Comedian Paul Whitehouse to kick off River Tay salmon fishing season

As the new season dawns, efforts are ongoing to maintain and enhance salmon numbers.

Comedian Paul Whitehouse will make the first cast at the official opening of the River Tay salmon fishing season on Monday.

Whitehouse, star of the BBC television series “Gone Fishing”, will perform the honours in the village of Meikleour, in Perth and Kinross.

The opening is being hosted by the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board (TDSFB), the Tay Rivers Trust, Meikleour Fishings and Perth and Kinross Council.

Claire Mercer Nairne, TDSFB member and owner of Meikleour Fishings, said: “At the start of a new salmon season we always feel some optimism.

“However, it would be wrong for us to put our heads in the sands. The reality is that the Tay’s 2023 rod catch of salmon was the lowest in recent decades.

“The Tay DSFB and the Tay Rivers Trust are working ever more closely on environmental projects aimed at safeguarding the long-term health of the Tay and its tributaries.

“Of course, some issues are outside our control and we operate within a framework of official policies.”

The opening ceremony is taking place on Monday morning at the Meikleour boathouse. The procession of anglers to the river is being led by the Perth and District Pipe Band, headed by Pipe Major Alistair Duthie and Drum Major Kenny Forbes.

Meanwhile, the traditional blessing of the boat (with a silver quaich of whisky) will be performed by Whitehouse and councillor Xander McDade, provost of Perth and Kinross Council.

That will be followed by the first cast of the year by Whitehouse, after he has “popped” a magnum of champagne.

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