Midlothian fishery boss stands up for fishing

Local fishery boss Bill Taylor is fighting to save traditional Scottish fishing spots from being drowned by other sports.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 1:00 pm
BILL TAYLOR SECOND FROM LEFT WITH PRIZEWINNERS IN THE RECENT SCIERRA PAIRS, ONE OF BRITAIN'S TOP FLY FISHING EVENTS. PICTURE BY NIGEL DUNCAN.

His social media campaign is fast gaining momentum as anglers face camping, fires, parking problems and issues with swimmers and paddle boarders. The initiative follows deaths from drowning in recent weeks.

Taylor runs Glencorse Reservoir, recognised as one of the best fisheries in Scotland, and the Midlothian-based fishery owner believes the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC) of 2003 requires an urgent review. He said: "Several waters which have been used for angling for decades are coming under intense pressure from various other water activities.

"After seven deaths in only a few weeks, surely they can see the SOAC needs to be addressed before more people drown."

He argues that designated waters could have trained people there in case of accidents and Taylor argued that health and safety should be a priority.

Fisheries, he said, are covered by comprehensive insurance for all the fee-paying anglers, but it does not cover other activities.

He fumed: "If the Scottish Outdoor Access Code permits other water activities to be allowed on a water leased for fishing, should they be made to also pay as anglers do?

"And, as anglers, only allowed on the water at certain times, the same as the fee-paying anglers."