As I've stated before, I return well over 90% of the fish I catch. However, regardless of what side of the fence you sit on this sticks in the throat, as it seems to be penalising rod and line anglers while the netsman are allowed to take a highly disproportionate number of salmon for profit. This hardly sounds like a measure that has been put in place in the interests of conservation. Anybody who has been following this issue, knows that there are people involved with a definite conflict of interests.
Also, when you pay for a days fishing you are, effectively, leasing the fishing rights. Fishing rights allow you to reap the natural resource, if this element is removed, should anglers be offered a sporting ticket, where the price is substantially lowered.
Also, without going into the figures and detail, the North Esk has one of the most prolific spring runs of Salmon in europe. If there was a genuine concern about conservation on this river, the nets should have been lifted long ago. These are not estuary or in-river nets and could also be taking salmon destined for other less prolific rivers where spring salmon may be at a dangerously low level.
I fail to see the sense in penalising the sporting anglers, while the netsman are allowed to endanger the salmon run.