Any policy based on varying the length of the season is not likely to be a runner here because of the economic argument in a fairly remote area. There are a lot of jobs dependent on Spey having a very long season from February 11 thru Sept 30. This does not leave that much time for ghillies/guides to do maintenance work & have holidays, bearing in mind they work a 6 day week in season. There is also the hotel income issue.
In areas where springers are really in peril, the above issues would not rate, but on Spey the spring run is just significantly reduced but not in peril. It can stand say 5% mortality from responsible C & R. As an indication, our 2.5 mile, single bank, 6 rod beat has just caught 51 salmon to May 31, & I am pleased to say 35 have been returned in the first year we have advocated a C & R policy.
We are not keen on doing too much stocking except where juveniles are known to be deficient; we have a succesful strain of fish & we would like to keep it that way & not decrease their 'wildness'.
Most rods fish for a week & their catch expectation would be nil, one or possibly two in spring. If we can get that first fish put back, we will preserve perhaps 60% of the run that would otherwise get knocked on the head. That's probably the most likely outcome.