Catch & Release has become quite a hot topic here at Loch Leven particularly since we reverted a few years ago to once again being a wild brown trout fishery, relying entirely on Mother Nature for the quantity and quality of brown trout in the loch.
As regulars here will know, we do not have a mandatory Catch & Release policy in operation on Loch Leven, nor is there any intention on our part to introduce one. To be honest, we do not feel any need to go down the route of making Catch & Release mandatory because of the commendably responsible behaviour of the vast majority of anglers fishing the loch. Indeed we would actively encourage anglers to take away what they need ‘for the pot’ because the trout are delicious to eat but would hope it is in moderation and that trout are not killed if they are surplus to culinery requirements.
Whereas we have no mandatory Catch & Release policy, it is fair to say that anglers themselves have introduced a voluntary policy in that regard, for which they are to be congratulated. There is no doubt in our minds here at the Fishery that the fact that most fish have been released back into the loch in recent seasons has contributed in no small part to the recovery in the trout population and the subsequent improvement in the fishing. Long may it continue.
Catch & Release can be somewhat of an emotive subject within the angling community and I am therefore indebted to Eric Fox for forwarding me a copy of a very interesting report titled A survey of Catch & Release in Stocked UK Stillwater Trout Fisheries which he co-authored along with Vaughan Ruckley and Bob Perrett. It makes interesting reading.
The authors would welcome any feedback