The home of Shooting Times and Sporting Gun

Funding announced for Scotland’s wild salmon

fly fishing

The recreational fishing sector is worth nearly £80m in Scotland

Scottish cabinet secretary for rural affairs Mairi Gougeon visited Uist in the Outer Hebrides on 7 September to announce over £500,000 of funding to support the protection and recovery of wild salmon populations.

The recreational fishing sector is worth £79.9m to the Scottish economy and supports 4,300 jobs. This year, despite heavy rain in July, most of Scotland’s salmon rivers have experienced catch rates well below their five-year average.

The additional funding will be used by fishery boards and river trusts across Scotland to carry out analysis of adult and juvenile salmon populations. This will be conducted by the National Electrofishing Programme for Scotland (NEPS). The analysis will also show interbreeding levels of wild and escaped farmed salmon.

MSP Mairi Gougeon witnessed a portion of river being electrofished for monitoring, carried out by the Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust. Electrofishing works by passing a small electric current through the water so fish can be caught quickly and easily without causing them harm.

Paul Hopper, senior biologist at the Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust, welcomed the funding, saying they would now be able to conduct more research at remote locations across the islands.