Ian Gordon and the Salmon & Trout Association (Scotland) have combined forces with a petition asking for the Scottish Government to pass legislation to ensure that no salmon are killed by either rods or nets until the 1st July for a period of five years and that action is taken to end the indiscriminate harvest by coastal, otherwise known as mixed stock, netting at any time of year.
Given the low stock levels experienced on the Spey over the last couple years, and almost universally this year, it is difficult to argue against the petition motives. Details of the petition can be found here. Signing the petition takes seconds and if changes in legislation were forthcoming it would save many thousands of salmon destined to spawn in Scottish rivers including the Spey.
Recent tagging work has confirmed the work of earlier studies which showed that salmon destined to enter the Spey are exploited by mixed stock nets as far apart as the north coast of Scotland and Montrose. Our own electrofishing has shown that juvenile stocks in some of the outlying parts of the catchment have declined; we really do need to ensure that the survivors, those few fish that have made it to the distant feeding grounds in the north Atlantic and returned to our shores are protected and allowed to spawn.