Following the First Minister’s announcement earlier today angling will be a permitted activity from Friday the 29th of May onwards. However as we are in phase 1 of lockdown some travel restrictions will still apply. See below for some detailed guidance from Fisheries Management Scotland;
“During phase 1, limitations on travel will have a bearing on angling activity. People are only permitted to travel short distances for outdoor leisure and exercise and are advised to stay within a short distance of their local community (broadly within 5 miles) and travel by walk, wheel and cycle where possible. The First Minister has indicated that the reference to ‘broadly 5 miles’ is an indicative guide. What is ‘local’ in an urban environment, as opposed to a more rural environment, could be quite different. It is important that anglers and fishery owners use their judgement about an appropriate distance of travel within a short distance of their local community. Underpinning this guidance is the fundamental rule that no one should be present on the river bank (or indeed outside their own house) if they are showing any symptoms associated with Covid-19, or if contact has been made with a confirmed or possible case of coronavirus within the last 14 days.
As is always the case, no fishing should take place without the appropriate legal right or written permission, or during the weekly close time in the case of salmon and sea trout fishing. Fisheries enforcement activity, including checking permits, will continue throughout all phases set out in the route map in order to protect and preserve Scotland’s salmon and sea trout. Some proprietors may wish anglers to notify them when they arrive at the beat they are fishing and also when they leave. The principal issue is the ability for fishery proprietors and angling associations to ensure that participation in their fishery can be permitted in a manner fully consistent with current physical distancing regulations and hand washing/sanitisation requirements and that anglers take responsibility to comply with these. It is likely that all fisheries will require to make changes to the way anglers’ access and conduct themselves in the fishery, and we provide some examples of the types of practice that will require consideration below.
A critical component of the advice below is the absolute need to maintain hand washing and sanitization, as this is one of the most effective ways to suppress the spread of the virus.
• Travel to and from fisheries by private vehicle. Any passengers must be from the same household and Scottish Government physical distancing regulations must be observed.
• Parking and social interaction on arrival at the fishery must be responsible and consistent with Scottish Government physical distancing regulations.
• Fishery access and use. Anglers must not share fishing tackle or equipment, except with members of the same household.
• Gates and stiles are common on fisheries, and where they need to be used, appropriate sanitation measures should be taken by anglers, including use of gloves and disinfectant
hand gels as appropriate.
Fishery owner responsibilities
• Permissions for fishing should not be physical transactions, and online or contactless facilities should be used for any purchases.
• Fishing huts and clubhouses present the highest risk of social interaction. Group gatherings in fishing huts should not be permitted, but individual access to toilets and handwashing facilities may be allowed if strict hygiene rules are followed. Otherwise these facilities should remain closed until such time as Covid-19 restrictions are consistent with their use. Food and drink should be consumed in a manner consistent with physical
• Boats should only be used where use is consistent with the physical distancing regulations in force at the time. Where boats are to be used, the key points of contact (i.e. oar handles, seats, outboard handles etc.) should be sanitised at the end of the angling session.
• Ghillies and angling guides – Many of the accepted activities of ghillies and angling guides in supporting angling clients will have to be undertaken in a modified manner under physical distancing regulations. When setting up to fish, while fishing, and when landing and unhooking fish, ghillies and guides should observe minimum physical distancing regulations in force at the time. Ghillies must not touch the angler’s fishing tackle at any point, including supplying and tying on casts and flies. It is possible that assistance with landing fish may be undertaken, however nets or any fishing tackle should not be passed between people. Ghillies and guides should regularly wash/sanitize their hands throughout
the day and ensure that hand washing/sanitising facilities are available for anglers “
More guidance from FMS can be found here; http://fms.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/