River Earn Improvement Association
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There is not, as some suppose, a public right to fish for freshwater fish in Scotland. That right normally belongs to the riparian proprietor. Permission to fish should be sought from the owner of the fishing, or a permit purchased. To fish without permission is an offence and owners may pursue redress through the civil courts. This, however, can be an expensive option, and in the past many waters were fished indiscriminately by unauthorised anglers.
To address this The Freshwater and Salmon Fisheries Act of 1976 introduced Protection Orders (POs), which made it a criminal offence to fish for freshwater fish without written permission. When a proposal for a PO is accepted, it is on the grounds that increased access to anglers is provided at reasonable cost, but this must be compatible with enhanced conservation and management. In return owners receive protection of the law from unauthorised fishing. The River Earn has been covered by a PO since 1990.
The Scottish Government (SG) may at any time require owners to provide information on the implementation of the proposals relating to their fishing rights. This is usually done via a Liaison Committee, which includes anglers and owners representatives, and which monitors the operation of the PO and reports annually to the SG on its effectiveness. Each year the River Earn Liaison Committee requires owners to fill in a proforma that forms the basis of its report to the SG. It also works to resolve any complaints received about the operation of the PO.
The information provided by the owners or tenants in regard to permit availability and other important information forms the basis of the permit list you see elsewhere on this website. Whilst every effort is made to keep this up to date this is not always possible.
Despite accepting the terms of and enjoying the protection of a PO, some owners prove elusive in complying with the annual request for information. In recognition of this and some other weaknesses of POs the Aquaculture and Fisheries Act of 2007 made provision for varying the areas covered by them, and in future owners may be able to opt out of or have their fishings removed from POs.
Should there be any concerns about the operation of the Protection Order or the issuing of permits the River Earn Liaison Committee can be contacted via the Secretary/Chairman at Duncan388@btinternet.com