A group of anglers, the Blairgowrie Rattray and District Angling Association (BRDAA), made a significant move by purchasing a four-mile stretch of the River Ericht in Perthshire. The aim behind this purchase is to improve water conditions in order to help save endangered salmon populations.

The River Ericht, a key spawning tributary in the River Tay system, has been facing challenges due to water extraction for industrial purposes. This has led to a decline in salmon stocks as low water levels make it harder for the fish to swim upstream, leaving them vulnerable to predators like birds.

The BRDAA’s buy-out from the previous owner, Macpherson Fishing, not only gives them ownership of the river but also increases their lobbying power with the Scottish government. With salmon stocks declining across the country, efforts to protect and restore populations are crucial.

Following the official handover of the river stretch, the group is determined to leave no stone unturned in their efforts to help species recovery. They have been actively involved in various activities on the river, such as litter picks, tree planting, and managing invasive species.

The group monitors salmon stock and with their expanded ownership of the river, they hope to have a stronger voice when advocating for the protection of salmon populations. River convener Grant Kellie highlighted the detrimental effects of water abstraction on fish movement and emphasized the need for regular flows to support the fish.

The Scottish government has recognized the crisis facing Atlantic salmon populations and has committed to protecting and restoring these populations. With over 60 actions planned over the next five years to address the various pressures salmon face, including investments for protection and recovery, there is hope for the future of these endangered species.

The BRDAA’s initiative to purchase a stretch of the River Ericht is a significant step towards reviving salmon populations and ensuring the conservation of this iconic species. With dedication, passion, and collaborative efforts, local communities and organizations can play a vital role in safeguarding our natural heritage for generations to come.