Lothians anglers are fed-up at invasion of their waters

Fishery boss Bill Taylor is fighting to save traditional Scottish angling spots from being drowned by other sports.

By Nigel Duncan
Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 4:55 am

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His social media campaign is fast gaining momentum as anglers face camping, fires, parking problems and issues with swimmers and paddle boarders.

The initiative follows deaths in recent weeks - including one at Threipmuir near Edinburgh in the Pentland Hills and four in Loch Lomond - and the social media site Standing up for Fly Fishing in Scotland now has many posts from disgusted fishermen fed up at other having access to waters they pay to fish.

Bill Taylor (second from left) with prizewinners in the recent Scierra Pairs, one of Britain's top fly fishing events. (Pic: Nigel Duncan)

Taylor runs Glencorse Reservoir, recognised as one of the best fisheries in Scotland, and believes the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC) of 2003 requires an urgent review.

He said: "Several waters which have been used for angling for decades are coming under intense pressure from various other water activities.

"After seven deaths in only a few weeks, surely they can see the SOAC needs to be addressed before more people drown."

He argues that designated waters could have trained people there in case of accidents and Taylor argued that health and safety should be a priority.

Threipmuir was the scene of a recent drowning tragedy

Fisheries, he said, are covered by comprehensive insurance for all the fee-paying anglers, but it does not cover other activities.

He fumed: "If the Scottish Outdoor Access Code permits other water activities to be allowed on a water leased for fishing, should they be made to also pay as anglers do?

"And, as anglers, only allowed on the water at certain times, the same as the fee-paying anglers."

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