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Thread: Incident at Carron Reservoir

  1. #1
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    Default Incident at Carron Reservoir

    Didn't think this still happened in Scotland.

    Anyway, had a very nice paddle, was met near the getout by a fisheries manager who demanded to see my "paperwork" then insisted I would need to ask him for permission before paddling there again. He expressed reasonable concerns about spread of waterborne diseases but wasn't interested in hearing my assertion that my boat is clean and dry before being put in a new waterway.

    I got the overall impression that were I to ask "permission" his intention would be to make it as difficult as possible then finally insist on hammering the disinfectant of his choice over my boat prior to putting in. Presumably something noxious/caustic to make sure I didn't di it again.

    Anyway. I have drafted a letter to the director of the fishery in question (as registered at companies house). Comments welcome before I send it. Said comments may even be "Don't write to them directly, leave it to the council access officer."?

    Today I enjoyed a paddle around Carron Reservoir in my open Canadian canoe. On returning to the Eastern end of reservoir where my vehicle which was parked on a public road, I was waved over to the end of the mooring jetty by a fisherman. A short, shouted conversation ensued in which he asked me to show him my paperwork. I replied I did not have any paperwork. He then insisted I needed to ask his permission before paddling on the reservoir again to which I replied I would not.

    As this was clearly a conversation that was likely to go nowhere and was being held from the position of me being in a small, un-powered water craft ten feet off a windward shore in a brisk breeze, I opted to continue on my way.

    I was approached by the same fisherman while I was loading my canoe who again asserted that I needed his permission to paddle in the reservoir. He expressed concern that I may be spreading water-borne diseases on my boat, at which point I assured him that my boat is always washed of any contamination and dry inside and out before moving it to a different waterway. He said he had no way of knowing that to which I replied he would just have to take my word for it.

    At this point the fisherman started taking photographs of both me and my vehicle so I reciprocated by filming him. I provided him with my name, he in turn identified himself as ******, manager of the fishery on the reservoir and re-asserted that I was not allowed on the reservoir without first seeking his permission. At this point he accused me of “being rude” . I can only assume this related to me cutting short our initial conversation. At no time was I in any way aggressive or vulgar in my language although as a parting shot Mr ***** did accuse me of “F**king with his livelihood.”.


    As you should be aware, for the last fourteen years, Scotland has enjoyed access legislation which has conferred a right of responsible access to inland waterways to users of un-powered water craft. I consider myself to fall under that category, always being careful to pass clear of any fishermen and well out of reach of their lines. I ensure my boat is clean and dry before putting it on a new body of water and I make sure I do not access the water and land approaching the water where it is likely to interfere with other water users.

    While the Scottish access code for responsible access to inland waterways does make an exception for waterways which are “used intensively” for fishing. I do not consider low teens of boats present on a reservoir covering 980 acres to fall under any reasonable definition of intensive use.

    As such can I draw your attention to the Scottish access code website which details the rights and responsibilities of both the users and managers of land in Scotland. I feel that asking permission in advance from a fisheries manager prior to accessing such a large body of water is not in keeping with either the letter or spirit of the 2003 Land Reform legislation. It may be pertinent to review your policies and train your staff as to what demands they are and are not entitled to make of the public in respect to access to both the land around the reservoir and the water itself.

    http://www.outdooraccess-scotland.com/

    I have copied this letter to the access officer at Canoe Scotland for their information but would point out that I am in no way affiliated with this body.

    I have also copied the access officer for Stirling Council who I am sure would be happy to offer advise on how best to ensure compliance with the relevant legislation.
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  2. #2
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    That's totally out of order and goes against the Land Reform Act (2003).

    I paddled there last November and there were various signs up (in Polish!) which I think were trying discourage unlicensed fishing. I had the loch to myself that day though, with no-one else around.

    But if you're not fishing they have no right to try and stop you being on the water.

    "I stepped up on the platform. The man gave me the news. He said - you must be joking, son, where did you get those shoes?"

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  3. #3
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    A well constructed letter following a responsible reaction to a potentially aggressive situation. Well handled mate.
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

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    I would only remark that the word in the last line of your letter should be "advice" (noun) rather than "advise" (verb). Good luck.
    Not in Oxford any more...

  5. #5
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    I understand that the reservoir is owned by Scottish Water (still a public body) and I would imagine that they are the only body who can legitimately restrict access under the Land Reform Act unless some clause in the lease of the fishing rights grants exclusive use. If this was the case one would expect a notice to this effect at the reservoir to make people aware that the Land Reform Act rights to others were curtailed.

    Perhaps a copy of the letter should got to Scottish Water too so they are aware of the actions of the fisheries people.

    You can find a PDF document of what Scottish Water say about your rights here there is nothing that prevents you from using the reservoirs for responsible access and just has a note to be mindful of fishermen and give them plenty of space and a note on boat hygiene.
    Last edited by Quercus; 14th-May-2017 at 10:42 PM.

  6. #6

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    This is Scottish Water's published info on access to their reservoirs:

    https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/asse...ccesslores.pdf

    The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 creates a right of responsible access to land and water in Scotland. This includes access to reservoirs for water based activities.
    Seems pretty conclusive!

  7. #7
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    Cheers for that. I will CC scottish waters access department on it and add a link to their access policy in the letter

    Mrs stinkwheel suggested I also make clear I was not engaged in fishing or carrying any fishing related equipment.
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  8. #8
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    I did not have a problem when I paddled it , in fact I talked to four fishermen in two boats who had no problem with me being there at all , they just wanted to know what it was like to fish from a canoe , ps I was not fishing
    hope you get some answers

  9. #9
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    Doesn't seem unreasonable to me so I'm with sending it ... once adding the advised part from your Mrs and taking the advice of MaryInOxford (Formerly) about advise .... if you see what I mean

    It's actually a well thought out and written missive.
    MarkL
    www.canoemassifcentral.com
    Canoe outfitting packages in the Massif Central


  10. #10
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    Good letter. I love that we are consistently the ones being polite.

    In a recent encounter Pete Starr and I had with a disgruntled angler we made every attempt to placate him and I even apologised that he had felt the need to be upset. It didn't ruin our day and I recommend we go back to focusing on how much fun we are having as quickly as possible following such an encounter.

    Please keep us posted on any replies you receive.
    "I'd far rather be happy than right any day"..........Slartibartfast

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