Fishing - The Tweed
The Tweed is the largest and most important salmon rod fishery in Europe, south of the Arctic Circle. It is a European Special Area of Conservation for Atlantic salmon and migratory lamprey species.
The Tweed has a catchment area of over 5000sq km and has approximately 15% of salmon spawning area in Scotland.
The largest ever rod catch of salmon was just under 23,000 in 2010.
In recent years catches have been lower, however, in 2019 the Northumberland Drift Nets which extended six miles out to sea have been closed after 30 years of campaigning. These nets have killed up to 18,000 migrating salmon per year.
The River Tweed Commission (RTC) is charged with managing Tweed Fisheries and works with the Scottish Government to provide information and biological data to enable Scotland to meet its national and international obligations.
The RTC was set up over 200 years ago and its jurisdiction extends five miles out to sea.
The Tweed Commissioner for the Bemersyde Beat is Peter Pitchford.
The first record of the Haigs fishing for salmon at Bemersyde occurs in a Charter dated 1294, which states:
“To all who this writing shall read, Petrus de Haga, Lord of Bemersyde, sends greeting in the Lord: Know all men, that forasmuch as I had agreed with the religious men, the Abbot and Convent of Melros, that for certain transgressions committed against them by me and mine, I and my heirs would pay to the same every year ten salmon, to wit, five fresh and five old, for ever.”
Nowadays we pay a levy to the River Tweed Commission and take care not to transgress the Angling Codes!
Full details of the salmon fishing and more photos of the beat can be found at www.fishpal.com/Scotland/Tweed/Bemersyde
The Tweed Salmon Code and Guidance on Spinning can be found by visiting: www.rtc.org.uk