Petition to Suspend River Categorisation in Scotland

by Roger Dowsett - 10:00 on 08 January 2018

My reason for signing this petition:

The Conservation Status is based almost entirely on 5-year average catch data, and ignores many other data sources available such as fish counter data, electro-fishing surveys, fishing effort, timing of fish runs, daily river flow rates and local observations. While some allowance may have been made for mean monthly flow rates, this model is inadequate in taking into account the importance to catches of rainfall and river levels on spate rivers, and does not consider the effect of summer droughts.

Where spate rivers have suffered droughts in recent years this has led to a significant reduction in angling effort, the result of which has been a reduction in rod catches. As angling effort is not available for consideration in assessments, trends in catch data are likely to be misinterpreted, and the assessments will continue to be flawed.

Categorising any river as Grade 3 will reduce occupancy rates of visiting anglers on private beats, and drive members away from local angling clubs. This in turn will further reduce angling effort, putting at risk the viability of these fishings and clubs.

Conservation measures need to be determined at a local level, where all factors can be considered, and prevent the inevitable reduction of angling effort on Estate beats and angling club waters, that will result from blanket Grade 3 categorisation based on poor science.