River Kelvin Wish List

I know that my wish list may not be popular with all however please remember this is only my opinion. I would like to hear what others think.

Considering that over 1000 permits have been sold this year I think that the Kelvin as a vulnerable recovering river needs every bit of help to make sure that it continues to recover. Consequently some guidance on managing fish stocks is advisable – advice was given many years ago when a study was carried out on the trout and salmon population. One of the main outcomes was that the river would fail to thrive if the killing of fish went unregulated.

  1. Signs to be put up at strategic parts of the river stating a permit is required.
  2. The river to be patrolled by a qualified bailiff and a number of informal wardens to assist.
  3. The Vet School to be made fly only and catch and release.
  4. Only five Salmon to be kept in any one season.
  5. Catch and Release of trout to be encouraged – trout over 12 inches to be returned.


So far there are no signs at all along the whole course of the river – nothing to say a club is in existence which leads to widespread poaching of both salmon and trout. From what I gather you can fish the river for trout without a permit (at least that was what I was told by the old chairman) however it still makes sense to buy one.

I have never seen a bailiff on the river, the people I speak to have never seen them either – that just isn’t right.

The Vet School is enclosed and has some excellent fly water. Lets as an experiment make it fly only for a few seasons and see what happens – I guarantee you the trout will become enormous.

From what I gather the Salmon chaps are having a bonanza – let’s limit those buggers fun. Only joking – what we have is an improving river if lots of salmon are killed then we are losing this years breeders and consequently the next few years run. Same goes with big trout – point to remember – if you kill a big trout you are killing the genes that got it big. I remember reading through the original report that examined the Kelvin around 15 years ago – it stated that undue angling pressure on the trout population would significantly affect future stocks.

Am I being unreasonable? I would particulary like to hear from people in the States and people in England – how are your rivers managed?

91 comments to River Kelvin Wish List

  • alan atkins

    A admirable wish list Alistair. I agree with you point but would like to add that if the rievr is to be effectively managed , and your wishlist realised, the future baliffs and wardens must have enought teeth to enforce the rules. These individuals should also be able to provide advice and guidance regarding not only techniques and targets for the river but also ctach and release and fish handling. The younger anglers and those practicing illegal and unsporting methods should be targeted. As for the salmon and sea trout, a limit of 5 salmon per season is fine and should enforced using a similar tagging system to the Teith. Fly only at the vet school would be a good idea, fly only on the whole river for trout would be a better idea , or at least no static baits. If the system is to flourish then we need a committe who is both committed and has the time to ensute tha the river is baliffed by individuals who can actually make a difference !

  • Alex

    I met a chap at the vet school last week. He showed me a pic of a 5.5lb brownie he’d caught from that stretch last year, which had been chapped on the head. He was using an illegal method.

    I agree with Alan. We need a squadron of bailiffs who are prepared to enforce the laws and offer advice to those who need it.

    And if they actually turned up at the river now and again that would be great!

    Putting a few signs up? C’mon Alistair! Rome wasn’t built in a day you know!

  • Neil

    This is only my second season of fishing the Kelvin and would quite happily pay more, at least double or treble for my permit. If the permit costs were increased then maybe the river would be respected more. Any additional income could help pay for ongoing improvements & future running costs. I am learning that the Kelvin is a fantastic river which can provide excellent sport and wildlife so a price increase would still seem worth while.

    I think monthly informal meetings would be great to bring the fishing community closer, to discuss improvments, etc…

    I am willing to help in any way I can..

    (these are my initial thoughts.. more will follow)


  • Paul

    I am inclined to agree with your list Alistair although i did kill my very first brownie from the Kelvin (the one i sent you a piccie of) however i have returned every 1 since .
    I have spoken to 2 ppl who claim to be bailiffs on the river neither of them asked me to show my permit. Their opinion on the matter was that it just wasn`t worth the hassle of the possibility of becoming fish food should the local poaching scum become aggressive.
    I think the bailiffs need to know that they have the support and respect of every permit holder and that we would be willing to assist them should they require it.
    On the topic of the Salmon I would be over the moon with the prospect of taking one home never mind 5 (Nikki that means you`ve got 4 left on your quota.
    And finally on the subject of the vet school Alistair could you please E-mail me on how i get there i`ve been to the Vet college are but how the hell do you get to the river????? please

  • Paul

    Oh p.s did you have a good holiday???

  • john

    Hi Alister, Tight lines for the new season. Couldn’nt agree more with your first comment about signs and about the need for Crown baliffs to make an appearance, particularly at certain times of the year and at certain locations. Fishing without a permit for Salmon and or Sea Trout is a Criminal Offence and as such the cops could be called. Brownie fisherman are in some circumstance comminting a civil offence. I’m always a bit puzzled about certain stretches of Rivers being made fly only, because it’s not only bait fisherman who behave unsportsman like. Certain rivers in Scotland have had real problems with the sinking tip brigade doing a double Spey when it’s not needed so as to foul hook fish. Similarly, some fly fisherman play a fish to death to enjoy the fight only to release a fish which goes belly up. And again this could also be said of catch and release.I sometimes think that there exists a tad of snobbery amoung some fisherman when they wish to exclude certain anglers from their bit??. I dont know about the numbers of Salmon that should be kept and i guess this point could relate to the fish that are ready to spawn…Tight Linesssssss

  • Stuart B

    Paul .
    You wrote “And finally on the subject of the vet school Alistair could you please E-mail me on how i get there i`ve been to the Vet college are but how the hell do you get to the river????? please”
    I posted something similar just before Alistair went on holibags ( see previous Blog entry) but it is awaiting moderation so I guess when he sees it he will reply (hopefully he does see it) 🙂

  • Saltcoats - George :o)

    Hiya, quite right in the wish list Alistair .. better to allow the river and ” its folks ” to flourish that ” remove the genes from the pool ” .. pardon the pun :o)
    Hope your good mate … haven’t heard from you in a wee while .. I think the idea of you and that crack elite troup of troup commando’s .. just removed all comon sence from my day … great, it sorted me out no end …. at work at the moment … have a great holiday mate .. regards to ” ball and chain ” … G .. the Saltcoats one :o)

  • I think it’s admirable that you care enough to draw up a list. The Kelvin is lucky to have a chronicler like you, Alistair. And even if some people disagree and comtinue to abuse the river, you’re providing a platform for change, and things are moving in your direction. If you get permission to make the Vet School fly only C&R, I’ll paint the signs myself and put them up.

  • Charlie dunn

    Why do you make these points after resigning from the commitee?It seems strange that these issues are being brought forward now that you are no longer in the position to have a say in any matters that have an effect on the river-oh and you missed out one that i would have stated,on the clubs stocking policy-no point in going backwards though-the only thing i’m against is the policy of making any pool,on any river fly only-it’ snobbery, nothing more-nothing less!

  • Charlie dunn

    Look Alistair-you’re a good guy,and i’m sure you’ve got the interests of your local river at heart-but excluding other anglers from stretches is not the way forward-it starts to cause”us verses them”syndrome amongst anglers,and in a time where the antis are gathering strength and numbers- we must try to stick together-so why do this?-It did not work on the leven-the bait fishermen still get the most fish from the bridge pool.

  • Charlie dunn

    Away from the negativity-you are bang on about the need for proper bailliffs-there is no point in having any rules or regulations if there is no enforcement of them-and how legit do you think the first salmon of the year was?If there was a time for the river to get its act together it’s now.Going on the four year cycle there is going to be a huge run of fish this year-wait and see…..

  • hiya well i have to say i have fish the river for 2 session and last year i had permite and this year also but i have never been asked for it so what is the point in have it i would see the diffrence if they came and asked for it but they dont and thats what puts ppl of from buy them if there was bailiff ppl would buy permite and yes and i half agree with charlie on his comments well as a bait fish the river i would just like to point out that there is nothing wrong with bait fishing and i dont think the vet school should be made fly only as i fish there and i use bait

    any way what can we do we are not member of the angling ascotiction lol this will never happen

  • oh and av still got mor salmon to catch and i thnk i will catch more than fiver as ppl wont be there to tell me of so i dont have 4 left lol lol

    av a nice holiday

  • Charlie dunn

    Also-i have to wonder how anybody could guarantee that the trout in the vet school stretch would increase dramatically in size just because it was suddenly deemed fly only-have you got any substance behind this statement-i really dont see how you could jump to this conclusion-what are you going to do?-dam them in perhaps,and pellet feed them. As far as i am aware,the trout roam the river freely and dont spend thier whole life in one stretch-but mabey you heard different.

  • Not back from holiday yet – still in Jamaica …read through the comments , a good mixed bag as always with the Kelvinators …Charlie I did not resign I was just not sent the letters telling me when the meetings were …..if you want the full story drop me an email and I will reply.
    Will respond to the rest of the points after I am home…..the tropical beach and cocktails are calling me back once more !


  • Stu T

    The problem is not with bait fishing, the problem is that the people who bait fish show little respect to the river. They generally use illegal methods (static bait), discard buckie bottles and reels of 20lb mono on the bank and chap everything on the head whether its a 10lb salmon or a 2oz brownie.

    A further point; I can’t understand why anyone would want to keep a salmon caught on a recovering river like the Kelvin. It is incredibly selfish but I guess some people just don’t see the bigger picture.

  • Alex

    Charlie – Alistair did raise these points when he was in the committee.

    Making a stretch of water fly-only excludes only those who steadfastly refuse to fish with a fly rod. If this regulation were in place, the average size of trout would certainly go up because the mortality rate would be much less (please refer to my first post in this thread).

    It would also give us fly fishers somewhere to actually fish properly. It’s very difficult to fly fish a stretch when every pool is punctuated by a static bait rod – effectively rendering the pool unfishable to anybody else for the duration said fisher is there. Of course, fly fishers tend to spend a short amount of time at a pool then move on. Quietly, stealthily, and without unduly disturbing the pool for the next (fly) fisher.

    Nearly all the bait fishers I see at the vet school are actually fishing illegally. If these people don’t want it to be fly only, then respecting the current rules would be a good start.

    For the record, the fly outfishes bait by quite a way on the stretches that I fish. I can only assume that these bait fishers are targetting salmon. In which case, there are more productive stretches to fish for migratories than the vet school.

  • Charlie dunn

    I know that the fly outfishes bait ANYWHERE on the kelvin,me and one of my mates had a competition between ourselves in 95 on the vet school stretch-and i was on the dry fly,while he fished a bait rod-the score at the end of the session was 13-5,in my favour-but in amongst his catch he had a 3lb brownie and a fresh 2lb sea trout!.Most of the trout i landed were under half a pound,and only one was over a pound-while four of his were over the pound-in short,i had caught more,but still felt the quality won!

  • Charlie dunn

    Also-what is wrong with people choosing which way to fish for themselves?-So you want everybody to fish the way you do-steadfastly refuse to fish the fly???-is that not their perogative?..what are you-a fascist..what gives the fly fishing fraternity the right to decide who should do what on any river!!!.Instead of spouting hot air alex-remember what having the right to choose means-my two grandfathers fought in the second world war-for the right to choose-and i would fight also!

  • Charlie dunn

    I referred to your first thread-what does it prove?.Looks like speculation to me,there is no substance in anything you say!Sure it might look good to an idiot-but not to me. there is no evidence that if you turn a stretch of water into fly only that the fish who inhabit the stretch will suddenly grow huge!-if you have any-let’s hear it.I think you may just be jealous of the bait fisher who caught the 5.5lb brownie-and if it was an illegal method-why not report him?.

  • Charlie dunn

    On a final note-I dont want to even hear about compulsary catch and release-You want to play into the hands of the antis-go right ahead,but the more educated among us know this–If this becomes common practice and people stop fishing for the pot-it will sound the death knell for our sport-there will be no sound defence for ramming a hook into a fish for the sole purpose of dragging it about a pool until it’s half drowned-only to release it-it’s cruel -no ifs no buts.

  • alan atkins

    Here we go again ! We’ve been down this raod before, and , although it makes interesting and amusing reading, i have to agree that people should be able to fish using whatever LEGAL, SPORTING method they choose. I was brought up on the upper reaches of the Clyde where fishing the worm, minnow or gadger was very much part of every fishers tactics, especially in the early season or in high / coloured water. What Alex, Alistair and others agree on is that fishers should not be stationary and should move throuhg the pool, cast and step, cast and step. Furthermore, anglers fishing downstream should always give way to anglers fishing upstream whatever method they are using. What really angers me is the guys sitting on their arses with sea fishing tackle, bottles of wine and those that leave line , plastic etc strewn all over the place. Charlie, as for the salmon, sea trout – i would be very interested in joining you or a go at the salmon this year, and for what its worth i agree that te runs will only improve. I reckon, with the Irish nets being off now, all the West Coast rivers from the Stinchar to the Kelvin will see improved runs of migratory fish this year. However, i detest the idea of salmon being ambushed by static bait fishers. If you’re goung to fish bat, do it properly either by trotting a maggot downstream or by that old low water favourite – the upstream worm, now that is truly a skill to master. As i’ve said before , when the Kelvin is at a good heihgt for salmon its often too coloured for the flee, so then and only then should bait ir spinner be used. Come on ! challenge yourselves a bit, read the water get to know the lies and get mobile !!

  • Charlie dunn

    On the statement by Stu t-the kelvin is not recovering-it HAS recovered.The kelvin now has runs of 1000’s of fish per annum.In the past 3 years i have hooked 68 salmon on the system-landing 39.I kill all my fresh salmon-never any trout(i would not eat ANYTHING that had been resident for any time in the river).The only reason runs were late last year was the drought of 2003 wiped out all the early run fish-but 2004 had a much higher run and suvival rate of fish-so this year should see one of the best runs the river has had-i saw loads of fish spawning all over the allander-the fruit of their loins should appear this season.

  • Neil

    Off subject a little.. but was wondering if anybody knows what the river is like today after the past few days rain? I know it was kinda high around the Torrance area last night but was thinking of the Vet School for a couple hours tonight..

  • Charlie dunn

    Alan i cannot argue with anything you say-step and cast IS the only fair and unselfish way to fish any river-but some people are too scared to ask people to move on,when if they had asked politely-the bait fisher may have reeled in and let him fish through-No need to worry about my fishing style-trotting,freelining and spinning are my fave methods-the static bait fishers will NEVER put a signifcant dent on salmon populations,it’s not effective enough.When you’ve got the time we’ll have a spinning session and i’ll show you some consistent holding pools-once you know where they are,you should have no trouble getting a fish or two regularly-i’ve no doubt you know your stuff!

  • hiya well i would like to point out that i do not fish for salmon all my set up is for trout if i catch a salmon i am just luck i use wee hook and thin line so i am not targeting for salmon and i do respect the river very much and i always clean up after me and some times i clean up other ppl mess so not all bait fishers disrespect the river

  • Alex


    What makes you think I didn’t report him? And all the other static baiters I see?

    What reason do you have to not believe my claim of a fellow fisher catching a large trout from the vet school?

    You seem all too ready to jump to conclusions about people. Being one of “the more educated among us,” you should know better.

    You insist that it is cruel to release fish – I quote “there will be no sound defence for ramming a hook into a fish for the sole purpose of dragging it about a pool until it’s half drowned-only to release it-it’s cruel -no ifs no buts.” This means that you either kill all coloured salmon you catch, or you are a hypocrite. Either way, it hardly exudes a sense of education.

    I would be happy to show you how to release a fish unharmed, especially if it means the survival of scores of back-end gravid salmon.

    So what about all the lochs and rivers in Scotland that are fly-only – are they also run by fascists that are full of hot air?

    Quite simply Charlie, a fish caught on bait is often as good as dead the moment it swallows that hook. Dead fish don’t do much for the population. As you point out, the larger trout are usually caught on bait. The benefits of fly-only should be quite obvious.

    Best regards


  • Alex


    I would advise against fishing the Kelvin today. It is enormous! And running the colour of strong tea!


  • Neil

    Thanks Alex..

    much appreciated.. as I would be getting a taxi from Shawlands & back! I can’t wait for the conditions to improve..

    Cheers, Neil.

  • Stuart B

    Heil…..Have you ever fished the Cart .I stay in Shawlands( I can see river from my flat) and have been looking at it recently to figure out access .I looked at the part from Delvin Road ,down Spean St to Langside Drive .There are only a few places you can get access where there are gaps in the fencing .Some wuite fisheable parts .

  • Neil

    Hi Stuart,

    I did fish the Cart with my girlfriend two season’s ago but not with much luck! I normally went up to Waterfoot and fished it down to Busby. Are you a regular of the Cart or thinking about coming one? I did throw a fly in just down stream of the bridge in Shawlands and had a couple wee brownies and accessed it from the south bank, on the left side of the bridge while heading south..

  • Stuart B

    Hi Neil
    I have bought a Season Tkt but havent been to try my luck as I needed to get some stuff as it’s some time since I’ve been out .

    I was hoping for a bit of rain altho’ yesterday it looked OK . I stay just behind the new Tesco Express. I’ll let you know how I get on .

  • Charlie dunn

    Alex-where have i mentioned that i did not believe the angler caught the fish at the vet school?The quote i made about catch and release is how the”antis” would see it-if you are not fishing for the pot,you are fishing for your enjoyment,which in turn will cause a fish distress.Obviously what i’m saying is quite hard for you to understand,so i’ll try to make myself clearer-for your benefit.When i fish the kelvin,i fish for salmon-every time i go out i am looking for a fresh fish-to kill.IF I DONT GET A FRESH FISH>SEA LICED OR NOT LONG OFF IT I WILL RETURN THE FISH. I HAVE RETURNED MOST OF THE SALMON I’VE CAUGHT ON THE KELVIN-AS MOST HAVE BEEN COLOURED.Honestly-you dont seem to be grasping this -the point i made was that fishing for the pot is much more justifyable than fishing JUST for the pleasure of it-because a degree of suffering is a cert for the quarry everytime it’s hooked.I used to hunt-with powerful air rifles,but the reason i took up fishing was because unlike fishing-hunting is absolute,when you pull the trigger-the quarry dies if you connect-if you strike a fish and connect,the battle has just begun-and if i land the fish,i can then decide wether to kill it or release it-again,we’re talking about choice-wheres the hypocrisy?-obviously that blows your rather silly and ill thought out quip of”i would be happy to show you how to release a fish-i bet i’ve released more than you’ve caught!As for the lochs and rivers that are fly only-if they did not have a proper vote on the fly only rule,that included ALL the anglers who fish said waters-not just snobby stuffy jealous of others anglers success little hitlers-then it’s not democracy-it’s a dictatorship-and thats fascism.One last word-most of the salmon i hook can be returned very easily,simply because when i fish I AM ALSO HOLDING MY ROD-WITH MY FINGER ON THE LINE.I strike IMMEDIATLY when i feel a fish take-and tend to hook them in the scissors!And as for hooking- i’ve also seen LOADS of salmon taking trebles and doubles right down the throat,when caught on fly tackle! a hook is a hook-regardless of wether it is decorated with fur and feather-or a worm.Yes static bait fishers deep hook,because they have more chance of not knowing the fish have took, and subsequently the fish gets a good chance to swallow the worm.You appear to be the one”jumping to conclusions”.The benefits of fly only should be quite obvious-to whom? a fly fisherman perhaps who is talking mince-and would like to see pools reserved for him and his chums-not for the rest of the anglers ,who obviously need to be told what to do by trout fly fishermen WHO QUITE CLEARLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND THAT THE KELVIN IS NOW A SALMON RIVER.That simply means that ANY coservation methods should be made with salmon fishermen AND trout fishermans input!Where are you getting this holier than thou attitude from-you appear not to be able to keep tabs on what i’ve said,and are mighty confused-please try to actually grasp what is being said,before entering into informed conversations -wait a minute-have i had to say this before-must be deja vu.

  • If it’s deja vu, Charlie, maybe it’s time you let some other voices be heard…

  • Charlie dunn

    I dont have a problem listening to other anglers-as long as their argument is sound and based on fact-not fiction-but it seems that some anglers are so convinced that the only correct way to fish is their way of choice,that they will try to ram it down everybodys throat,and if that’s not working-without consulting all the other anglers,put up signs stating that the rules have been changed-no chance mate-who gave you the right to put up signs telling people how they can fish-river belongs to you does it,na didn’t think so!.Seems the only other voices you listen to are fly fishermans-but the kelvin has more bait and spinner men on it than “fly men”-the double meaning is ironic,or mabey i’m wrong and you are going to ask ALL the fishers what their opinion is-na didn’t think so!

  • Alex


    I don’t think it’s fair to hijack Alistairs site like this. Sure, comments are encouraged, but you are resorting to childish insults. Nobody will respect your opinion until you start treating people with a bit of respect.

    Unfortunately, there are a number of self-contradictions in your postings. Again, I quote: (this is becoming a real dirge…)

    “Alex-where have i mentioned that i did not believe the angler caught the fish at the vet school?”

    Here, in your 7th (of 12) post:

    “Looks like speculation to me,there is no substance in anything you say!”

    You also seem to have contradicting opinions on catch and release:

    “there will be no sound defence for ramming a hook into a fish for the sole purpose of dragging it about a pool until it’s half drowned-only to release it-it’s cruel -no ifs no buts.”

    You then say:


    Sorry Charlie, but I have difficulty respecting an opinion which has been founded on hpyocrisy.

    I don’t have a problem with you “fishing for the pot”, as you put it – although the “fascists” and “little hitlers” would suggest that for conservation reasons it may be a good idea to limit the numbers of salmon killed. 5 a season has been suggested, which I think is a reasonable number. But hey, I’m just a fly-fishing fascist!!!

    Best regards


  • Robbie

    Hey Alistair, I think proper signs in the right areas would be a great start. I would say there are plenty of people who are unaware of the need for a permit and this is probably the best way to raise awareness. Signs would also send out the message that the river is being looked after and that things are changing.

    A bailiff and wardens with police backing are a must if things are to change at all.

    In my experience, fly fishermen are more respectful of their environment and the fish they are trying to catch. I know that anything I catch on the river would be released unharmed. The fly only idea will always be hotly debated but I see where you’re coming from and don’t think there’s anything elitist about it. For me catch and release is common sense and should definitely be encouraged.

  • Charlie dunn

    I’ m not hijacking anybody’s site alex,iam merely against people who should have NO SAY in what restrictions are placed on other people-and if they do not like that-SO BE IT-it is clear you do not understand much of what i have said-that’s not insulting-it’s honest-but i will go back to your first ill thought comment(notice i did not say you were stupid so not to insult you)if you CAREFULLY read through this you will see that at NO POINT have i ever said i did not believe that the guy caught the big trout,what i dont believe is the half baked notion that the trout in the science park will suddenly become huge-as i have said-where is the evidence to back this up?-its speculation.Who’s to say that the anglers at the top and bottom wont still remove the fish from the fly only stretch-dont fish roam the river freely?all a bait ban would guarantee is this-the fly fishermen get an exclusive beat to fish,without it being”spoiled”for them by other anglers who have no wish to fish the fly,without having so much as a say in the matter.Do you think hitler asked for a vote on wether or not to invade poland?You also think that most of the bait anglers are fishing illegally-but what about the ones who are fishing quite happily without using illegal methods-are they to be deprived of thier right to fish there because of the crimes of others?As yet i have still to hear a reasonable argument from you that would explain to me how ANYBODY should be dictating which style of angling people should be deploying-and as you are well aware(or mabey not) i do not even fish the science park stretch,the issue is not a personal one Alex,-but it might be for other people when they find out what slefish people are doing for thier own end behind thier back,do you think the average kelvin angler will take a blind interest in any of the signs your buddy is going to erect-i think not-and if you dont like it….you could always report them to the kelvins immaginary bailiffs-or an overworked police force,who you would imagine,would be more interested in trying to catch one of the many real criminals who roam glasgow,instead of pandering to a voice on the other end of the line saying”help-some bad man has just thrown his worms into MY pool-you must come and stop him murdering MY TROUT-come quickly please”dont kid yourself, although i did notice that you said you report all anglers whom you deem to be fishing illegally,oh dear-i notice there is photographs of you on this site,and with the temperament of the average kelvinator-do you think this is wise-try not to take this the wrong way alex-this to me is a debate-people sharing opinions on matters is very healthy-i have no animosity towards you-but others might-and for the reasons of people now knowing you are an informer-you should ask alistair to remove any photos of you from the site-best regards-charlie

  • The Big Man

    See if ah find oot who grassed me up fer fishin the junction pool wi a stick ay dynamite, ahm gonnae send thum doon the Kelvin in a pair ay concrete waders.

  • Istillcatchkelvinsalmon

    I’ve only read to comment 20 or so but must pipe in with “what a load of ill thought out tosh”
    The general understanding of this topic is way below any decent level for meaningful discussions.
    point1 by Ally is perfectly fine and dandy.
    point2 makes sense IF there is a known, and importantly,QUANTIFIED level of poaching occurring as opposed to hear say and rumour by what easily appears to be anglers of lesser knowledge and experience blowing hard on susbjects they don’t fully understand the ramifications of.
    Point3 There are a number of anomalies with the proposal and many of the assumptions upon which this piece of throw away nonsense has gravitated.Firstly simple arithmetic proves that by artificially increasing(or in this case reducing mortal pressures) the nos of feeding fish within a given food supply results unequivically in more but smaller hungrier fish.This is a round about route to get back to the current situation where the association stocks many extra hungry trout into the already well stocked catchment thus reducing the size year in year out.
    point4 Where are the statistics that lead you to believe that there is any change either positive or negative within the runs of Kelvin salmon?
    Assuming you are furnished with such info from over the last two decades then now please tell us that the official returns for the river last season were in excess 5000 salmon for you to be calling for a limit of 5 salmon per ticket holder given the well publicised ticket sales.My view is that the statutory laws of Scotland apply to everything we do and fishing has an abundance of them with which other lets,beats and systems have been happily managing to opperate within for more than a few years.Gravid fish are protected in law,juvinille fish are protected in law.I see no need for chenge of policy but can see where some would wish more action to be taken but utilising the present statutes,no more,no less.
    point5 The kelvin has a vast head of brown trout,the angling pressure on the river as a whole is never in danger ofaffecting the populations other than locally.What’s wrong boys?Are the small fly succeptable fish in “your” pools becoming harder to tempt?Why worry about a single fish of 5.5lbs killed by another angler when you(general) have never been able to know for yourselves that these and bigger have always been there to be caught.Reastraint is all that should be asked of anglers on the Kelvin and then leave it up to personal choice and statutory laws.

    I am sure when i read the rest of the comments I will have several other laughable suggestions to poke at.

  • Alex

    You don’t need to worry about me Charlie, I can look after myself. Thanks for your concern all the same.

    Quite frankly, I don’t need to justify the benefits of catch and release. It’s a management policy that is very prevalent (and successful) in thousands of Scottish fisheries. These practices were advised by scientists who are far more knowledgable on the specifics of fishery management than you or I.

    Your recent postings read like a self-contradictory, emotional backlash.

    You have still not explained why you contradict yourself regarding catch and release practises?

    Until you do, I don’t see why I should further justify my opinion that catch and release is a useful management policy.

    Over to you, Charlie!

  • In the name of the wee man – I go on holiday and leave a scheduled post to keep people busy and come back to arguments, insults and veiled threats – people throwing handbags around like old ladies at the bingo.

    Reading back I think we can agree on some key points.

    The Kelvin is much improved and is still improving.
    No one wants unnecessary rules.

    I think it was Charlie that stated there was no poaching problem – in my couple of years as an informal warden 90% of people I asked for a permit did not have one. I spoke to many people who told me about people catching Salmon well into late November last year.

    Brown trout do not roam the river (much)– sure there is some movement when the river is in spate or when low water forces them to seek out new lies however a trout could conceivably live out its whole life in the one pool in the best lie if it went undisturbed and the conditions were just right. I have some friends who regularly fish in the USA where they have whole sections of rivers that are pretty much catch and release and fly only. They state by far the best bits of river to fish are the fly only and catch ad release sections – the trout are plentiful and larger. Closer to home you only have to look at how some of the trout rivers down in England are managed – like the Derbyshire Wye (or even the Don up North I suppose) to see what potential the Kelvin could have.

    Charlie – I was interested to read that you fished the Vet school back in 95’ – you must agree then the trout fishing on the vet school has deteriorated in the last few years since the access and angling pressure has significantly increased. The section where you had to jump over the fence where they kept the horses used to be awesome!

  • Just to clarify some of the angling restrictions commonly found in the USA.

    There are only a few truly “fly fishing only” waters in the country (each state decides for itself).

    Far more common in areas where uncontrolled harvest would seriously harm populations are regulations requiring single barbless hooks and artificial lures only. This doesn’t limit tackle choices, but does limit the terminal tackle (some regulations go farther and forbid lead weights).

    These regulations are the result of studies which show that catch & release mortality of bait is much higher than that of artificial lures, and that barbless hooks cause less damage and allow for quicker release.

    On my home waters (the 35 mile long Upper Sacramento River), the upper portion carries barbless/artificial/no harvest regulations (it’s considered the wild trout sanctuary section), the middle eight miles or so are heavily stocked and allow any angling method (five fish limit), and the bottom stretch carries barbless/artificial regulations but a two-fish harvest limit.

    Obviously, I can’t speak to the state of the Kelvin, but I do find it astonishing that there is little enforcement on the river.

    And frankly, I seriously doubt the Kelvin is a “fully recovered” river if you’re only seeing a few thousand salmon. I’m sure the runs were much bigger prior to the urbanization.

    As for many of Charlie’s somewhat confusing, contradictory and “challenging” statements, well frankly, his posts make my head hurt, and I’m just not going to bother.

    If you truly believe a fish is better off dead than alive, then there’s little to be said to alter that kind of thinking.

  • Ron (An American in Glasgow)

    Alistair… first off… great site you have going here and I thank you for the pleasure of reading it since arriving in Scotland in February. You asked to hear how rivers are managed in America and England. I’ve lived and fished in the states of New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Colorado. Although the actual regulations vary slightly by state, there are common threads and practices for trout waters. I’m obviously not an expert on the Scottish rules and practices yet… but there are distinct differences in policy and practice that stand out to me. 1) Most waters in the US are governed by the State government (usually a Fish and Wildlife Commission) These people police the waters with the full backing of the law… they can arrest poachers, take equipment, issue fines and tickets, and even take people to jail is deemd serious enough. Since being in Scotland, I’ve found it a bit “difficult” to get used to the concept of angling clubs governing certain parts of rivers, issuing local permits, having greatly varrying rules, etc. Again, it is probably my ignorance here of the role and structure of said angling associations… but it seems they can then determine how much to police a awater, what regulations to have, what signage to post, etc.
    2) Catch and Release has grown in popularity all over the country and not just for fly fisherman. Most C&R waters accomodate fly, spin, and bait anglers in some way. For example… We have waters governed as Delayed Harvest Waters… this means that for parts of the year.. it is No-Kill water. It may/may not restrict the method (ie fly, artificail lure, or bait). I fish a Delayed Harvest water in North Carolina that has a good head of wild fish but also gets a good stocking of hatchery fish. From April-June.. it is No-Kill, fly or artificial lure only. From July through September… it is open to Kill (with daily limits) and any method including bait. From October through March.. No-Kill, artificail lures only again. Most “artificial” lure folks are fly fishers.. but spin fishing is obviosly permitted. I also fish a year round Catch and Release river in Pennsylvania that is all wild fish (tremendous limestone river) that allows all methods. strictly enforced as No-Kill at any time. That said… you just don’t see many people at all fishing “static bait”.
    3) Many states stock waters that don’t support natural reproduction to satisfy the demand for those who really want to load up the freezers. Most everyone supports this because the money collected for the fishing license helps all matter of water management. It’s quite common to have these waters very popular for the first several weeks of the season (or after supplemental stockings)… but they get hardly any pressure during other times although the head of stocked fish left still provides great opportunities.
    4) Commercial Fisheries impact. We have no where near the amount of private commercial fisheries as in the UK. I’m primarliy speaking of the rainbow lochs and lakes managed and owned by private business. I think these foster the “need” to kill. You pay your 25 pounds for the day and can take your 5 or 10 fish. I have found the concept of C&R on these types of waters very controversial. I was fishing one of these with a C&R ticket last fall in England… and was having a great day. The gods were smiling… I thought… until the manager came to ask me (ver apolgetically and sheepishly) to stop fishing as the other patrons were nor catching and though I was reducing thier odds of catching and filling their bass bags.
    Have to end my post for now. Please don’t take this as criticism.. it is not meant to be that.. just a comparision of what I see. You have a wonder ful resource in the Kelvin… hell… in all of Scotland for that matter. I think a little more policing, signage, and may altering when certain methods could be employed might indeed be looked at. Thanks

  • Hi,

    I’m sure, whatever your (general) preferred method of fishing, we can all agree that we should look after “our” river and do as much as we can to keep it clean & unpoached.

    I have been fishing the Slovenian Idrijca, Soca & Tolminka rivers, along with a few others for two seasons now and last night, just booked this seasons September trip. They have been practicing catch and release on sections of rivers with great results providing world class fishing. If it’s kill zone or catch & release barbless hooks are mandatory on all rivers of the Tolmin Angling Association waters… maybe something we should consider here??

    P.s… If anyone would like info on fishing Slovenia, then please drop me an email through my girlfriends website..



  • charlie dont u stop givvin it 2 the man bait or fly is still the hunt,hunt on and on till u get
    nikkis partner

  • Stuart B

    “charlie dont u stop givvin it 2 the man bait or fly is still the hunt,hunt on and on till u get
    nikkis partner

    Eh? !!!

  • Stuart B

    nikki.just had a quick look at your Bebo page .Jeezo.what sort of font is that you are using ..It’s awful to read .!!!!!

  • nicolas valentin

    Hi everyone
    Just started my season on the Kelvin,got my Permit,though it would be a good contribution and went fishing .mostly below the bridge at the botanic .Got a few fish, brilliant! my first impression was A river runs bellow the city !!The size is just perfect and casting that fly just under that tree was just amazing!A few litters there and then and a little smell ,but nothing drastic,actualy pretty cool .The king fisher flashed pass me ,some youth drunk that buckie and through a few stones at me ,but never the less had a great time .Making the river fly only,would be crazy,fly fishing the best but not accessible for all!(takes practice)we should have fishing notice ,by permit only !each member should educate others to release the fish ..I don’t see anyone big enough to control the river,everyticket holder should make sure no one breaks the rule.As the season goes I will probably enter this great blogg more often !
    if anyone wants to share the secret we can meet one evening ,just after 6pm and have a few cast!nicolas