Tayside and Central Scotland

Rafters and fishermen reach deal in River Tay dispute

Salmon fisherman
Image caption Anglers and rafters have come to an agreement over activities on the River Tay

Rafters have agreed to stay off a stretch of river in Perthshire for part of the week after reaching an agreement with anglers.

Perth Sheriff Court was told a compromise had been reached between rafters and salmon fishermen in a feud over activities on the River Tay.

Salmon fishermen had claimed the rafts made fishing impossible.

Rafters will now only use the river from 13:30 on Wednesdays until Sunday evenings during the salmon season.

Solicitor Kevin Lancaster represented all of the interested parties when he appeared at Perth Sheriff Court to confirm that a deal had been agreed.

He confirmed that the rafters would only take to the water between Wednesday afternoon and Sunday evening during the official salmon fishing season.

Long dispute

They will be allowed to operate seven days a week during the close season.

The dispute between the two sides has gone on for several years and escalated earlier this year when the anglers started legal action to ban the "disruptive" rafters.

Sheriff Michael Fletcher initially agreed that the rafters spoiled the fishing beat owners' ability to enjoy salmon fishing on a stretch of water in Highland Perthshire.

He outlawed the use of rafts and inflatable craft because they posed "an unreasonable interference with the rights of anglers."

However, the sheriff's decision to impose a ban was overturned when it was ruled that the rafting companies had not been given due notice of the legal action.

The new agreement was reached as a result of discussions that have been taking place since January.

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