Biologist for the River Naver Fisheries, Sutherland.

Telephone:        01463 861245

Mobile:                07944  617202


Head Water BailiffJohn McColl (Ness)

John MacColl

John has been Head Water Bailiff for the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board for over 15 years.  His responsibilities include the day to day management of our bailiff team and ensuring the practical delivery of our   fisheries enforcement and river management strategies.

Originally from Dingwall, John has an in-depth   knowledge and understanding of the Ness system. Having been a game keeper for   20 years prior to his time on the Ness, John brings a broad understanding of   wildlife and countryside issues. He is particularly passionate about the   promotion of catch and release.

Mobile:                07789 006078

Secretary to the Board655

April Conroy BSc (Hons)

April joined the Ness District Salmon Fishery   Board as Secretary to the Board in August 2013. Her role includes maintenance   of the Board’s website, attending Board meetings and producing Minutes of  Board meetings together with other secretarial and administrative duties.

She has over 14 years of experience working as a   Management Consultant and Information Technology (IT) Project Manager working  for Laing O’Rourke and PA Consulting with clients including BP, ICI, Inland Revenue and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Originally from Denver, Colorado, April moved to the Highlands with her husband Chris Conroy. She currently devotes much of   her time to bringing up their young family.

Telephone:        01463 861245

Mobile:               07939 253 203


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