SCOTLAND’S salmon and trout anglers can only admire the achievements of Northern Ireland in opening up their rivers and loughs to everyone at reasonable cost.

In the 20 years since the Scottish Parliament was established not a single yard of any river or loch has been opened up to Scots by the Scottish Government.

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Northern Ireland has acquired 64 fisheries for its Public Angling Estate amounting to hundreds of miles of rivers and loughs.

Fishing permits for the Public Angling Estate are set at a price so that no one is socially excluded. A permit for under 18s is a mere £2 per year, those aged 18-60 pay £77, whilst over 60s pay £17.50. Concessions are available for disabled anglers and those on certain benefits.

The Public Angling Estate also carries out excellent restocking and conservation works which Scotland could learn a great deal from.

Scotland has some of the best fishing in Europe but we have completely failed to utilise this resource.
Jim Stewart