Salmon is catch of the day as season gets underway

An angler at the mouth of the River Tay in Kenmore, Scotland, on the opening day of the salmon fishing season. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday January 15, 2016. A ceremony dating back to 1947 was held with fishermen following the Vale of Atholl Junior Pipe Band to the banks of the Tay where a toast was offered to bless the water for the new season.   Pic: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
An angler at the mouth of the River Tay in Kenmore, Scotland, on the opening day of the salmon fishing season. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday January 15, 2016. A ceremony dating back to 1947 was held with fishermen following the Vale of Atholl Junior Pipe Band to the banks of the Tay where a toast was offered to bless the water for the new season. Pic: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
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IT IS a pastime that has been boosted in recent years as rivers becoming cleaner and one that is being enjoyed once more, as salmon fishing season officially got underway today.

Crowds gathered on the banks of the River Tay in Scotland to watch as the first flies being cast as part of a traditional ceremony.

A pipe band led anglers and locals down to the banks at the Kenmore Hotel near Aberfeldy in Perthshire, where a toast was offered to bless the water for the new season.

A dram was poured into the river by Liz Grant, provost of Perth and Kinross - a symbolic gesture to keep the salmon “in good health”.

Three-time world Spey casting champion Scott Mackenzie then made the first cast of the day.

Any salmon caught before April will be have to be returned to the water in line with recent legislation.

Elsewhere, environment minister Dr Aileen McLeod opened the season on the river at a similar ceremony at Dunkeld.

She said: “Scotland is recognised across the world as the destination for salmon and freshwater fishing.”

The River Tay is Scotland’s longest at 119 miles and is one of the country’s five big Scottish salmon rivers.

There has been a salmon revival in many Yorkshire rivers too. Last year, the first Atlantic salmon to appear in the River Don at Rotherham and the River Dearne at Sprotbrough for around 150 years were recorded.

It follows a major engineering project involving the construction of a fish pass which opened up almost half the length of the Don to salmon and other migratory fish.