We need your help!!

We would appreciate your help in raising funds for a project very dear to our hearts – saving the iconic Atlantic Salmon. We have commissioned a video to highlight key aspects of this remarkable fish and its environment; its importance to Scotland and its life cycle including its incredible migration and return to its native river. We will interview long serving ghillies, the traditional knowledge keepers of the fish and the rivers, and venerable anglers on what it was like when salmon numbers were at their peak and what it is like now. We will ask them about the various pressures on Salmon and their environment and finally, discuss what is being, and must be, done.

Working with environmental groups during our SmartRivers projects it became obvious that the general public is aware of issues with salmon numbers but are generally unaware of its possible extinction, the reasons why, and what devastating effect its extinction would have on the general environment in Scotland and, closer to home, in the catchment of the mighty Tay.

The video is being professionally recorded and edited and will cost around £20000 to produce. To reach that total the Tay Ghillies Association will contribute £10000 from its own funds and hope to raise the balance through donations from parties who are similarly concerned about the future of the Salmon.

If you think you can help please contact the TGA Secretary at sec@tga.co.uk


At the Ghillies’ Social in October 2022, one of our guests, Clare Cooper, co–founder of the Cateran Eco Museum, got talking to George McInnes a TGA Life Member and “Father of the Tay Ghillies”. Afterwards she said how enthralled she was with the meeting and said that we must capture the memories of George and other long served ghillies before those memories were gone forever. Through discussion, we decided to expand the extent of the project to also cover what it is like now, what the reasons are for the decline and what we must do.

The film will be professionally filmed and edited by a leading media company and is hoped, funds permitting, to be ready by the end of 2023. In parallel, the Cateran Eco Museum, and Bioregioning Tayside will commission a mobile exhibition, which will accompany the film, with both touring to local communities in Tayside.

Ian Gordon, from the Spey, led the first set of interviews at the Taymount Hut, interviewing Tony Black from Murthly, Sandy McIntosh from Kinkell and Grant Kellie from the Ericht plus anglers Ted Eadie and David Brand from Perth and District Anglers. Later, Cohn O’Dea hosted George McInnes to explore his remarkable career and his thoughts on how it was and what it is like now.

The initial video will cover all aspects to ensure that the extinction message is real and stressing the need for action. There is also scope to have other videos from the overall material such as the memories of how it used to be and some outtakes (of which there are quite a few!!)

The video will also be made available on social media and other outlets to ensure as wide an audience as possible, including Members of the Scottish Parliament, and Scottish Government Ministers. It is important that decision makers in Government and in Government organisations understand the issues and the depth of feeling there is amongst those close to the river system and this iconic fish. It will also be suitable for educational activities such as Salmon in the Classroom.

We can also make the video available to other groups in Scotland who can add their own “front end” to ensure the story is topical in their location.

Information, education and “Action Now” is the goal. The TGA is now on a mission to meet that goal and to challenge all stakeholders in the Tay and in the general environment to act now.

Thank you in advance.

Cohn O’Dea

Chairman, Tay Ghillies Association