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Protected bird shot in the Borders

A member of the public heard the shots Credit: Police Scotland

A protected bird has been shot in the River Tweed. Police were alerted to the Goosander being shot at around 11.15am on Thursday 31st August, east of the Chainbridge at Melrose.

A member of the public heard the shots and the dead duck was found in the water a short time later.

We take wildlife crime very seriously and it is a criminal offence to harm birds such as this which are protected. This is a very popular area for walkers and dog walkers in particular, and I'm keen to speak to anyone who was in the area last Thursday morning and may have seen or heard something which may assist the investigation."

– PC Andy Loughlin, Wildlife Crime Officer, Lothians and Scottish Borders

Anyone with information should call Police Scotland on 101 quoting incident 705 of Monday 4 September, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


200 years of Tweed management could change

The River Tweed brings £18 million to the Borders economy Credit: ITV Border

The management of the River Tweed could change following a review of river management in Scotland.

The Scottish Government are consulting the public on plans to reform fisheries across the country.

It means the River Tweed Commission, which has managed the river for more than 200 years, could be replaced.

They argue that a centralised Scottish management system wouldn't work for the Tweed as it crosses the Border with England.

Nick Yonge from The Tweed Commission said:

Fisheries management is very variable throughout Scotland but the Tweed is very different, it has its own law, it covers both sides of the Border both in Scotland and in England, it has been set up by both Westminster and Holyrood governments. We think the River Tweed Commission satisfies all requirements and objectives that the Scottish government has laid out, which it does through this special legislation that it already has.

– Nick Yonge, River Tweed Commission

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said:

We are seeking to modernise and improve Scotland’s fisheries management system as a whole and the Tweed is part of that process.

The Tweed is one of Scotland’s best managed fisheries. In fact, many of the things that happen on the Tweed already to manage the health of the river, to grow the economic benefits which that supports and to involve a broad range of the local community are precisely the kind of things we want to achieve more consistently across Scotland as a whole.

We are consulting on the proposals at the moment and hope that as many people as possible in the Borders let us know their views and suggestions so that the steps we take can do the most to benefit both the Tweed itself and Scotland’s wild fisheries as a whole.

– Scottish Government spokesperson

The Public Consultation will be held until August 7th. A drop-in session is being held at the Ormiston Institute between 11am-3pm on the 22nd July.

Watch Jenny Longden's report here.

Weather blamed for 50% drop in salmon fishing

Salmon on the River Tweed Credit: PA

A report into salmon fishing on the river Tweed has confirmed a drop of 50% in fish catches.

It's thought last year's dry summer was the main factor in the dramtic decline in the amount of salmon caught on the Borders' river.

Figures released this month in the River Tweed Commissioner's annual report show the total number of salmon caught by rod and net in 2014 was just under 10,000.

The report highlighted a multi-agency partnership to tackle the issue of poaching near the mouth of the river at Berwick-upon-Tweed was starting to pay dividends with 22 illegal nets seized and six successful court prosecutions.

It added the river still had a lot to be positive about and thanks to it being properly protected, monitored and understood it could provide a "platform to bounce back from a period of relative famine".

Two teens rescued from River Tweed

Two teenage girls have been treated for hypothermia after being rescued from the River Tweed in the Scottish Borders.

The 14-year-olds were swimming in the water near Galashiels when they got into difficulties.

Both girls managed to make their way to the riverbank but found themselves trapped on the banking.

Emergency services were called to the scene and the girls were taken to Borders General Hospital where they were treated for mild hypothermia.

Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service have both issued warnings about the dangers of playing in and around water.


Tweed salmon catches up 40%

Figures show that salmon catches in the River Tweed are up 40% on the previous year.

A report by the River Tweed Commission shows that a total of 20,316 salmon were reported caught last year, up from 14,566 in 2012.

Chairman Dougas Dobbie put the increase down to a late run of exceptional catches, due to the autumn rainfall.

The Tweed Commission will go through the report at their AGM at the Cross Keys in Kelso at 9.30am this morning (3rd March).

The meeting is open to the public for the first time.

Border angler wins prestigious trophy

Shamus Jennings has won the Savills Malloch Trophy Credit: ITV News Border

A fisherman that landed a 50lb salmon in the River Tweed has been given a prestigious award for his catch.

Shamus Jennings, who owns part of the Boleside beat in Galashiels, has been announced as the winner of the Savills Malloch Trophy.

The award is given for the largest salmon caught on the fly and safely returned to Scottish waters.

Shamus caught the salmon, which weighs the same as an average 8 year old child, in October.

Wildlife protected at Hydro Electric site

The estate behind the first Hydro Electric Power Station in the Scottish Borders say that protecting wildlife is their number one priority.

Electricity is now being produced at Murray's Cauld near Selkirk.

Two giant turbines have been installed at the popular salmon-viewing spot on the River Tweed.

A spokesperson for Philiphaugh Estate said:

"To ensure the free passage of wildlife, we have worked closely with Scottish Natural Heritage and SEPA throughout the project.

"A new Larinier state of the art Salmon pass and a combined Eel, Lamprey and Smolt chute have been installed beside the turbines so that fish, eels, lampreys and smoults can ascend and descend the cauld. Screens prevent otters and larger fish from entering the turbines.

"In addition, we closely monitor the river level to ensure that the salmon pass and mill lade get a constant flow of water.

"Two electronic sensors have been placed in the river above and below the Cauld to measure water flow and height.

"These sensors can close off the turbines when water is low or if an obstruction to the flow occurs.

"Our first priority is to ensure that water can run down the fish passes, the second is to ensure that water descends the mill lade to protect this sensitive environment."

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