The former District Salmon Fisheries Boards of Loch Roag, East Lewis, West Lewis, Harris, North Uist and South Uist were amalgamated in 2001 to form The Western Isles District Salmon Fisheries Board (WIDSFB). WIDSFB is one of Scotland’s 41 District Salmon Fishery Boards. Although DSFB’s have their origin in the Salmon fisheries acts introduced in the mid 1800’s, their constitution was changed in the 1986 Salmon Act (now consolidated into the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003). The powers and duties of a DSFB are summarised below:
- To act to protect and improve Salmon and Sea trout fisheries
- To impose a levy for the improvement of fisheries
- To appoint bailiffs to enforce fisheries legislation
- Exempt persons from certain provisions of the law for scientific purposes
- To appoint and sue in the name of the Clerk
- To maintain a list of fishery proprietors from within the Fisheries District
- To produce an Annual Report
- To call a triennial electoral meeting
The Western Isles District Salmon Fisheries Board has no direct employees but appoints a Chairman, Clerk and Superintendent. The Western Isles District Salmon Fisheries Board and Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust work closely together whilst ensuring they retain separate identities. The powers of the Board are limited to Salmon and Sea trout although the Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust’s remit covers all species of freshwater fish. The current Fisheries Board was elected in 2013. See members.
Chairman: Giles Curtis
Giles Curtis is a member of the Grimersta Syndicate, the seven year chairmanship of which gave him considerable insight into the life and work in the Outer Hebrides. He is passionate about loch fishing for salmon and grilse in the Hebrides and feels that there should be no limits to what is done to protect and enhance the most precious of Hebridean resources, the wild migratory fish.
Giles Curtis was originally a civil engineer after graduating from the University of St Andrews and now runs his own business providing serviced offices in locations from Edinburgh to London to Bath.
Clerk: Innes Morrison
Innes has worked on North Harris Estate from a young age, employed in many different roles under several different owners. He has now held the position of Estate Manager for Amhuinnsuidhe Castle Estate for a number of years. This has allowed him the opportunity to fulfil his passion in fishing and field sports, and to manage the seven loch systems and create a very successful fishery.
Innes likes to spend his spare time out on the hills and lochs with rod and gun, and to follow the football and attend other organisations in the local community. However, his growing family put pressures on his time and these interests don’t get as much of a look in as they once did!