Seal gets his own fishing license!


April 21, 2003, 11:46 PM
From the Times, London (,,2-654976,00.html):

April 22, 2003

Seal of approval for the fisherman they could not catch

By Shirley English

A GREY seal trapped in waters teeming with salmon south of Loch Lomond was yesterday awarded an official £150 fishing permit by the angling club that threatened to shoot him less than a week ago.

Salty the seal, who is also known as André, enjoyed his first day of legal fishing since becoming trapped in a shallow stretch of the River Leven, near Balloch, while attempting to make his way back to sea.

For the past year he has been feeding on salmon in the loch, annoying local anglers, who wanted him shot to protect fish stocks. After a public outcry they granted the seal a stay of execution last Wednesday to allow marine rescuers to try to capture him and move him back to sea.

The rescue mission has so far drawn a blank, with the seal outwitting attempts by divers and marine experts to lure him into their nets.

In what was either a generous act of forgiveness or an admission of defeat, the Loch Lomond Angling Improvement Association yesterday gave the two-year-old seal a legal permit, under the name of André, No 999, featuring a passport-sized photograph, to fish until October 31.

Michael Brady, the association’s chairman, said: “André has been committing a poaching offence by eating all our salmon. He has already cost us thousands of pounds in fish and through loss of permit sales, so the least we could do until he is caught is to make it legal. He has a lot of personality, but he couldn’t possibly defend himself in court.”

Over the past week the seal has delighted hundreds of onlookers by steadfastly refusing to be rescued. On Sunday 20 divers, including members of the International Rescue Corps, whose last big mission was the Indian earthquake, failed to tempt him into their weighted nets.

Instead, the seal played ball with a buoy, frolicked with a pet dog and swam under or around the carefully laid traps as the divers looked on.

In a letter to his newest member, Mr Brady wrote: “We have decided to issue you with a fishing permit for the season. This will allow you to fish in Loch Lomond and the River Leven. Last year some of your friends (two otters) moved into the River Endrick, so you may wish to visit them and (unfortunately for us) share a salmon or two with them.”

It is thought that the seal arrived in Loch Lomond last year after following fish from the River Clyde. Earlier this month, as his mating instinct kicked in and he made moves to return to the sea, he became trapped in shallow waters. Rescue attempts will restart today.

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April 22, 2003, 08:38 AM
Reminds me of a few years back when at least one 6' alligator near a tributary to Lake Lewisville just north of us was making the rounds to some farm ponds and stock tanks. They had him located and "surrounded" in little private lake known to be about 18' deep.

Local game warden was quoted in newspaper to the effect of "He is down there somewhere in HIS environment and not mine." To the best of my knowledge, they never caught him ... :D :eek: :eek: ;)

April 22, 2003, 09:49 AM
The world is so much more fun with a sense of humor. :)

- Gabe

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