PERTH councillors are set to outlaw fishing from boats on the city’s stretch of the River Tay following complaints from bank-based anglers.
Members of the Perth Common Good Fund Committee are being asked to review the current arrangements for anglers using the Perth Town Waters Fishing Beats at a meeting in Perth next Wednesday.
The right to fish within the area known as the “Perth Town Waters” was granted to “the people of Perth” by Robert II in 1375 and was subsequently embodied in Royal Charters.
Local residents were allowed to fish the Tay within the beat for free until 1959 when there was such a local demand for fishing that a permit system was introduced.
The Town Waters fishery is one of the first to open within the Tay catchment area each year, with the season starting on 15 January and ending on 15 October.
But Barbara Renton, the depute environment director of Perth and Kinross Council, reveals in a report to the committee that there are risings tensions between boat-based and river bank anglers on the stretch of water.
She states:”A number of complaints have been made by anglers fishing from the bank about the increased use of boats for angling. The main problem seems to be that one or two boats tend to put down an anchor and fish from the best fishing places for long periods of time.
“This prevents larger numbers of anglers fishing from the bank. Anglers on boats also pay for permits to fish on council beats but as their use of boats prevents other anglers from using the beat it is proposed to solve this by making the fishing permit bank fishing and by wading only.
“This would also ensure that bailiffs can ensure anglers have permits and avoid the problem of boats fishing outwith the designated beats.”
Ms Renton is recommending that fishing by boat to be removed from the conditions on the permit.