Trout Fishing on Lochan-na-Lairige above Loch Tay River Dochart above the Falls

Introduction

Scottish Ministers can grant Protection Order Status to river catchments, or any part thereof in Scotland where they are satisfied that there would be a significant increase in the availability of the fishing for freshwater species within them.

A detailed application must be submitted from the interested parties in any catchment satisfying the criteria set out ant then a decision will be made by the Scottish Ministers. The Aquaculture and Fisheries Scotland Act of August 2007 incorporates the details below as to the powers and duties of appointed Wardens.

The River Tay and the Tributaries which are within the present Protection Order, are sub divided into suitable sections, each of which has either an Angling Club or a Riparian Owners Group, operating in the area.
This was the system used to compile the required access agreements for the original application and the re submission in 1998 and is deemed to be the best way to maintain coordination in any change of ownership or access or methods.
The Clubs or Associations have nominated representatives serving on the TLC Committee and it is their responsibility to assist in the administration of the Order and ensure no local changes are made with out being brought to the attention of the TLC.
Part of the requirements of the reinstatement of the River Tay Protection Order was that the Clubs and Associations adhere to the terms of the agreed submission document. This includes having trained Wardens in place who will carry out checks on visiting and local anglers to ensure they are complying to the rules and methods and are being given the required access in line with the agreements.

The Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act, 2003.

The Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act, 2003, makes it an offence to fish for freshwater fish with out legal right or written permission in any area covered by a Protection Order made under the Act. (Section 48). Wardens are nominated by the Owners or Occupiers of Freshwater Fishing Rights in the area of the Protection Order and may only exercise the powers conferred upon them on production of the WARDENS WARRANT CARD (instrument of appointment). The Warden should always carry his Warrant Card when on duty.
Section 50 (4). The powers of a warden may be exercised in the area covered by the Protection Order in relation to which he / she is appointed. Some of the powers apply only in the vicinity of water.
Section 50 (1) (a) & (c). It is important that the Warden knows the boundaries of the area protected by the Order.

The Main Powers conferred on a Warden by the Act are:

Enquiry and Seizure

To enquire as to the legal right or written permission of any person to fish in the area if there is reasonable cause to suspect that the person has no such right or permission; and to require the person to produce written evidence of such right or permission within 14 days. Section 49 (2) (a).
1. If there is reasonable cause to suspect that a person is fishing without legal right or permission, or is attempting or preparing to do so, the warden may seize any equipment used or calculated to be of use in the contravention of the prohibition. Section 49 (2) (b).

Entry onto Land

1. Wardens have the right to enter land in the vicinity of water for the purpose of exercising their powers or to prevent or detect persons fishing without right or permission. Section 50 (1) (a) & (c).
2. Wardens may also enter land to fix copies of orders or notices. Section 50 (b)
3. Land in these contexts does not include buildings on land. Section 50 (5)

Obstruction

1. Any person who wilfully obstructs or refuses a warden to exercise his or her powers or rights is guilty of an offence. Section 50 (3)
2. Wardens have NO powers to charge an offender and any contravention should be brought to the attention of the Criminal Authorities (The Police or Procurator Fiscal) as soon as possible.

Warden Training

The programme of training for both new and existing wardens is on going. The aim is to hold a full training session early each year, and a follow up session in the autumn. Being voluntary, wardens still require to give of their time to attend the courses, not only to receive instruction, but to exchange views on various experiences encountered when out meeting anglers. It is made clear what powers they have and how they should exercise them. Recording and passing on information is part of their duties, and maintaining a good record of incidents is essential. Wardens should check when their cards expire, and apply for a new one. The TLC have agreed how all applications are to be dealt with. The information is covered by the data protection Act. To safeguard those involved the following procedure is to be followed.

Existing Wardens

1. The TLC Secretary will issue a letter confirming the applicant has been carrying out duties, this may require club or riparian owner confirmation. A training certificate will be issued, and a form for completing and sending to the Scottish Criminal Records Office.
2. The completed form, together with an original Public Utility Document, ie driving licence, passport, etc., and the fee, which is currently 13.60, is sent by the applicant to SCRO.
3. On receiving the return, the applicant will send this with all documents and two passport size photos to the SEERAD.
4. The Wardens Card will be sent direct to the applicant, who will then inform the TLC Secretary of the receipt of the card. The information is required to maintain an up to date list of operational wardens.

New Applicants

1. All names and addresses are to be submitted to the TLC, and the secretary will inform the applicant when to attend for training.
2. A training certificate and the application form will be issued.
3. Items 2 to 4 above will be followed.

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