For the first time in over 60 years no salmon were taken by netsmen in the Inverness Firth during the 2013 season – and a new agreement has been reached to extend a key salmon conservation measure for a further year.
The Beauly District Salmon Fishery Board, working in partnership with the Ness District Fishery Board, has reached agreement with two key net and cobble operators to close their stations for the entire 2014 season through to May 2015.
Chris Conroy, Director of the Ness & Beauly Fisheries Trust, said: ”The total number of salmon reported by nets in our area in 2012 was 542. This number was reduced to zero in 2013 as a result of a landmark salmon conservation agreement.
“This is the first time in at least 61 years that no fish were recorded by our net fishery, making this a major milestone in salmon conservation and a real boost for the Ness and Beauly systems.
“Being able to extend this agreement for a further year is excellent news for all with an interest in wild salmon populations and is pivotal to our strategy for reversing the decline of the Ness population.
“It illustrates how netsmen and rod and line interests can work together in the name of salmon conservation. We are also actively investigating joint research opportunities with the netsmen, so that their skills and experience can be used to further our understanding of salmon and sea trout movements with the Firth.”