FISHING permits for the River Bervie are finally available for angling enthusiasts to purchase in the Burgh.
It is the culmination of years of work by locals to protect residents’ historic rights to “tak reid fish” from the river, as laid out in the 1342 Royal Charter issued by King David II, but also to ensure that the river is properly managed and maintained in a responsible manner.
The permitting system is to be managed by the Inverbervie and District Angling Association (IDAA) on behalf of the Esk District Salmon Fisheries Board, and permits are available from the Post Office and the Crown Hotel.
All anglers, including residents require a permit to fish legally on the water. Residents will be charged an administration fee of £6/£4 for an annual permit or £20/£10 to become a member of the IDAA, inclusive of permits.
There will be a limited number of permits available for those who live outwith Inverbervie but who wish to become an associated member of the club, priced at £20. More information on this is available from either the Post Office or the Crown Hotel.
Six day permits a day are available to purchase, priced at £10/£5, or a weekly permit is also available for £20/£10.
These have been limited by the IDAA in a bid to ensure that the river is not over-fished. Every angler will also be required to fill out a catch return form to allow the Esk Fisheries Board to monitor the river’s performance, which will be issued along with the permit and information and maps of the river.
Two members of the IDAA are also currently undergoing their bailiff training and will be in charge of policing the river.
Secretary of the IDAA, Neil Mclean who has been instrumental in bringing the process to a head, said he was very pleased that issues had been resolved.
“I felt strongly that the river should be managed by the village as it is an asset to the burgh and it should be run by locals,” he said. “The committee of the IDAA are against any kind of illegal fishing - it all has to be legal and above board under the stewardship of the Esk District Salmon Fisheries Board (EDSFB) and we are having to prove ourselves as a management team to the EDSFB but at the moment they are quite happy at the way we have gone about our business.
“The river boards want to get their fisheries into the best condition they can for the return of the salmon each year and if there is a section of the river that is not pulling in the same direction as everybody else it causes problems.
“I want to get the River Bervie back on the map, raise its profile and play an active role in making sure it runs the same way as everybody else. We’ve got grandchildren that live in the village and I want them to be able to enjoy the river as much as I did when I was little - that’s what has inspired me most of all.”
Mr Mclean expressed his thanks to all those involved who helped resolve the situation, including community councillor Alick Smith, Marshall Halliday of the EDSFB, Mark Bilsby of the Dee District Salmon Fisheries Board, Laurencekirk-based solicitor Norman Banski, David MacDonald of the Stonehaven and District Angling Association, Dave Smith, and the Laurencekirk and District Angling Association.
Residents and other interested parties are invited along to a meeting of the IDAA on March 8 in the Crown Hotel at 7.30pm to find out more.