Salmon fishing season was launched on the River Dee yesterday amid signs of renewed optimism among those responsible for managing Scotland’s fishing rivers.
The River Dee has been struggling since the devastating impact of Storm Frank in 2016, but the opening of the season was celebrated yesterday with a distinctly rosier outlook.
There have been worries about predators to contend with too, as the region tries to recover from the storm which caused severe damage across the country.
There were calls yesterday for the Scottish Government to consider a cull of certain birds in the region to avoid improving young salmon numbers being hit.
At the traditional ‘toast to the river’ ceremony at the Banchory Lodge Hotel yesterday, Mark Bilsby, river director of Dee District Salmon Fishery Board, told the Press and Journal: “We are approaching the new season with renewed optimism. Last season was an improvement on previous years and there were a lot more fish in the river.
“We don’t know what 2018 will bring, but what we do know is that the river is recovering steadily.
“Fry and parr [young salmon] numbers are back up where they were before Storm Frank, which is exciting news.
“We also had the best spawning season on the river for five years. These are all indicators that the river is in good health.