FISHERMEN in Peeblesshire are hoping to reel in members of the community to form a local club after fears were cast on the future of salmon fishing.

Anglers are fighting to retain the Crown Water beat, which runs from Manor Bridge downstream to Haylodge, and is under threat of being privatised.

For the last 50 years fishermen have cast a fly over the fast-flowing waters of the River Tweed.

But the scenic stretch is now up for grabs after Live Borders, which manages leisure facilities, decided not to renew the lease from Crown Estates.

Following this news, fishermen got together to hatch a plan and save this popular beat.

And with the support of Peebles Community Trust may have the bait they need to tempt locals to form a club and take on the lease.

Member of the Peeblesshire Trout Fishing Association, Kenny Annand said there was an “encouraging response” from angers and concerned residents who feel the end of salmon fishing would be a great loss to the community.

He said: “I have been in discussions with the agent, who manages the leases on behalf of the Crown Estates Scotland, and I am very pleased to report that they have been very supportive of the plan to form a local club or association.

“They have even offered to substantially reduce the rent payable to enable a local club to take on the lease, subject to that club being able to demonstrate, they can manage the beat and permit sales effectively.”

The Peebles Community Trust has offered a helping hand with assistance in setting up and management of a local club.

“They have also pointed out the possibility of using new legislation, in the form of the Scottish Crown Estates Bill,” added Kenny.

“It turns out that there is provision within that bill for certain Crown Estate assets to be transferred into community ownership subject to meeting the right criteria.

“We are hopeful, that with the assistance of Peebles Community Trust, we might be able to submit an application at some point in the future.”

But if there is to be any possibility of local anglers fishing the Crown Water this season, the Peeblesshire community needs to take action now.

All anglers and other interested parties are being invited to attend a meeting in the new School Brae Community Hub on Tuesday, July 23 at 7pm, to discuss proposals and form a new salmon fishing club.

For more information contact Kenny Annand on 07712045364 or email