Highlands & Islands

Sutherland river salmon angling set for record year

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Media captionThe wild salmon fishing season is proving one of the most successful ever

The salmon angling season on a Highland river has already proven to be its most successful on record, it has been claimed.

More fish have been caught on the River Halladale in Sutherland than in any year since records began.

The catches have already exceeded the historical average, well before the season ends in the autumn.

The record catches have been described by the river's owners as a major boost for tourism.

Willie Grant, the river superintendent on the River Halladale, said: "This year has been very good.

"We've had 277 fish - salmon and grilse - up to the end of last week, which is the best recorded catch on the river, as far as I know.

"Going back into the historical averages, the river used to only have a combined total yearly catch of 300 salmon."

Marvellous area

Tony Ward, the co-owner of the River Halladale, said business had held up well this year. He believes visitors see fishing in the Highlands as good value for money.

He said: "It's very important for the river to have people fishing, for the economy.

"We're employing several people. It's very important for them, of course, as well.

"For us, coming up here, it's a terrific place, it's a really marvellous area."

The north Highlands have experienced a mixture of rain and sunshine this year.

Willie Grant insisted that enough rain to maintain river levels is a good thing.

He said: "One good day's fishing is worth a week of rain."

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