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Anglers Warned under new Police Powers

Over the past week we have received numerous reports of anglers continuing to flaunt the current lock-down restrictions by going fishing on the Lowland Canals. 

This morning I was contacted by two SFCA members who were ordered to return home by Police Scotland officers, and were lucky not to have received fines under the new Police Powers which came into force on Thursday.  The individuals in question genuinely did not think that they were doling anything wrong.  This made me realise that as the controlling body for the fishing on the Lowland Canals we should probably have issued a notice all of our members.

Fishing is NOT considered to be an essential activity during this period of lockdown, nor is it justifiable as your one piece of exercise per day which should be conducted in open spaces close to your home.  You should not be driving to go and do your exercise.

Scottish Canals have not formally closed the towpaths along the canal network but have, like us, strongly recommended that the public follow the government guidance and stay at home during this unprecedented period of lockdown.  They have further stated that individuals using the towpaths must maintain the government mandated 2 mtr social distancing rule.  For this reason there is no fishing permitted on the Canals at this time as, along most of its length, other members of the public using the towpath would necessarily have to come within 2 mtrs of an angler who was sitting fishing on the canal.

If we all follow the guidelines on social distancing, only leave the house for essential reasons and wash our hands regularly with soap and water, we can all help to stop the spread of the virus and ultimately save lives.   Doing this will also help to significantly reduce the time until the current restrictions can be lifted and we can all get back out on bank fishing again.

Stay safe.

Gus Brindle, Chairman SFCA

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