Gone fishing no more. Coronavirus pandemic closes sport on Loch Lomond, the Leven, the Fruin and the Endrick.
By Bill Heaney
Loch Lomond and its tributary rivers have been closed to anglers for the first time in history.
The Corona Virus (CoVid-19) emergency byelaw was passed by the Westminster Parliament on March 25.
The Act gives the Ministers at Holyrood the power to introduce specific regulations to protect the public.
These include staying at home apart from social distancing and unnecessary travel.
The Loch Lomond Angling Improvement Association have informed their members on their website and advised anglers to stay at home.
Chairman Jim Raeburn told the members: “As the number of deaths from coronavirus and positive cases increases here in Scotland, the committee have decided as a matter of urgency to introduce an emergency byelaw across the Lomond system.”
The byelaw states: “With immediate effect due to the CORVID-19 virus and Government advice, all fishing on LLALA controlled waters is suspended until further notice and ongoing regular review in line with Government advice.
“For the avoidance of doubt, all fishing by rod and line either for all fish species including salmon, sea trout, brown trout or course fish is suspended on all parts of the Clyde Estuary, River Leven, River Fruin, Endrick Water and Loch Lomond and includes all waters to which LLAIA season members, weekly or day ticket gives the holder the right to fish.
“Any member or permit holder found fishing during this suspension period will have their permits removed and will be reported to the committee.
“Revocation of this Emergency Bye-law will only happen when Government advice on Covid-19 is relaxed and this will be advised on LLAIA media.”
Jim Raeburn said: “This byelaw is effective immediately. There has been an excellent response from anglers to previous advice, which this byelaw reinforces.
“Sales of day tickets for game and course fishing has ceased, and we advise anyone applying for a renewal or new membership that fishing cannot commence until the government regulations are relaxed.
“Police Scotland have the powers under the Act to fine persons in breach of government regulations.”
This is an unprecedented step for the Association to take, but such is the gravity of the situation.
“We have a duty to ensure that everyone keeps sake for their own sake and that of others.”