ANGLERS are to take legal action against white water rafters after a dispute over access.
The proprietors of the Upper Tay fishings have been advised by the Local Access Forum (LAF) that they have no alternative but to go to court to seek enforcement of the Forum’s recommendations.
This latest development follows years of discussions and negotiations regarding access for rafters.
When rafting first appeared on the Upper Tay and before access legislation had been introduced, those with proprietorial interests offered, free of charge, access and egress for rafting.
But over the years, since Land Reform was introduced, they claim rafting activity has increased dramatically, to the extent that many fishers no longer wish to fish these waters due to the excessive disturbance and noise from rafting activity.
A new agreement which limited access for each group to certain days was rejected by rafting companies and fishing companies decided to take legal action.
Angus Crow, Chairman of the Lower Grandtully Timeshares, says: “It is so sad that it has had to come to this. We have a shared interest in the river and have been working through the accepted channels allowed for within the access legislation, to hopefully reach an agreement which allows both the rafting and fishing business to flourish in this part of the river.
“As it is, the present system is unworkable and whilst the rafting businesses expand and improve in their profitability, the fishing interests are on their knees. Most of the fishing beats in this area are seldom fished now. Tenants come once and never return and one ofScotland’s heritage assets is being decimated.
“We are utterly frustrated that whilst we are prepared to accept, albeit reluctantly, the recommendations of the Local Access Forum, the rafting companies are not, and without going to court we are powerless to defend our property assets and hard won business.
“When the Land Reform legislation was brought forward it is clear that such action by the commercial access takers was not envisaged by the legislators.”
A writ seeking a ruling from the court is being served onPerthand Kinross Council.