It has become more vital than ever to stop poachers in the Ness river system now that anglers are not around to report the lawbreakers.

That is the warning from the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board which is facing major challenges associated with the Covid-19 lockdown – but which is determined that its water bailiffs will be the ‘thin green line’ against illegal exploitation of their fragile salmon populations.

Chris Conroy, the board’s river director, said: “Fisheries management in Scotland is funded by levying a non-domestic rate on salmon fishery owners. Without anglers visiting our rivers, the fisheries have lost their income.