News 2023

News 2023

Monday, 25 December 2023 00:39

Have a very Merry Christmas

From all of us at Inverness Angling Club we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas.


Wednesday, 20 December 2023 21:27

Good Cause

Today Stevie Watt, John Ralph and Bill Byres presented a cheque to Maggies on behalf of IAC.
The money was raised through tackle sales that  were donated to the club this year, and it was decided that the money raised should be donated to Maggies as they do tremendous work for individuals and families dealing with cancer.
A mention of thanks to James Emery who assisted in the sale of the items.
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Thursday, 14 December 2023 16:44

AGM 2023 minutes

Inverness Angling Club AGM 2023 - Thursday 23rd November 2023

A downloadable copy of the minutes can be found HERE

Tuesday, 12 December 2023 20:55

2024 permits now available

The 2024 Season tickets are now available!

Families who buy permits as Christmas presents can purchase them now from Graham's Tackle shop on Castle Street by cash or cheque. Current adult members can continue their membership for £100, if you wish to pay via bank transfer please contact John Ralph.
Associate members will need to get in touch with John Ralph to renew their permits.
Remember free junior membership is available to those aged 17 and under. Intermediate membership, at a charge of £50, is available to anglers aged 18-20 inclusive.


Friday, 01 December 2023 17:14

2024 Permits

Permits for the 2024 season are currently with the IAC printers, we will update the site in due course when these become available for purchase.

Saturday, 28 October 2023 16:13

Last post

It is with some regret that I have decided to resign as editor of Inverness Angling Club’s web site. I have enjoyed keeping members, visitors and other interested anglers up to date on what’s happening on the town beats of the River Ness and on club matters.

The club has received many positive comments about the quality and content of its web site. Along with many others, I believe that the site is a key element of club management and contact with members. It seems, however, that some disagree, choosing the local press rather than simultaneous announcements through the web site.

To all those who have helped me to deliver the news about the club and its fishings, my sincere thanks. And tight lines for what we all hope will be a better season to come!

Alan Scott
Honorary Vice President

Saturday, 28 October 2023 15:49

Notice of AGM

In compliance with items 6.1, 6.2 and 6.5 of the constitution, notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of Inverness Angling Club will be held at Raigmore Recreation Hall on Thursday, 23rd November, 2023, at 7 for 7.30pm.

Under Rule 6.2, any notices of motion intended to be submitted to the AGM must be made in writing, signed by the member giving the notice and delivered to the secretary 10 clear days before the date of the meeting (ie by 13th November). These should be made to interim secretary Donnie Mackay at 8 Souter Drive, Inverness IV2 4XJ.

Monday, 23 October 2023 14:09

Returns boxes remain

Inverness Angling Club has confirmed that boxes for annual catch returns will remain in place until the end of October. The boxes are available in the Little Isle Hut, Grahams tackle shop and at the whisky counter in the Holm Mills shop.

The club is required, under Government regulation, to make an annual return of salmon, grilse and sea trout catches, and fishing effort for salmon and grilse. That requirement is placed on members under Rule 5.4 of club rules.

Sunday, 15 October 2023 12:59

Lucky for some!

Inverness Angling Club members and friends marked the end of the 2023 season at an enjoyable, jf weather-beaten, barbecue at the Mill Stream on Saturday (October 14).

As the chat and food flowed, two visiting anglers on FishPal tickets were making the best of the last day on the MacIntyre and Mill Stream Pools. And their efforts met success with William Center catching and releasing a six pound sea trout taken from the MacIntyre on the fly.

Last day catch: A nice sea trout for visitor

Tuesday, 10 October 2023 09:08

Return of Catches

With the 2023 season coming to an end on October 15, Inverness Angling Club permit holders are reminded that — under Rule 5.4 of the Rules Regulating the River Ness Fishings and Scottish Government legislation — they are required to submit a fully completed, and signed, annual return of catches.

Returns should be made on the card attached to the permit or submitted online through the club’s web site, including NIL returns and fishing effort in days per month. They can also be placed in the returns boxes in the Little Isle Hut, Grahams tackle shop and at the whisky counter in the Holm Mills shop. They must be received no later than October 23. Failure to comply will incur an additional charge, currently £20, when renewing a permit in the subsequent year.

Sunday, 08 October 2023 15:59

Ness rises as heavy rains fall

Heavy rains may not have affected Inverness as badly as some other parts of Scotland this week-end, but they have certainly pushed up the level of the River Ness. And lots of standing water can be seen around the city. It remains to be seen whether levels continue to rise and force the closure of the popular walks through the Ness Islands.

Above and below: The Little Isle wall takes a hamering

Thursday, 05 October 2023 14:05

BBQ aims to raise anglers’ spirits

Inverness Angling Club will try to end a very disappointing season on a happy note on Saturday, October 14, when members, family and friends gather for the annual end of season barbecue.

The event will take place at the Mill Stream hut from 12 noon that day. Please note that cars should be left in the upper car park as the riverside car park remains closed for safety reasons.

As of today (October 5) the total catch of salmon and grilse for the current season remains at 38, the lowest since 1955. Few fish are showing in the river, discouraging anglers from having a cast, so it seems unlikely that the catch total will rise much before the season ends.

Thursday, 28 September 2023 17:18

Low catch as season nears end

IAC member Donnie Cameron has made a significant contribution to the catch record on the club water in a season when salmon have been few and far between.

Donnie caught and released his eighth fish of the season today — a coloured seven pound grilse from the MacIntyre Pool. This came 20 days after his last fish which was also the most recent fish taken on the club beat.

With just 38 salmon and grilse accounted for so far, it has been a long time since the town fishings produced such a low catch by this time of the year. There would seem little chance of that figure rising much further with just 14 fishing days of the season left.

Friday, 15 September 2023 15:13

Little Isle access restrictions for marathon

The annual Loch Ness Marathon takes place on Sunday, October 1, and involves some restrictions on access to the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness on days before and after the event.

Significant logistics movements will take place in and around the Little Isle car park on Wednesday, September 27. Members seeking access to the Little Isle that day should use the RNI car park where possible. Disabled members, and those with limited mobility, will be allowed access towards the Little Isle car park. Depending on weather they will be able to park hard right on the Bught Park. Access will be via Ballifeary Road and the Ness Walk junction roundabout where they should show their club membership card and their disability pass where appropriate. The site manager will co-ordinate this movement.

For logistical and safety reasons the weekend closure on Bught Road begins on Friday September 29 at 11am and continues through to mid-day on Monday October 2. Access to the Little Isle car park will be possible on the Friday and Saturday on production of passes to stewards at the Ballifeary Road/Ness Walk junction roundabout.

Full information on the marathon is available at


Monday, 11 September 2023 14:35

Denny’s donation will help tying group

Long-term IAC member and tenacious trout angler Denny Mackay has made a key contribution to the activities of the club’s Cascade Fly Tying Group.

Now that he is no longer tying as many flies as in the past, Denny has donated a wide range of materials and tools to the tying classes which begin on November 15 in Hilton Community Centre.

Denny’s gift will be of special value to newcomers to fly tying, enabling them to test their liking and skill for the craft free of initial expense. But the materials will also help more experienced tyers apply their skills to a wider range of flies.

Class instructors will be skilled tyers Graham MacKenzie, James Stewart and Christa Douglas, a professional fly tyer who recently moved to Inverness. All interested are welcome, including non members of the club. 

Thursday, 07 September 2023 12:21

Club prepares plans for tying classes

Inverness Angling Club’s annual fly tying classes will begin on November 15 and run weekly to mid-February, with a break for the festive season. They will be held in Hilton Community Centre from 1900 to 2030 hours.

Everyone interested in tying fishing flies — beginners, those who have some experience but want to develop their skills and skilled tyers who will enjoy tying in a friendly, social atmosphere — are welcome. The charge will be £2.00 per night to cover room hire, with juniors (under 18) being admitted free.

Those who have attended previous classes will be contacted by e-mail in the next few weeks. Newcomers should register by sending their e-mail address by text to the organiser at 07785 287995. A registration form will be sent by return.

Instructors suggest that beginners should not buy any equipment before attending the classes. Tools and materials can be loaned to help get them started. To assist with this, the class is appealing to any angler who has spare or unwanted tying tools and materials to donate them to the class. Please text the organiser to arrange collection.

Monday, 04 September 2023 17:04

Donnie makes seven

Early morning on the Silver Wells Pool of Inverness Angling Club’s beats today saw Donnie Cameron catch and release his seventh fish of the season.

This attractive pool, graced by St Andrew’s Cathedral on the left bank and Inverness Castle on the right, has a well-deserved reputation for producing fish throughout the season.

Donnie described this fish as having a purple tinge, perhaps indicating that it has been in fresh water for a week or two.

Friday, 01 September 2023 13:32

First for Malcolm

Malcolm Riddell opened his account for the season at the close of August on Thursday. Fishing a red Toby through the Red Braes, he caught and released a cock salmon of eight pounds. It was the 27th fish for August — a poor total for club beats that traditionally landed as many in a week.

Wednesday, 30 August 2023 11:39

Ghost charms grilse for Lee

April was the last time club member Lee Mackenzie got hold of a salmon — a nine pound springer caught and released in the Mill Stream.

Lee was on the mark again on Tuesday when his home-tied Blue Ghost fly attracted a six pound cock grilse in the MacIntyre Pool. It was landed safely and released to continue its journey to the spawning grounds.

Saturday, 26 August 2023 14:19

Toby works for Murray

The Red Braes produced another fish today. Murray Richardson, spinning a copper Toby rather than casting his favoured fly, landed and retained a five pound grilse.

Friday, 25 August 2023 14:33

Donnie gets another grilse

The Macintyre Pool gave Donnie Cameron his sixth fish of the season at the crack of dawn this morning. It was a four pound sea-liced cock grilse, caught on the fly and released.

Thursday, 24 August 2023 13:30

Andy ends a lean period

Salmon may be few and far between on the River Ness at present and even leading lights are finding it hard to get a tug. But one of these leading anglers did score on Wednesday.

Spinning an orange and gold Devon minnow through the west side of the Mill Stream, Andy Massari landed and released a salmon of six pounds — his first fish in two seasons.

Wednesday, 23 August 2023 14:33

Davie does well

Traditionally, the River Ness produces its best results at this time of the year when salmon catches on the club water could reach well into double figures each day. Like most of Scotland's rivers, however, catches have been below historic levels for some years. Even the hardest fishers are not getting their usual results.

That’s been the case for Davie Dyce, one of the top anglers on the club beats. But he opened his account on Tuesday with a good grilse of five pounds. It was caught and released on the Red Braes Pool on a Cascade. With his record, more should follow.

Monday, 21 August 2023 09:57

Fly success

Early morning is fairly catching on in Inverness Angling Club’s River Ness beats. Fishing through the Little Isle Pool at 6.45 this morning Arthur Ferguson caught and retained a grilse of 4.5lbs on the fly. 

Another early angler was the club’s honorary president Graham MacKenzie who landed and released a sea liced sea trout of three pounds form the Little Isle Pool. It was attracted by one of Graham’s favourite salmon flies, a Silver Stoat.

Saturday, 19 August 2023 11:49

Devon delivers

An early visit to the Weir Pool brought a result for Donnie Urquhart this morning. Fishing a Devon minnow, he caught and released a grilse of five pounds. The morning was also good for Donnie Cameron who caught and released a six pound grilse on the fly in the MacIntyre Pool.

Friday, 18 August 2023 11:52

Early start brings return

Early morning is always a good time to cast for salmon. And so it proved for Brian McBain around 7.30 this morning. Back on the MacIntyre Pool, he caught and released a salmon of eight pounds — his third over a seven day period. Once again, his Purple Parrot fly proved to be an irresistible attraction.

Tuesday, 15 August 2023 14:09

Another grilse for Brian

The MacIntyre Pool is proving to be fertile water for club member Brian McBain. Within four days of his first catch — a six pound grilse retained — he caught and retained another grilse, weighing in at five pounds. Under club conservation rules on retaining fish, Brian has reached his two fish limit for the season. 

Up on the Weir Pool, Donnie Urquhart was also in action. Spinning a Devon minnow, he landed and retained a cock grilse of five pounds.


Monday, 14 August 2023 17:20

Donnie makes four

An early morning visit to the MacIntyre Pool today brought a good result for Donnie Cameron — his fourth fish of the season. A sea-liced grilse of five pounds gave him a hard fight before being landed and released.

Saturday, 12 August 2023 08:23

Parrot attracts

An early start gave Brian McBain just what he was looking for on Friday morning. Fishing a Purple Parrot fly on the MacIntyre Pool, he landed and retained a cock fish of six pounds. 

Moving into Saturday, Chris Bruce got his first of the season — a five pound grilse from the Mill Stream which he released.

Wednesday, 09 August 2023 21:13

Evening result

With a favourable tide and light beginning to wane around 8pm this evening, conditions proved right for Gary Goddard. Fishing a size 10 Cascade on the Mill Stream he caught and released a fresh cock salmon of seven pounds. It proved to the 12th fish off the club water this month and the 22nd of the season.

Wednesday, 09 August 2023 16:37

Government publishes proposed river gradings for 2024

The Marine Directorate of the Scottish Government, which regulates the killing of salmon in Scottish waters, has launched a consultation on its proposed conservation river gradings for the 2024 season. The consultation is now open and closes on September 8. Interested parties can submit their views by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The full list of proposed gradings can be viewed at:

There are few changes from current gradings with the River Ness remaining at category two. While the Ness has been assessed at category one in some previous years, the assessment changed to category two from 2023 to reflect the Special Area of Conservation of the River Moriston.

While category two allows the limited killing of salmon, Ness beats have agreed to strict controls. Inverness Angling Club restricts members to taking two cock fish of eight pounds or under per season and only one in any given week. All other fish must be released. In 2022, club members and visitors released 49 of 73 fish caught (67.12 per cent) and 26 of 35 sea trout (74.29 per cent).

Monday, 07 August 2023 21:27

Bird count completed

Donnie Mackay and James Emery joined forces today to carry out a bird count on the waters of the River Ness. Covering over 15 miles — until Donnie got a picture! — they spotted one group of mergansers and a few on their own. These birds prey on young salmon and trout so it is important to keep track of their numbers to assess the potential impact on stocks.

Predators: A group of mergansers on the Ness

Monday, 07 August 2023 14:37

Week starts well

Mondays always attract expectant anglers as rivers get a rest over the weekend. And the Ness club waters have certainly delivered today.

Catch of the day must go to young Klay Sutherland, out on the Weir Pool with father John. Spinning the tail of the pool, Klay caught and retained his first ever salmon — a bright, sea-iced specimen of seven pounds. John joined his lad later in the day, landing and retaining a 3.5lb grilse.

Grilse were also evident on the MacIntyre Pool where both Ally Henderson and Kevin MacDonald caught and released fish of five pounds on the fly.

Happy junior: A first for Klay

Dad too!: A grilse for John

Sunday, 06 August 2023 14:04

Anglers aid Moy Fair

Inverness Angling Club continued its decades-long support of the Moy Country Fair on Friday and Saturday through the organisation of Anglers Corner, a key element of the fair. The event maintained its popularity, attracting the general public and anglers with competitions and coaching in casting with salmon and trout rods. The casting competitions were well contested with the following results:

Salmon distance — Scott Mackenzie Cup for Men — 1 Jordan Grant, 60 yards; 2 Aiden Macdonald, 56 yards. Women — 1 Camryn Stewart, 31 yards; 2 Deirdre Stewart, 25 yards. Boys — 1 James Stewart, 48 yards; 2 Daniel Grant, 44 yards. Girls — 1 Maisie Mackay, 29 yards; 2 Lois Stewart, 26 yards.

Trout accuracy — Men — 1 equal Nicolas Ferguson and Brian Wallace, 40 points; 2 George Macintosh, 35 points. Women — Laura Deans, 5 points; 2 Paige Kaka, 2 points. Boys — Jack Gow, 32 points; 2 equal Ruariadh Horsburgh, Arran Ford and Joe Sheldon, 5 points. Girls — 1 equal Eve Astley Jones and Eilidh Horrocks, 2 points.

Income from the two-day event reached just under £750. A sale of donated fishing equipment in aid of Maggie’s Cancer Centre is expected to bring in some £600.

Sunday, 06 August 2023 10:29

Ness catches rise

The River Ness has produced its best catch of the season so far with 32 salmon and grilse reported from three main beats over the past week.

Dochfour topped the total with 16 fish, followed by nine from Ness Castle and seven from Inverness Angling Club’s waters. Hopefully, this bodes well for the next couple of months — traditionally the best for runs of salmon and grilse.

The town waters soon should see more fish being landed daily — provided more of the club’s skilled anglers take to its productive pools, from the Red Braes down through the Weir, Mill Stream, MacIntyre, General’s Well and Little Isle, to the Silver Wells and Castle.

Popular place: The neck of the Little Isle Pool

Friday, 04 August 2023 14:06

A thumper of a fish for John

The good news is that catches from the club water appear to be coming on a daily basis. John Sutherland was up and at ‘em again today with a splendid result. Fishing his favoured spot at the Weir Pool, he landed and released a magnificent salmon of over 16 pounds on a Flying C lure. Down on the west bank of the Mill Stream another of the club's regular 'catchers', Donald Macpherson Jnr, retained a five pound cock grilse taken on a red Ally's Shrimp.

A cracker: Second of the season for John

Mill delivers: A grilse for Donald

Thursday, 03 August 2023 20:30

New role for Donnie

Inverness Angling Club has appointed Donnie Mackay to the position of acting secretary with immediate effect. The appointment follows the resignation from the post of James Emery who invested substantial effort in the role during his term in office.

Thursday, 03 August 2023 15:22

Fly works well

A size 10 ‘Roncade’ fly is working well for club member Alex Evans. Following a catch of a sea trout on the Red Braes last Saturday, the fly delivered a four pound grilse from the Weir Pool today. The fish was retained.

The Weir Pool was also the scene for the start of a brisk battle that Brian Wallace had with a 10lb salmon. Attracted by a Posh Tosh fly, the fish was hooked at the tail of the Weir and took Brian down to the Mill Stream before being released.

The best result of the day was produced by club member Donnie Cameron on the MacIntyre Pool. He caught two grilse on the fly — a five pounder that was released and and six pounder he retained.


Result: The 'Roncade' delivers for Alex

Wednesday, 02 August 2023 09:30

Bird count needs help

Inverness Angling Club is seeking volunteers to help with a bird count of goosanders and mergansers on the River Ness.

The annual count is crucial to understanding the impact that the so-called ‘sawbills’ can have on young salmonids, especially when the number of returning grilse and salmon are at critically low levels.

The count, organised by committee member Donnie Mackay, will take place from eight am on Monday, August 7. It will run from the Holm Bridge to the end of the club waters. Those interested in helping should call Donnie on 07902 921313 to confirm arrangements.

Tuesday, 01 August 2023 17:38

Grilse for Peter

The first August fish was caught at the Mill Stream this afternoon (Tuesday). Club member Peter Easton landed and retained a cock grilse of five pounds on a Devon minnow.

Saturday, 29 July 2023 14:40

Sea trout for Alex

While there may be a lack of salmon at present, sea trout are providing some excitement for club anglers. The latest catch, a 2.5lb specimen, was landed and released on Friday evening on the lower section of the Red Braes Pool. The successful angler was Alex Evans, fishing a size 10 ‘Roncade’ fly.

Nice one!: Fresh sea trout from the Braes

Friday, 28 July 2023 16:11

Anglers Corner needs your help

Inverness Angling Club requires volunteers to help run Anglers Corner at the Moy Country Fair on Friday and Saturday, August 4 and 5. Help is also needed at Moy from 6.30pm to 9pm on the evening of Wednesday, August 2, to help set up Anglers Corner.

Anglers Corner is a key element of the fair which the club has run with great success over many years. But its success depends on member support. If you are available and able to assist please put your name on the list in the Little Isle hut or speak to a club official.

Friday, 28 July 2023 16:08

We live in hope!

Willie Clark pushed the season’s total catch on the club beats into double figures on Thursday evening with a fresh five pound grilse from the Little Isle on a Cascade. It’s good to see fish being landed on a more regular basis, perhaps heralding better things to come. August catches last year totalled 64 but declined to single figures again over September and October. Hopefully, Ness salmon will arrive in sufficient numbers to push this year’s total beyond the 72 landed in 2022.

Monday, 24 July 2023 19:08

MacIntyre delivers for Allan

Club water catches continue to rise, if at a very slow pace. Member Allan Crawford brought the total to nine for the season, and four for the month, with a lively grilse caught and released from the north bank of the McIntyre Pool. The fish was attracted by a home-tied Cascade fly.

Fresh fish: Allan's Mac catch

Thursday, 20 July 2023 09:39

Day angler nabs fine sea trout

A local taking a day ticket on the River Ness club water on Wednesday enjoyed successful angling. Steven Robertson caught and released a hen sea trout of 3lb 2oz at the top of the Weir Pool, using a 15g pink Flying C.

It’s been a lean season so far with just eight salmon or grilse caught and released, together with a few good sea trout. High temperatures and low river levels are bound to have contributed to that.

River levels — as shown on Sepa’s Ness-side gauging station — continue to fluctuate but are now within ‘normal’ levels at just over one metre. Hopefully, levels will remain steady to support successful fishing as the peak months of the season approach.

Tuesday, 18 July 2023 11:23

Catch pictures should meet best practise

Inverness Angling Club welcomes pictures of fish catches for use on its web site. But the club is keen to ensure that pictures submitted demonstrate best handling practises.

At a time when most salmon catches are released it is crucial that fish remain free from damage so that they can make a successful return to the spawning grounds. As a couple of recent pictures have not been used, earlier advice is repeated here so that we are able to use more pictures.

Always carry a net or make sure one is available where you are fishing. It’s the best way to ensure that released fish are undamaged and reach the spawning grounds in good health. Play the fish firmly and net it as quickly as possible. An extended tussle could threaten its survival. Keep the fish in the net, in the water and handle it as little as possible prior to release. Don’t damage the fish by dragging it onto the beach or bank.

Wet your hands before handling a fish as this minimises damage to the mucus that protects fish from infection. Never lift a fish by the tail as this can damage its spine. When releasing a fish, support it with one hand under the forward belly area and the other around its tail, facing it into the current to ensure it gets sufficient oxygen to recover. When it begins to kick and show that it has recovered, gently let it go.

So what about that photo? Kneel down in the shallows, keeping the fish in the net and in the water. Take a photo that clearly shows the fish in the net. To include yourself in the photo, stay kneeling, wet your hands and lift the fish a little out of the net in the way described above. Get a companion to take the photo quickly then return the fish to the net in the water and release it as described.

Tuesday, 18 July 2023 10:39

Fly move by John

IAC member John Sutherland achieved significant success on the Weir Pool last season using his spinning tackle. Today (Tuesday) he chose to return to the Weir with his fly rod — and repeated last year’s success.

John landed and released a cock salmon of over six pounds from the tail of the Weir, in what is now becoming known as the Bridge Pool under the east side of the Holm Bridge.

John’s nine-year-old son Klay is following in his Dad’s footsteps as one of the club’s junior members. Fishing the fly on the Weir Pool today, he caught and released a 3/4lb sea trout.

Down on the General's Well Pool, Chris Murchison caught and released an eight pound cock salmon on the fly, raising the season's total to eight fish and, perhaps, indicating that more fish may be on the way - attracted by fresher water.

Bonnie fish: Klay with his catch

Wednesday, 05 July 2023 14:08

Success for Jim

Low water and bright sunshine didn’t discourage IAC associate member James Buchanan from making his annual visit to the River Ness from his home in Glasgow. And it proved to be well worth while.

Spinning the Little Isle Pool, Jim landed and released a four pound salmon just before noon today (Wednesday). It is the first fish from the club water since May 6 and just the sixth of the season. Will rain ever come to raise the level of the Ness from its lowest point for many a year?

Friday, 30 June 2023 20:01

Prepare for pinks

The first pink salmon of 2023 has been reported from a Highland river. Anglers are being asked to report all sightings throughout Scotland following significant numbers reported every other year since 2017. Any catches should be humanely killed.

Pink salmon are native to the northern Pacific Ocean where they support a valuable fishery. But they are a non-native species in the north east Atlantic. They were deliberately introduced to Russian rivers in the White Sea region from 1955 to 1999, spreading then to Norway. They have since ‘strayed’ to some European rivers.

Reports of sightings and catches may be made to Fisheries Management Scotland via its app at

Thursday, 29 June 2023 18:03

Conon draw for juniors

The draw for juniors nominated to fish the top beats of the River Conon in August has been made by club member Geraldine Connah.

The successful nominee was Klay Sutherland with Oscar McKinney second and Daniel Grant third. Should Klay not be able to attend, Oscar will be invited to go. Daniel will be invited if neither of the others can manage.

Chosen: Geraldine makes the draw with club president Bill Byers

Monday, 26 June 2023 15:20

Warm water impact

The Scottish Government has issued advice to anglers on fishing in warm rivers, following analysis of evidence of the effects of high temperature on fish welfare. The advice takes a similar approach to that adopted in Wales, Ireland and Canada.

The government suggests avoiding angling in water temperature above 20 degrees centigrade, taking extra care in temperature of 18 to 20C and following best practice in handling fish below 18C.

Wednesday, 21 June 2023 20:55

Casters make progress

Coaches have been impressed by the progress of those attending Inverness Angling Club’s annual Casting Clinics.

Both novice and more experienced anglers have built up skills with salmon and trout fly rods that will stand them in good stead when they head out to catch fish on loch or river.

The final session of this year’s clinics will be held at the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness next Wednesday, June 28, at 7pm, when all are welcome to attend.

Progress: Anglers improve their skills

New members: Father and son Sandy and James MacKenzie

Tuesday, 20 June 2023 11:35

Fish die as River Ness levels drop

A sudden drop in water levels on the River Ness is endangering numerous species of fish, eels, lampreys and invertebrates.

Members of Inverness Angling Club joined a team from the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board (NDSFB) on Monday to rescue fish affected by the sudden drop which had caused nursery areas like the Mill lade to dry up.

Club president Bill Byers said he understood that the low flows in the River Ness were the result of adjustments to the sluices at the Dochfour weir. These were installed to compensate for the operations of the Foyers pump storage hydro scheme which extracts water from Loch Ness to generate power.

“Adjustments to the Dochfour sluices are the responsibility of Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE),” said Bill. “They need to ensure that the River Ness gets a decent level of compensation water to maintain fish stocks which are already at critically low levels.

“Monday’s efforts resulted in a good number of fish being rescued and transferred to the river. Sadly, however, we could not save all.”

Brian Shaw, director of the NDSFB, confirmed that hundreds of fish had been rescued, including eels large and small, salmon and trout fry and parr, sticklebacks and lamprey.

Low level: The Mill lade dries up

Rescue: Electro fishing saves hundreds

Released: John Ralph releases some rescued fish

Sunday, 18 June 2023 22:59

Ness fish stocks suffer in low water

Low water on the River Ness is having a potentially serious impact. When club member Alex Evans visited the river on Saturday he noticed that trout fry and possibly salmon parr were stranded in a pool of the depleted Holm Burn. He tried transferring fish from burn to river with the first thing that came to hand — a Macdonald’s coffee cup!

Club president Bill Byers alerted fishery board director Brian Shaw to the problem and a full scale rescue effort is being launched on Monday afternoon, using the board’s electro fishing equipment to capture and transfer fish to the river. A rescue group will meet at the Mill Stream at 1400 hours.


Sunday, 18 June 2023 10:26

Club updates valued brochure

Inverness Angling Club has always seen the provision of information on its fishings as a key part of its responsibilities. It is important for new members and visitors but also for current members, reminding them of important detail that may have slipped their minds and of their responsibilities in maintaining a healthy fishery and club.

To further this, the club has published — since 2009 — an all encompassing brochure welcomed not only by members and visitors but described by one leading angling writer as the best club brochure he had seen. And in order to maintain that reputation, the club has prided itself on accuracy. So updates are essential as regulations and club rules change.

The latest edition of the brochure will be available soon, presenting accurate, up-to-date information in its usual handy pocket size printed version. It will also be available on the club web site to augment the detail already there. Watch the web news pages for confirmation of when it is available.

Thursday, 15 June 2023 08:42

Casting coaching continues

Inverness Angling Club’s annual series of Casting Clinics will continue for the next two weeks, helping those interested in taking up the sport and anglers seeking to improve their casting skills.

The first two clinics have helped a range of anglers — from youngsters taking their first cast with trout rods to those keen to learn or improve the arts of casting with salmon fly rods.

Three times world speycasting champion Scott Mackenzie and top instructor Frank Durdle join qualified club coaches to pass on their skills on Wednesday evenings at the Little Isle Pool by the Bught Park. The final two classes will be held from 7 to 9 pm on June 21 and 28.

Saturday, 10 June 2023 10:03

BBC covers falling levels of Loch Ness

Low water levels in the Ness System have caught the attention of BBC News. A detailed piece by Highlands and Islands reporter Steven McKenzie underlines the severity of the current situation with information and comments from a variety of individuals, including Ness District Salmon Fishery Board director Brian Shaw.

The story highlights that Loch Ness dropped to its lowest level in 32 years, according to Scottish Environment Protection Agency figures.

Low water impact: The Little Isle Pool and (below) the Gullie's Feet

Friday, 09 June 2023 15:57

Water scarcity hits Ness

While not surprising to those who have been casting a line over the River Ness, Sepa has confirmed the severity of the lack of water in the area.

In a press release issued today, Sepa states: “The risk of water scarcity around the Loch Maree area in the Highlands has been raised to Significant, the highest level available. Two areas are also now at moderate scarcity — the Ness area in the Highlands and the Esk area of Dumfriesshire.”

The release adds the following:
37 areas are now at Alert level.  
Seven areas are at early warning for Water Scarcity - Orkney, Ythan, Don, Kintyre, Firth of Clyde, Loch Fyne and the River Add. 
Businesses extracting water are being urged to put their water scarcity plans into action now to reduce pressure on the environment and preserve water resources.  
Little rain is forecast for the next few weeks, and the water scarcity situation is expected to escalate quickly.  

Thursday, 25 May 2023 21:19

Enter the Conon raffle now

Time is running out for the chance to fish the top beats of the Conon’s Coul Water. Two separate prizes of three days fishing will be in the draw — July 3 to 5 and July 6 to 8. Tickets, priced at £20 each, are available from Grahams or from club treasurer John Ralph. The draw will take place on June 3.

The nominations for juniors will be drawn at the end of June for fishing on August 21, 22 and 23. If the successful nominees are unable to get off school for the day, the winner may do an evening’s fishing rather than the day.

Thursday, 25 May 2023 10:39

Sea trout on the move

As Ness anglers report more sightings of sea trout, Donald Macpherson Jnr confirmed their presence with a two pound, sea liced fish — the best reported so far. So get out those wee silver stoats and teal, blue and silver and get casting!

First of many?: A good catch

Saturday, 20 May 2023 11:26

Odd year potential for pink arrival

Marine Scotland has advised anglers about the potential arrival of pink (humpback) salmon in Scotland’s rivers this year, with the Ness and Helmsdale likely watersheds following previous appearances. The species has a two-year life cycle and usually appears in Scottish waters in odd numbered years. 169 pinks were recorded in 2021 — the highest number to date.

There is concern that this invasive species could out-compete native stocks for food and habitat. Marine Scotland has asked anglers to humanely kill any pinks they catch and advise the local fishery board. A contact number for Ness District Salmon Fishery Board is given in Inverness Angling Club permits.

Friday, 19 May 2023 12:24

Casting Clinics open to all

Aspiring anglers are invited to develop their casting skills at the annual Casting Clinics organised by Inverness Angling Club. They are being staged at the Little Isle Pool from 7pm to 9pm each Wednesday evening throughout June — on June 7, 14, 21 and 28. All are welcome. Club membership is not a requirement.

Three times world speycasting champion Scott Mackenzie, top instructor Frank Durdle and qualified club coaches will introduce newcomers to casting techniques or help anglers who feel they need to refine their casting skills.

The club is especially keen to welcome young anglers — and their parents — to build their skills with trout rods on the grassy area of the adjacent Bught Park. Salmon and trout rods, along with reels and lines, will be provided, courtesy of leading international tackle supplier, Loop.

Sunday, 07 May 2023 09:56

Catch a day on the Conon

Club treasurer and membership secretary John Ralph has now received the raffle tickets for the free fishing opportunities on the top beats of the River Conon Coul Water. The tickets, priced at £20 each, are available from Grahams or John. With just 20 tickets available, it is first come, first served. Winners will be drawn on Saturday, June 3. Nominations are also being requested for junior club members for free guided fishing on the Conon. Names and contact details should be forwarded to John Ralph.

Sunday, 07 May 2023 09:32

Wells delivers for Donnie

Donnie Cameron crowned himself with glory on the Ness club water on Saturday, hooking and releasing an eight pound salmon in the Silver Wells. The fish was attracted by a Yellow Ally’s Shrimp — always a popular fly in the Spring. Donnie didn’t manage to get a decent picture of the fish but unhooked it in the water without touching it to give it the best change of survival.

Wednesday, 03 May 2023 16:42

First for Brian

Inverness Angling Club’s beats notched up another fish today when member Brian Wallace struck lucky on the east side of the Mill Stream. Fishing a pink version of the traditional Willie Gunn fly, Brian netted and released a spring salmon of eight pounds — his first of the season and the fourth for the club water this season so far.

Netted: A fine springer for Brian

Monday, 01 May 2023 11:23

Our thoughts are with you Walter

Much respected club and former committee member Walter MacKay is in Raigmore Hospital following a recent stroke. Club president Bill Byers has been in touch with Walter’s wife, Margaret, to extend our best wishes for his recovery. It is a tribute to the seriously pressed NHS that paramedics reached Walter’s home near Inverarnie within 12 minutes of being called.


Friday, 28 April 2023 17:50

Honesty pays — a story to prove it

Club member Gordon Macmillan tells us that, along with a companion, he recently recovered a very expensive fly rod and reel from the bank of the Weir Pool on the IAC water. In handing them into Grahams tackle shop he found that they had been lost by a visiting angler from a boat in the Dochfour area on October 22.

Gordon continues: “At the time i was unaware that a reward had been offered for their recovery. Recently, I returned to Grahams to have my own spinning rod repaired. To my surprise i was handed an envelope which contained a sizeable reward of vouchers for Grahams which I shared with my fishing companion. I have since had regular contact from the visiting angler and thanked him for his generosity.

“He thanked me for my honesty and the return of a rod and reel that was very sentimental to him. How the rod and reel travelled such a distance, and over several weirs, is quite unbelievable. It is a testament to the manufacturer of the rod and reel and a lot of good fortune for both of us.”

Friday, 28 April 2023 13:07

Care for salmon — and get that photo!

There is no doubt that less salmon are running Scotland’s rivers, so we need to take special care of those we are lucky enough to land and release. Inverness Angling Club welcomes pictures of catches for inclusion in our web news reports. But we need to present these pictures in a more caring way. So here is some guidance that the club would like all members to follow.

Always carry a net. It’s the best way to ensure that released fish are undamaged and reach the spawning grounds in good health. Play the fish firmly and net it as quickly as possible. An extended tussle could threaten its survival. Keep the fish in the net, in the water and handle it as little as possible prior to release. Don’t damage the fish by dragging it onto the beach or bank.

Wet your hands before handling a fish as this minimises damage to the mucus that protects fish from infection. Never lift a fish by the tail as this can damage its spine. When releasing a fish, support it with one hand under the forward belly area and the other around its tail, facing it into the current to ensure it gets sufficient oxygen to recover. When it begins to kick and show that it has recovered, gently let it go.

So what about that photo? Keep the fish in the net and in the water. Take a photo that clearly shows the fish in the net. To include yourself in the photo, wet your hands and lift the fish a little out of the net in the way described above. Take the photo quickly, preferably including the net, return the fish to the water and release it as described.

Friday, 28 April 2023 12:27

And Paul makes three!

The season's Springer number three was caught and released on the club water of the River Ness this morning. The fortunate angler was a delighted IAC member Paul MacFadyen, using a Devon minnow on the Mill Stream.

Paul explained: “A chap called Gary helped me to land it, take a photo and said it was around 12 or 13lbs. It was my first fish at that size so I’ll be honest and say I have no idea what weight it was!”

Well done Paul -- and may you have many more!

Thursday, 27 April 2023 15:35

Coul offer from Conon

John Macaskill, head ghillie on the Coul Water of the River Conon, is again offering free fishing to junior angling club members. Three dates are available — August 21, 22 and 23. Junior members of Inverness Angling Club should contact treasurer and membership secretary John Ralph if they wish to put their names forward for nomination. Each junior must be accompanied by an adult on the day.

In addition, a raffle is being run to give adults the opportunity to fish the Coul beats in a prime week of the season — the week beginning Monday, July 3. The winners will be drawn on Saturday, June 3. Raffle tickets, at £20 per ticket, will be available shortly through John Ralph.

Last year’s event was a great success with anglers landing 11 fish, hooking and losing any more and raising £2,100 for the Missing Salmon Alliance.

Tuesday, 25 April 2023 14:00

Lee makes it two

The second salmon of the season came off Inverness Angling Club’s beats today. Fishing the Mill Stream, Lee Mackenzie thought he was into another trout when the fish took off and the reel screamed. Attracted by the famed Willie Gunn fly, the springer weighed nine pounds and was safely released.

Silver springer: Success for Lee

Sunday, 23 April 2023 14:24

Ruthven boat launched

The famed brown trout fishery of Loch Ruthven is available to members of Inverness Angling Club once again. Secretary James Emery, with the help of member Willie MacBeath, launched the club boat on the loch at the weekend. The boat is available free to members through Grahams tackle shop. When not being used by members the boat can be hired by visitors, generating useful income for the club.

Sunday, 23 April 2023 14:07

Tackle for sale

A wide selection of fishing tackle, kindly donated to Inverness Angling Club, is to be made available for purchase by club members. Remaining items will go for auction and all proceeds will be donated to charity.

A list of the items — which includes salmon and trout rods and reels, chest waders, wading jackets, tackle bags, fly boxes and wading sticks — is available from the club hut at the Little Isle. Those interested should contact the secretary or a committee member (see membership card for contact details).

Friday, 07 April 2023 14:08

Little Isle Lab gets its name

A handsome timber statue of a Labrador graces an otherwise unsightly sight by the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness. The example of chainsaw art, donated to Inverness Angling Club and placed by the club hut, disputes the local council’s claim that its wall — built alongside the pool at great expense — is riverside art.

And now anglers will not face so many questions from visitors who come to admire the dog and ask: “What’s its name?” A competition run by the Inverness Courier named the dog Breac — Gaelic for Speckled Trout. A new plaque confirms the name for all to see and enjoy. The plaque was supplied by Scott Hay, opening day piper, who featured recently on Antiques Roadshow at Brodie Castle.


Breac: An artistic addition

Monday, 03 April 2023 17:51

Kevin lands first of the season

The season has begun. Veteran Inverness Angling Club member Kevin ‘Kevo’ MacDonald ‘got the show on the road’ just after 3pm today (Monday) at the Weir Pool.

Fishing the fly, Kevin landed a bright, sea-lined 15lb springer after a brisk, 20 minute tussle. It was netted by club secretary James Emery and released to continue its journey to the spawning grounds. The catch was witnessed by Alex Evans and photographed by Jeremy Newham.

1st catch of 2023

Delighted Kevin: A superb fish to open the club season

Thursday, 30 March 2023 15:50

A chance to learn

Countryside Learning Scotland is offering National Progression Awards in Angling and the Aquatic Environment at SCQF Level 3. Participants will have access to online learning resources, with online tutorials, and six day angling and fieldwork instruction at Castle Grant on the River Spey.

The practical element of the course — from July 10 to 16, 2023 — costs £65 per person which includes SQA qualification, entry fee, food, onsite transport and all angling equipment. The maximum number of participants will be eight.

Any adult or junior member of Inverness Angling Club interested in the course should get in touch with club secretary James Emery through the contact details given in club membership cards.

Tuesday, 28 March 2023 21:56

Timely tips

Attention: Trout anglers
Inverness Angling Club’s boat on Loch Ruthven should be back in the water on April 5 or 6. Check this page for final confirmation.

Renew and save
Adult club membership should be renewed by the end of March to save a £20 excess on the fee. Check Ness permits on the fishing section of the web site for details. Membership can be renewed by cash or cheque at Grahams tackle shop.

Sunday, 26 March 2023 12:38

Club awaits first springer

Salmon heading for a variety of destinations access the Ness system via the River Ness, giving Inverness Angling Club members and visitors the first opportunity to connect with running fish. But it’s easier said than done, as all anglers know.

Much sought after springers — multi sea winter fish and grilse — run the river to their native spawning grounds at the head of the system, in the waters of the River Garry, River Moriston and the smaller burns that feed Loch Garry, Loch Oich and Loch Ness.

Catches are few and far between right now, although the Oich and the Dochfour beat of the Ness have produced one or two fish. The club beats have seen some of the keenest anglers having a cast or two, especially at the Weir Pool where salmon tend to tarry before heading upstream.

That first fish of the season is eagerly waited. Donnie Urquhart was the successful member last year, claiming the Corie Horne Trophy for a springer of over 16 lbs caught and released at the Weir Pool on April 13.

Friday, 17 March 2023 17:18

Bught Road works

Traffic along Bught Road will be affected by road closures and diversions next week to allow a sewer survey to be carried out. But club members will continue to gain access to the Little Isle.

In talks with The Highland Council, club president Bill Byers has secured an agreement for members to access the Little Isle on production of their membership cards at the Ballifeary Lane mini roundabout.

Saturday, 11 March 2023 17:17

Redds appear healthy

Drone operator Marcus Valente has been working with Brian Shaw, river director of the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board, to check redds on the River Ness. Redds are vital to healthy salmon rivers, providing a range of gravel for spawning salmon and protection for hatching fish. Brian reports that the drone pictures show good areas of redds which will support spawning fish now and in future seasons.

Island beats: Looking down from the tail of the

MacIntyre to the General's Well and Provans 

Popular: The Little Isle Pool

Tuesday, 07 March 2023 15:57

Help illustrate the club brochure

Good fishing depends on good information. And Inverness Angling Club has always aimed to provide the best information on the club and its fishings. Its main brochure, first published in 2009 and reprinted in 2014, was described by one leading angling writer as the best angling club brochure he had ever seen.

As with most things, information gets out of date. Consequently, the club is currently working to update, improve and republish its brochure so that it continues to provide the best information possible for new members and visitors.

Text is crucial, and that is being developed. But, as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Good pictures will help to confirm the club beats of the River Ness as one of the best salmon and sea trout fisheries available at reasonable cost. We could do with some help in securing these images.

We need good pictures of anglers enjoying their sport on the various pools on the club beats. We need good images of salmon and the successful anglers, shown in the preferred way while still in the water or net. Action close ups and long shots will also be welcome.

We need the pictures, in as high resolution as possible, over the next month. All those used in the brochure will be credited to the photographers. Send them to the brochure editor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Friday, 03 March 2023 14:08

Melvin’s family thank club for support

The family of the late Melvin Smith, a long serving and much respected member of Inverness Angling Club, wish to thank the many members of the club for their attendance and support at his recent funeral service and committal.

They also appreciate the kindness of anglers and others who contributed so generously to a collection in Melvin’s memory. The sum of £345 — equivalent to £414 when tax relief is taken into account — will be donated on Melvin’s behalf to the Ness and Beauly Fisheries Trust.

Saturday, 25 February 2023 09:51

Tyer praises club class

Positive comments about Inverness Angling Club’s Cascade fly tying group have been welcomed by the class tutors and organiser. The message from tying beginner Mark Wilson, runner-up in the concluding class competition on Wednesday night, should help to encourage other local anglers to join the class when it re-starts in the autumn.

Mark’s message to organiser Alan Scott and tutors David Mateer and Graham MacKenzie thanked them for all the work that goes into organising the classes and tuition every week.

He continued: “I have enjoyed the craic, the guidance, the materials, etc in the classes from start to finish and learnt so much in the process — all for £2.00 a week! It is definitely the quickest hour and a half every week. Hopefully, the classes will kick off later this year when I’d plan to be there.”

He added: “In the meantime I’ll keep practicing the hackles, try and master squirrel tail and keep away from the head of the hook as much as I can!”

Wednesday, 22 February 2023 22:17

Fly tying teaches new skills

The Cascade fly tying group of Inverness Angling Club reached the end of its weekly close season sessions on Wednesday (February 22) with a well-contested challenge for the best flies of the night.

Fly tying beginners demonstrated the range of skills they had picked up over the period from tutors David Mateer and club honorary president Graham MacKenzie.

Organiser Alan Scott emphasised that all those who had taken part in the classes could consider themselves winners. But it was the custom of the final night to challenge participants to test their new-found skills by tying a salmon fly of their choice for judging by the tutors.

Charlie Dyce’s fly took the top slot, winning a full tying kit donated by club member Alan MacAulay. Runner-up was Mark Wilson who received a kit of fly tying materials donated by Graham MacKenzie. Commended was Jim Falconer who received a fly tying tool kit, also donated by Graham Mackenzie. All three received £20 vouchers for Grahams tackle shop, two funded by class fees and one donated by the shop.

Winners all: The happy group of tying trainees with tutors David Mateer (extreme left)

and Graham MacKenzie (extreme right)

Monday, 13 February 2023 20:05

Funeral service for Melvin

The funeral service for long-serving Inverness Angling Club member Melvin Smith will take place at 1215 tomorrow (Tuesday, February 14) in the funeral home of D Chisholm and Sons on Huntly Street, Inverness, thereafter to Kilvean Cemetery.

Melvin was a much respected angler, club member and friend and the River Ness will not seem the same without his presence and chat. Club members extend their condolences to his family.

Wednesday, 01 February 2023 12:34

Club opens new season

Inverness Angling Club celebrated the opening of the 2023 salmon season at the Mill Stream today when Ness fishery board river director Brian Shaw took the first cast of the year. The traditional blessing of the water with a splash of whisky was carried out by Neil Soutar, manager of the Holm Mills Shopping Village, who sponsors the event. After the formal ceremony club members and friends adjourned to the Mill restaurant to enjoy a tasty selection of bacon and sausage rolls, and tea and coffee.

The opening ceremlony was preceeded by the unveiling of a lifebelt, funded by the charitable efforts of Holm Mills staff.

Gathering: Piper Scott Hay leads anglers to the river

Blessing: Neil Soutar blesses the water

Opening: Brian Shaw makes the first cast of the season

Safety: Club president Bill Byers (right) thanks Neil Soutar and his staff for their charitable gift

Refreshments: A happy group in the Mill restaurant

Tuesday, 31 January 2023 19:21

Opening reminder

The opening ceremony for Inverness Angling Club’s River Ness fishings will be held at the Mill Stream Pool, adjacent to the Holm Mills Shopping Village, at 1000 for 1030 hours tomorrow (Wednesday, February 1).

Prior to that, at 0950 hours, a newly installed lifebelt — funded by the charitable efforts of Holm Mills staff — will be unveiled close to the anglers’ hut.

Tuesday, 31 January 2023 14:48

Eco survey recommends major changes

A River Ness habitat survey by eco-engineering company CBEC has made 18 recommendations, some radical but others highly deliverable. It was launched by NDSFB against a background of the river being the most heavily modified north of Aberdeen. There are many weirs and lades, historic re-alignments, bank revetments, gravel removal and tributary modifications.

CBEC recommendations range from weir removal or modification to re-naturalisation of the lades, croy removal, woody debris placement and tributary restoration.

Working with Inverness Angling Club, the board carried out juvenile surveys in the Ness Islands and Holm Mills lades. While these lades already support reasonable fish populations, it is believed that there is considerable scope for increased carrying capacity by introducing, or creating, more diverse habitat. 

The board’s priorities for 2023 include continuing consultations with Scottish Canals and Ness habitat projects .A lade’s project may be the first to be delivered.

Tuesday, 31 January 2023 14:10

Stock surveys show good results

Quantitative surveys of Ness System stocks generally show good results, with salmon found at every site. Three long-term sites on the River Ness main stem confirmed excellent densities of salmon fry and parr, and trout fry. The highest salmon fry density was found in the Coilte at Drumnadrochit.

On the River Ness, the highest salmon parr density was found in the lower Holm Mills lade while the upper Holm Mills lade site had the highest trout fry density. The lower Ness Islands lade had the highest trout parr density.

Tuesday, 31 January 2023 14:02

Smolt migration issues to be examined

The annual report of the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board (NDSFB) confirms that the most significant outcome of the Atlantic Salmon Trust smolt tracking project has been to provide solid data highlighting the impact of the Caledonian Canal on salmon.

River director Brian Shaw reported that the board had engaged regularly with Scottish Canals, at local and national level. The canal authority had agreed to commission an options appraisal to report on smolt migration issues. This should occur in 2023 and mitigation measures should start in 2024. A board proposal for a removable net at Dochgarroch was rejected but solutions continue to be investigated, including bubble curtains.

Tuesday, 31 January 2023 11:39

Hydro threatens Loch Ness levels

A “tsunami of interest” in pump storage hydro developments risks massive impact on Loch Ness and the River Ness.

The annual meeting of the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board (NDSFB) heard that the cumulative impact of present, planned and proposed schemes could result in daily fluctuations of up to one metre in the level of Loch Ness.

Outlining the potential problems, river director Brian Shaw explained: “Foyers Pump Storage Hydro (PSH) has been operational since 1974. Red John PSH gained planning approval in 2021 and the developer is in the process of selling on the site to a Scandinavian hydro company. Loch Kemp PSH commenced consultation process in January 2022, and intends to submit a planning application in April 2023.”

He added that the same developer had talked about a fourth scheme, which would have the same capacity as the other three—combined.

The cumulative impacts of three schemes were huge, said Brian — loch level change of some 280mm on a daily basis. A potential fourth scheme could result in daily fluctuations in Loch Ness level of up to one metre, and would require novel flow regulation at Dochfour Weir. And he pointed out that recent Scottish Government planning policy framework had a presumption in favour of pump storage hydro.

Other potential impacts include smolt migration through Loch Ness. While there have been no studies looking at the effect of PSH on Atlantic salmon smolt migration, the board is concerned. Smolts struggle to get out of natural lochs and PSH intakes have the potential to to cause delay and enhanced mortality.

Foyers PSH already has an impact on flows in the River Ness and this issue will only increase in magnitude. Studies have also shown that PSH results in elevated temperatures in both the upper and lower water bodies. This needs to be studied as part of the cumulative impact assessment.

Monday, 30 January 2023 16:12

Season opening to proceed as planned

As water levels are unlikely to rise, Inverness Angling Club can confirm that the opening ceremony of the River Ness salmon season will take place, as planned, at the Mill Stream Pool adjacent to Holm Mills Shopping Village at 10 for 10.30 am on Wednesday (February 1).

Neil Soutar, manager of the shopping village, will bless the water with a splash of whisky. The first cast of the season will be taken by Brian Shaw, director of the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board. Club president Bill Byers will chair proceedings.

Prior to the opening ceremony, at 9.50 am, a newly installed lifebelt will be unveiled by the Mill Stream. The lifebelt was purchased through charitable efforts by the staff of Holm Mills Shopping Village. It follows staff success in raising funds for the purchase and installation of a defibrillator near the mill entrance last year.

Wednesday, 25 January 2023 11:21

Club loses long serving member

It is with great sadness that we have to confirm the sudden death this morning of Melvin Smith, one of the Inverness Angling Club’s most respected and longest serving members.

Melvin, who was 91, had experienced health problems over many years. But he refused to let them affect his care for his wife, Dorothy, his dedication to maintaining friendships or casting a fly over the pools of his beloved River Ness.

A favoured location when not fishing was the Little Isle where he thoroughly enjoyed the ‘craic’ with club members and visitors. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him, but especially by club members who enjoyed his company over so many years.

Respected: Melvin Smith pictured by the Mill Stream Pool of the River Ness


And successful: Melvin with a lovely salmon taken in his favourite Weir Pool

Friday, 20 January 2023 21:45

River director to launch new season

Inverness Angling Club has invited Brian Shaw, director of the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board, to take the first cast on season opening day at 1000 for 1030 hours on Wednesday, February 1.

The ceremony is planned for the Mill Stream, with the kind sponsorship of Neil Soutar, manager of the Holm Mills Shopping Centre. Neil will bless the water with the traditional splash of whisky. Bacon rolls with tea or coffee will be served in the Holm Hills restaurant following the opening.

River levels will be monitored prior to opening day and the location will be confirmed through the club web site by Monday, January 30, at the latest. Should river levels be too high at the Mill Stream, the ceremony will be transferred to the Little Isle.

Friday, 06 January 2023 17:42

NDSFB annual meeting

The annual public meeting of the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board will be held in the clubhouse of Highland Rugby Club on Monday, January 30, at 7pm.

The meeting will consider the activities of the board over the past year, presented in 2022 annual report and accounts, and set the board’s priorities for the next year. A question and answer session will follow.

As places are limited, Inverness Angling Club members who would like to attend should register their interest by contacting Claire Mackay at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01463 796057.


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