Volunteers sought to take on management of two council-owned salmon and trout fishing beats

A meeting has been arranged to discuss the potential for local anglers or any other interested community members or groups to take on the management of two Alford fishing beats owned by Aberdeenshire Council.

The Council now only manages fishing beats in Alford, with beats in Inverurie and Kintore recently transferred to their respective Angling Associations.

Transferring management of the Alford beats would achieve financial savings, including administration costs and the annual Fishery Board Assessment Fee.

Last year a consultation began with local anglers about the possibility of creating an Alford Angling Association which could take on management of the beats.

They are Haughton Fishings, on the right bank of the River Don from Montgarrie Bridge to about 100m below the confluence with the Buckie Burn, and Waterside Fishings, on the left bank from Waterside Sawmill to Bridge of Alford.

Both are well-established salmon, sea trout and brown trout beats.

Local anglers or any other interested parties keen to get involved in their future are invited to attend a meeting later this month.

The aim is to establish whether there is a firm commitment from volunteers to form and run an Alford Angling Association and to take on management of the beats.

Marr Area Manager, Janelle Clark, said: “The council will be able to provide assistance and technical support during the handover period to facilitate the establishment of an Angling Association and to enable the group to take on responsibility for management.

“Clearly this is an important local asset, but if we don’t get any volunteers and there’s no desire to manage the beats in the community, the council will have to consider other options, which may include disposal on the open market.

“Managing fishing beats is not a core council service and due to increasing budgetary constraints we have to find cost savings where possible.”

The meeting will take place on Monday, August 27, from 7-9pm in Room D69 at Alford Community Campus.

For more information contact Lizzy Shepherd, Area Project Officer, on 07717 800533 or by email:  lizzy.shepherd@aberdeenshire.gov.uk