New salmon season set to start on the Tweed

The new salmon fishing season, eagerly awaited by fishermen and local businesses alike, will begin on the River Tweed on Wednesday.

Monday, 30th January 2017, 9:51 am
Updated Monday, 30th January 2017, 9:55 am
Rev Rob Kelsey blesses the Tweed at Pedwell landing Norham, to mark the opening of the salmon fishing season.

The opening day will see fishing enthusiasts from across the UK and beyond head to the Tweed to try to catch their first salmon of the season.

The occasion will be marked in Norham with a traditional Blessing of the Nets ceremony.

Fishing tourism delivers in excess of £130 million per year, forming an important source of income for the Scottish tourist industry and rural economy.

This comes as changes to catch and release legislation are enforced on rivers across Scotland, aiming to conserve salmon stocks as part of the Scottish Government’s ongoing Wild Fisheries Reform.

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A list of the conservation status of salmon rivers for the year has been released, where rivers are split into three categories according to the health of their stocks.

The River Tweed has been classified as a Category 1 river (28% of areas) due to its good conservation methods and a healthy stock of salmon, meaning taking the occasional fish is deemed sustainable.

Yet since 2015 it has been illegal to kill any salmon on a Scottish river until 1 April, and this measure will continue to remain in place.

Ewan Harris, Rural Director in Savills Wooler office said: “Fishing is both an enjoyable sport and a valuable asset to the local economy. It is vital that we encourage fishing on Scotland’s rivers and support methods to conserve salmon stocks.

“The Tweed has enjoyed a much gentler winter compared to 12 months ago, with little flooding. This will at least mean that the eggs and fry from the 2016 run will have a better chance of survival than those born 12 months earlier did.

“In the last few years, relatively high river conditions in the opening week have suited the beats around Kelso, with the Junction in particular proving extremely successful. With little rain forecast for the coming week and no snow to melt on the hills, the beats slightly lower down the river might also enjoy some early action this year.”

Savills has launched its ‘Prime Tweed Salmon Fishing’ catalogue to coincide with the start of the Tweed season. Detailing price per rod per day, five-year average catch of both salmon and sea trout, the catalogue also includes top tips from local ghillies about where to find the most productive and attractive streams and pools and where to find some local refreshments after a day on the river.