Permit holders on Water of Leith encouraged to send in vital catch return information

Water of Leith fishery officers want to hear from you...

Saturday, 9th November 2019, 6:00 am
A stretch of the Water of Leith near Balerno. Picture by Nigel Duncan Media
A stretch of the Water of Leith near Balerno. Picture by Nigel Duncan Media

Water of Leith fishery officers want to hear from you as, disappointingly, only a handful of nearly 500 permit-holding anglers have sent in catch returns. Honorary bailiff Lee Windram stressed that catch returns were important to gauge fish stocks.

The river re-opens for sport on April 1 with officers are already preparing for the new season and he encouraged fishermen to join the small team of fishery officers.

Lee revealed that 470 permits were issued last season. This compares with 481 in 2018 and 479 in the previous year with the Water of Leith Centre at 24 Lanark Road EH14 1TQ (0131 455 7367) by far the most popular pick-up point.

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Permits are free and fishing is from Balerno Bridge to Bonnington, and the water is managed by the Fishery

Officers on behalf of and in partnership with City of Edinburgh Council.

The Water of Leith Centre, incidentally, has a stock of dry, wet, nymph and lure patterns for sale. Dries are 60p, wet 70p and jungle cocks 80p. The centre is open daily from 10am to 4pm.

He added: “The Officers are volunteers and patrol the river regularly and check permits and offer helpful advice to anglers. Permits are essential to ensure that anglers know the rules and regulations and comply when fishing the river.

“This helps to maintain the long-term sustainability of the fishery.”

He confirmed that the river is no longer stocked and stressed that the officers rely on anglers to uphold and promote the catch and return policy.

He stressed: “There is no fishing for any species out-with the season.”

Meanwhile, The Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) have introduced new regulations for bass


From November 1 to December 31 fishermen using all methods of recreational fishing from a boat or from the shore must return their bass.

A spokesman said: “Any European seabass caught must be returned immediately. Bass must be handled carefully to ensure a high survival rate of released fish.

“Anglers are advised to carry forceps or long-nosed pliers to assist removal of hooks and to support fish in the water until they are able to swim away.”

Elsewhere, Cramond Angling Club secretary Joe Arndt reminds members that sending in a catch return is a condition of membership and should be submitted by November 15.

The annual meeting is on Wednesday, November 27 at 7.30pm at Cramond Boat club and any motions should be forwarded to [email protected] no later than two weeks prior to the meeting with details, proposer and seconder.