The Kenmore salmon opening has been raising money for two main charities over the years and this years will be no exception.

Saturday 15th January 2011 is an important day in Scotland’s angling calendar as the River Tay once more opens to the Salmon Angler.

For over 60 years the Kenmore Hotel and the village of Kenmore have hosted the traditional opening celebrations on the River Tay in Perthshire, this being the oldest celebration held within the UK for a fishing event. What started as a gathering of enthusiastic local anglers now draws anglers and spectators from all over the UK.

It is not just about celebrating the start of a new Salmon season, it is also a time when the angling community comes together to celebrate their previous successes and to share their hopes and concerns for the future of the fish that they seek and the future of their sport. In its own way it encompasses individual and community aspirations and interests, and reaffirms the social and economic importance that angling has within modern day society.

The Kenmore Salmon Opening and Closings have over the last decade raised many thousands of pounds for charity and over the last few years these events have been major contributors to 2 Perthshire based charities, the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) and Angling For Youth Development Trust (AFYD).

This years Opening will see anglers from all over Scotland gathering outside the Kenmore Hotel in Kenmore Village Square from 9-00 a.m. to enjoy a complimentary dram of Dewar’s Whisky and to join the procession of rods, led by the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band, to view the blessing of the boat and the “first cast” on the River. Joining the throng of anglers on the day will be that world famous botanist and environmentalist, Professor David Bellamy.

A number of the anglers attending will be young people from AFYD projects from around Scotland, for many it will be their first time at the event and their first opportunity to go Salmon Fishing. Ian Williams the AFYD Project Leader for Paisley and Renfrew said “The Kenmore Salmon Opening is a great place to bring the youngsters involved in our project. It gives them an opportunity to try fishing for Salmon but equally as importantly, it gives them a chance to meet with young people from other AFYD groups who have a shared passion about what they are doing. It’s a great experience for them”.

Prior to the procession commencing at 9-30 a.m. a cheque presentation to CHAS and AFYD is to occur. The monies being donated to the charities by representatives of the Kenmore Hotel was raised at the Closing Dinner charity auction in October 2010.

A further presentation, this time of angling equipment, is to be made to AFYD’s latest project team, Wigtonshire AFYD, who have representatives attending the event. Inspector David McCallum of Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary, the Project Leader for Wigtonshire, said “On behalf of Wigtownshire AFYD we are delighted to be officially recognised as the latest AFYD project in Scotland. We would like to thank the AFYD Trust and their supporters for the equipment which they have donated to us. We have a strong group working together here in south west Scotland and this will make a positive impact on a number of young people’s lives”

At midday within the Kenmore Hotel, Mr Mark Telwright of the angling charity Dreamstore, will be presenting Perthshire’s AFYD projects with an Angling Early Activity Zone, designed to be used to teach primary school children and children with special needs not only the basic angling skills but a host of other cross curriculum subjects.

Norma Lindsay, General Manager of the Kenmore Hotel, who has the responsibility for co-ordinating the opening festivities said “The Kenmore Hotel has always been involved with the river’s Salmon fishing and has supported the Salmon Opening celebrations since they first started. We are delighted to see its popularity with anglers and supporters growing year after year and everyone is welcome to attend. When the Opening celebrations first took place, Salmon were still abundant in the rivers of Scotland, but sadly over the last 60 years their numbers have declined and in that respect the day celebrates the fact that they are still here. Nowadays I, along with every other person who attends the opening, not only celebrate the Salmons presence in our river but also the hope that they will be with us for many generations to come”.