Fisheries Management Scotland (FMS) have in consultation with the Scottish Government prepared guidelines for angling practice once fishing resumes. For reference to the details of this please follow the link http://fms.scot/angling-guidance-from-fisheries-management-scotland-covid-19/
RTC have adapted these guidelines to account for circumstances in the River Tweed Salmon Fishery District and recommend to fishery proprietors and angling clubs and associations that they should be adopted. Where social distancing regulations vary between Scotland and England, anglers must adhere to the regulations applying in the relevant country.
The principal issue is the ability for fishery proprietors and angling clubs and associations to ensure that participation in their fishery can be permitted in a manner fully consistent with current social distancing regulations and hand washing/sanitizing requirements.
Underpinning this requirement is the fundamental rule that no one should be present on the riverbank (or indeed outside of their house) if they are showing any symptoms associated with COVID-19 or contact has been made with a confirmed or possible case of Coronavirus within the last 14 days.
- Travel to and from fisheries by private vehicle. Any passengers must be from the same household and Scottish/English Government social distancing regulations must be observed as appropriate.
- Parking and social interaction on arrival at the fishery must be responsible and consistent with Scottish/English Government social distancing regulations as appropriate.
- Fishery access and use. Anglers must not share fishing tackle or equipment with other anglers or with boatmen, ghillies or guides, other than with members of the same household.
- Gates and stiles are common on fisheries, and where they need to be used, appropriate sanitation measures should be taken by anglers, including use of gloves and disinfectant hand gels as appropriate.
Fishery owner responsibilities
- Permissions for fishing should not be physical transactions, and online or contactless facilities should be used for any purchases.
- Fishing huts and clubhouses present the highest risk of social interaction, Individual access to toilets and handwashing facilities may be allowed if strict hygiene regulations are followed. Otherwise these facilities should remain closed until such time as COVID-19 restrictions are consistent with their use. Food and drink should be consumed in a manner consistent with social distancing regulations.
- Boats should only be used where this is consistent with the social distancing regulations in force at the time. Where boats are to be used, these should be fully disinfected at the end of the particular angling session. At present (15th May) it is considered that social distancing regulations do not allow for the safe use of standard River Tweed angling boats, but this could change as measures are relaxed.
- Boatmen, ghillies and angling guides. Many of the accepted activities of boatmen, ghillies and angling guides in supporting angling clients will have to be undertaken in a modified manner under social distancing regulations. When setting up to fish, while fishing, and when landing and unhooking fish, boatmen, ghillies and guides should observe minimum social distancing regulations in force at the time. Ghillies must not touch the angler’s fishing tackle at any point, including supplying and tying on casts and flies. It is possible that assistance with landing fish may be undertaken, however nets or any fishing tackle should not be passed between people. Boatmen, ghillies and guides should regularly wash/sanitize their hands throughout the day and ensure that hand washing/sanitizing facilities are available for anglers at all times.