The chairman of Musselburgh and District Angling Association (MDAA) knows only too well how important that is because he made his first casts on the same river.
And he is especially keen to encourage youngsters into the sport he loves.
Halliday said the committee are looking at different projects to achieve this and another objective is to improve and maintain the habitat for future generations, and that is not just the fish. That is why the committee have forged close links with the Forth Rivers Trust (FRT) and the Forth District Salmon Fisheries Board (FDSFB).
MDAA will be organising volunteer days on the river next year and the work parties will be involved in bank clean-ups in a bid to control invasive species like Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed.
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The MDAA are keen to cut access paths through the vegetation, especially in areas where bank erosion is evident and Halliday encouraged any local groups or organisations who use the river to contact him if they think they can work together to improve the river.
Fishermen are due to return to the river later this month as grayling permits were scheduled to be sale from December 6 at Ace Bike Co, 101 North High Street, Musselburgh, behind the Brunton Hall (open Monday to Saturday 9am-6pm) and the Convenience Store at Eskview Road and Riverside Gardens (green canopy). The permits run from December 26 to March 15 and cost £15.
Fishing is from Wednesday to Monday, Tuesday is a non-fishing fishing.
All fishing is catch and release and by fly only and there is only one rod allowed per person. Anglers should only use barbless hooks.
And the permit area is from the estuary to the boundary with Buccleuch Estate, almost under the A1 trunk road, on both banks.