Page last updated at 11:57 GMT, Friday, 9 January 2009

Salmon angling trophy resurrected

Malloch Challenge Trophy
The trophy will go to the person who catches the heaviest salmon

One of the most prestigious trophies in Scottish angling is to be resurrected after an absence of ten years.

The Malloch Challenge Trophy will be awarded to the angler catching the heaviest salmon of the season.

The solid silver model of a leaping salmon was first awarded in 1972 for a 43lb fish caught on the Tweed.

A combination of a withdrawal of sponsorship and stringent conservation measures led to the ending of the competition in 1999.

That year, an angler who caught a 33lb salmon on the Spey was awarded the trophy.

Over the 28 years of the competition the winning fish was landed from a variety of rivers including the Dee, Spey, Tweed, Tay and Naver.

The trophy has recently been acquired by the Tay Salmon Foundation who were keen to resurrect the competition.

The winning fish must be caught on a fly and be released alive back into the water.

It will be keenly contested with plenty of healthy rivalry between rivers
John Milligan
Tay Salmon Foundation

Chairman of the foundation and Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board John Milligan said: "The Tay Board is delighted to have been able to acquire what was for decades the most coveted award in the Scottish angling world.

"Now that the Malloch Trophy has been brought out of retirement, over the next 11 months we look forward to receiving entries from rivers across Scotland.

"I have no doubt that it will be keenly contested with plenty of healthy rivalry between rivers".

Robert Rattray, the new secretary for the trophy, added: "It is most pleasing that the Malloch Trophy has been re-instated.

"In the last year or so we have seen something of a resurgence in the numbers of very large salmon in Scottish rivers, so I have no doubt the trophy will spawn more interest than ever.

"It is particularly heartening that from now on it will be closely associated with conservation - given that only salmon that are safely returned to the water will be eligible."

The salmon season opens on some of Scotland's northern rivers - including the Helmsdale, Thurso, Naver, Borgie, Oykel, Cassley and Carron - on Monday.

It opens on the Tay on Thursday.

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