Provisional 2011 statistics reveal that rod catch levels for Scottish wild salmon were the sixth highest on record, while ‘catch and release’ practices increased to 73 per cent.
The statistics show that 86,655 salmon were caught in 2011, 97 per cent of the five-year average. For sea trout, following a long period of decline, catch levels were eight per cent up on the five-year average, to 24,049.
Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson said:
“As the film ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’ premiers in cinemas today, a rare spotlight is cast on the role of Scottish fisheries scientists and their work to preserve and protect our iconic wild salmon.
“In collaboration with anglers, our network of scientists and biologists are having success in combating declines in salmon numbers returning to Scotland’s coasts, as demonstrated by the continued high rod catches during the 2011 season.
“The practice of catch and release is very important and I applaud fishermen for their efforts, particularly for the critical spring salmon when release levels for rod caught salmon were over 90 per cent.
“Salmon and trout fishing in the Highlands and throughout Scotland is part of our heritage and provides a real draw for tourism and a boost for rural economies. I’m determined to ensure it will remain so for many generations to come.” For more information click here.