A mild but wet morning greeted the assembled throng at the Dunkeld House Hilton. It quickly became apparent that there were two groups, firstly those attending the business breakfast and secondly those looking to put their point of view to Mr Salmond.
We had an excellent breakfast followed by a brief speech from the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce and then the main event- Mr Salmond.
Mr Salmond’s speech can be broken down as follows:-
- Light hearted joke about the plight and number of demonstrators standing outside in the rain.
- Golf, year of homecoming, commonwealth games, golf.
- The importance of freshwater fishing to the rural economy.
- Announced that he had commissioned an independent review of freshwater fisheries. The purpose of the review is to come up with a ‘modern evidence based management system’ and to determine what is required for a wild sustainable fishery. He also noted that wild Scottish salmon is a premium food product. The review is to be chaired by Andrew Thin the outgoing chairman of SNH.
Post speech we headed to the river. On route there was good natured and well behaved waving of placards opposing fish farms and also union jacks. Prior to the opening Mr Bill Jack, chairman of the Tay board, spoke more specifically about the Tay. The major point of interest being the hope that the River Garry would be restored to being a river. We echo this point.
Mr Salmond responded to the Union Jacks with a Saltire umbrella. He was unable to get into the boat due to safety concerns so after the traditional blessing the boat the honour of the first cast fell too local youngster Jimmy Stewart. A fine job he did too.
The river looked in grand nick running not too high and clear. At lunch a 17 lber had been reported from Newtyle with hopefully more to follow.
Well done to the Tay board and to the hotel staff who did a grand job in the rain.
We will comment further on the freshwater review when more is known.
Finally tight lines to all for the 2014 season.