Guidance Notes for New Regulations on the Annan

Anglers who are fishing the River Annan in 2012 please read, the following information is effective from midnight 25th February 2012 for 5 years.

From the 25th of February, 2012 there will be a new set of regulations that affect how rod and line fishing can be undertaken on the Annan Fishery. These regulations are effective from midnight on the 25th and will run for 5 years, i.e. until midnight of the 25th February 2018. The regulations have been put in place to protect the dwindling early running salmon from unnecessary pressure. From the above date it will be an offence to kill any salmon caught on the river before the 1st of June. Even if a fish appears to have been hooked badly it must be returned to the water. If, in the unlikely event, a fish actually dies on an angler that angler must contact the District Salmon Fisheries Board immediately. A member of staff will retrieve the fish as soon as possible and the carcass will be used for scientific purposes.

The legislation on killing fish only applies to Salmon and sea trout may be taken. We would however like to make it clear that whilst the situation with sea trout is better than it is with salmon that the River Annan District Salmon Fisheries Board would like to see as many of the sea trout landed by anglers on the river returned as possible. As a bare minimum anglers should return all fish over 3lb and not take more than a brace of fish smaller than this.

In addition to the regulation that insists that all salmon be returned there are bait and hook restrictions that apply to both sea trout and salmon. The use of worm, shrimp or prawn is prohibited until the 1st of June and during this period all fishing must be carried out with a lure that only has one set of barbless or de- barbed hooks. This could be one single hook, one double hook or one treble hook.

This means that certain lures such as Rapalas that have multiple sets of hooks must have all removed bar one and the one that is left must have all the barbs removed. Barbless hooks are readily available but are commercially tied flies and lures are rarely supplied on them. It is relatively straightforward to resolve this issue by taking a pair of pliers or forceps and squeezing the barbs down.

This will, to all intents and purposes, make a barbed hook barbless.
It is important that anglers when returning fish to the water do so in the correct manner. Survival from being caught can be remarkably high but poor handling by anglers can compromise this.

There is already some excellent guidance for this that has been produced by the Association of Salmon Fisheries Boards. This can be found at http:// http://www.asfb.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Catch-and-Release-Leaflet.pdf
The following actions are the most important.

1. Use tackle that is strong enough to subdue a fish as quickly as is reasonably possible.
2. Play fish hard and get them to the net as soon as possible
3. Remove the hooks as quickly as possible and have a set of long nosed forceps on hand to do this. If the hooks cannot be seen, a rare occurrence with artificial lures, the line should be cut as close to the hooks as possible.
4. Try not to remove the fish from the water.
5. If you need a trophy shot support the whole of the fish over the water and take the picture quickly.
6. Never, ever, under any circumstances pick a fish up by the tail; this can dislocate the vertebrae in the back.
7. Whilst returning the fish hold it in quiet water orientated upstream. When the fish has recovered it will swim of.

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