Sustainability and fishing by Ross Macgregor

Fishing in Scotland can be considered quite an adventure sport considering the weather we experience. All this lovely green grass does not just happen to be here. It needs a considerable amount of watering and our skies provide just that. As one of the more adventurous fisherman, I often venture out as early as possible in the season without much concern for the weather. When the fishing bug starts biting just a bit too incessantly to ignore, off I go. More often than not I start with a spot of fly fishing and all the rain in Scotland can’t stop me from giving Camps Water a visit. Take all the most mind-bogglingly exquisite landscapes and throw in awesome fishing and you’ll end up where the Palla Reservoir runs out into the River Clyde. A beautiful and dreamy location, this is the perfect spot to take a trip to and start the season’s fishing with landing a bushel of beautiful Brown Trout.

Closer to home there is of course the River Ness. The season usually starts around the middle of January and doesn’t end until late October allowing avid fisherman a good run through the year with June to September usually being the best; and therefore the busiest few months. With a list of spots to choose from, the River Ness offers great variety. Most regulars have their favourite spots that they either stick with or alternate between. Many enjoy River Braes in late September and October. Mill Stream is considered a prime location in spring while Little Isle and MacIntyre are popular throughout the season; all having strategically placed Angler’s Huts along the banks.

As much as I love fishing, it does remind me of the issues of climate change. Our oceans and rivers are severely affected by global warming. As an avid advocate for renewable energy and also a keen fisherman, the climate change and its effect on the natural world has me very concerned. I read earlier this year that scientific research has led to the discovery that our fishes are shrinking. The researchers built a model to establish the impact of global warming on over 500 species of fish. Their findings are shocking, not just for people that enjoy fishing (like me), but also for those that enjoy eating fish (like me) and everybody else that is concerned about the environment and the effect that carbon emissions has on our earth (me too!). According to the model they built, the warmer water of the oceans is leading to a decrease in oxygen which is directly causing the metabolic rate of the fishes’ body functions to increase which will cause fishes to be smaller in the future. Apart from this, it was also found that fishes will also move around 22 miles towards the earth’s poles every ten years. It remains my objective to spread awareness of these issues and make an impact to preserve our earth, including our fishes, lakes and oceans for future generations to enjoy just as much as what we are enjoying it.

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