Salmond Fishing on the Tay
First Minister opens 2014 Scottish Salmon Fishing Season on the River Tay at Dunkeld in Perthshire.
Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond MSP, was joined by Dunkeld and Birnam Angling Association Junior Jimmy Stewart, Willy Townsley and Head of Hilton Dunkeld House Fishing, Simon Furness as the salmon fishing season on the River Tay was officially opened.
The annual celebration took place at Hilton Dunkeld House, in conjunction with The Tay Foundation, Dunkeld & Birnam Angling and Tourist Associations, The Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board, and Perthshire Chamber of Commerce.
Mike Metcalfe, general manager at Hilton Dunkeld House said:
“We are delighted to host this fantastic annual celebration which involves so many local organisations.
Perthshire is one of the country’s premier fishing locations and the River Tay is famous across the world for being Scotland’s biggest river. The River Tay is a huge attraction for guests coming to stay at the hotel and it is a privilege to be involved in supporting this event.”
Hotel residents and members of the local Dunkeld community along with the First Minister and other guests were led by River Tay Chairman Bill Jack, Steve Mannion, Chairman of Dunkeld and Birnam Angling Association and Simon Furniss, (Tay Liaison Committee member and fishing manager of Dunkeld Fishings at Hilton Dunkeld House), to the Dunkeld fishing beat by a traditional piper before sharing a dram at the water's side.
The First Minister performed a traditional blessing of the boats, wishing them and their passengers well for the coming season, before pouring a few drops of uisge beatha (‘water of life’ = whisky!) into the beat for the salmon to savour and to keep them in good health.
River Tay chairman, Bill Jack commented:
“Our great hope for 2014 would be that the European Water Framework Directive is finally implemented and that the River Garry (by any measure the most important river affected by abstraction in the whole of Scotland) is restored at last. This would be the most significant event affecting the Tay system since the building of the major hydro schemes in the late 1950s.”
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