Wildlife crime officers in the Highlands have been carrying out joint patrols with water bailiffs to deter poaching and other offences on the region’s river systems.
The salmon season is now well under way and officers are building on work carried out last year to maintain a targeted approach to discourage individuals from poaching for salmon, trout and other freshwater fish or hunting for protected freshwater pearl mussels.
Like many other river systems in Scotland, the local rivers are seeing a long-term decline in its salmon populations. In recent weeks incidents have been reported on areas covered by the River Ness and Cromarty Firth district fishery boards.
Wildlife crime officer Constable Daniel Sutherland said: “Recently there has been a number of incidents and reports of individuals fishing for salmon and sea trout within the Inverness and wider area across several different rivers.
“Poaching is a wildlife crime priority for Police Scotland and joint patrols with salmon fishery board water bailiffs and our officers across the division will continue throughout the year to detect and deter illegal fishing.”
Already this year nine men – aged between 23 and 60 – have been charged in connection with fishing offences and reports have been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal. A number of warnings have also been issued.