Bumper River Tay salmon season thanks to catch-and-release policy

Anglers are celebrating a bumper salmon season on the River Tay.

Some beats are reporting catches of more than double those in recent years — and many say a policy of returning caught fish is helping.

Angler Sanjay Chataroo, whose catch of the day on the Taymount beat near Stanley in Perthshire was an 8lb spring run salmon, is a firm believer in the policy.

"It's fantastic to get the take of the fish then get the play out of them, then great to see them swimming back to spawn the next generation to catch," he said.

Catches are up round about 65% where Mr Chataroo fishes but on average, catches on the River Tay are double what they have been in the past five years.

Around 2000 salmon were landed in April alone — and the catches are getting bigger too.

Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board's Dr David Summers said: "Last week somebody caught a fish of 36lbs and there's been others around 30lbs, others in the high 20s — and a few years ago we simply didn't see fish like that."

The increase in the quality and quantity of salmon is being put down to how long the fish stay at sea for as well as the new catch-and-release policy.

The increase in catches is also good news for the local economy, with hotels, restaurants and fishing beat owners are all sharing in the spoils as anglers flock to the Tay.

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