River Dee salmon season officially opened by Fast Show comedian Paul

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The start of the 2012 salmon fishing season on the River Dee was celebrated yesterday (Wednesday), with an official opening ceremony on the riverbank by Potarch Bridge.

Actor, writer, comedian and regular Dee fisher Paul Whitehouse was guest of honour and formally opened the river.

It is understood that Paul’s passion for fishing first brought him to the Park Estate near Drumoak 15 years ago, alongside his father Harry, and he is now a regular visitor to Royal Deeside.

The area made such a striking impression that Paul, best known for The Fast Show and his work alongside Harry Enfield in sketch-show Harry & Paul, has returned in September of each year since and was described by a local ghillie as an “accomplished salmon fisherman.”

The opening ceremony at Potarch Bridge took place by kind permission of Ballogie Estate.

Mark Bilsby, River Director of the Dee District Salmon Fishery Board and River Dee Trust, said: “As the new season gets underway, we are very pleased to announce that Scottish Government has indicated approval, in principle, for our application to make the two week extension to the salmon angling season permanent.

“We expect the legislation to be laid before the Scottish Parliament in the near future. The impact of changes in the ocean, leading to later salmon runs, has prompted us to forge ahead with this adjustment to the season.

“We are confident that having first checked that there would be no damage to salmon populations and with our tried and tested conservation policy the extension is appropriate for the river during these difficult economic times.”