Page last updated at 11:34 GMT, Wednesday, 12 August 2009 12:34 UK

Police patrols against poaching

Police car
Police said poachers faced a prison sentence

Police will patrol rivers on the Isle of Skye following reports of illegal netting of salmon.

Northern Constabulary said it was believed poachers had already taken fish from rivers at Snizort, Staffin and Lealt.

Snizort is one of the island's best known salmon and trout rivers.

The force said it was reported that nets were set up to capture Atlantic salmon attempting to make their way into the rivers from the sea to spawn.

'Million pounds'

Peter Kinloch, chairman of the Skye District Salmon Fisheries Board, said the action of poachers could have a disastrous effect on "fragile" salmon populations.

He added: "This could have a knock-on effect on the local economy, which benefits from several million pounds generated from the salmon fishing and associated tourism in the area."

DC Jamie Stewart warned those caught poaching faced jail.

He said: "Net fishing for salmon on rivers and subsequently buying or selling of illegally caught salmon is an offence and anyone caught committing these offences will be arrested.

"Their equipment and vehicles will be seized and if convicted can face up three months in prison and large fines."

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