The salmon fishing season officially got under way in the North-east with a number of the region’s rivers opening at the weekend.
It coincided with the launch of a new initiative by Grampian Police wildlife crime unit to raise awareness of the potential impact of crime on the region’s waterways.
The move will see river crime warning and information boards developed by the unit distributed to nine of the area’s major salmon fishing rivers by water bailiffs.
The operation is a joint one between police and river bailiffs to target criminals exploiting the North-east’s rivers.
It has been running for seven years in Grampian with some notable success in the disruption of poaching activity and enforcement of legislation.
Grampian Police wildlife crime officer PC Gavin Lindsay said at the weekend launch: “Grampian’s salmon rivers are a huge asset to the region, contributing millions to the economy and providing important habitat for a variety of wildlife.
“However river crime - in particular, the poaching of salmon - can have both a serious environmental and economic affect on the river and wider community.
“River crime can take a variety of formats; from individuals poaching salmon using rod and line, to organised groups, who often travel from out with the Grampian area to net the river, resulting in the loss of significant numbers of fish.”
He added that the key to the success of Operation Salmo was the information sharing between police and water bailiffs, but they also needed the public to become more involved by reporting any crimes or suspicious activity.
Anyone with information relating to a river crime should contact Grampian Police as soon as possible on 0845 600 5700.