Polmont reservoir target for vandals and poachers

Millhall Reservoir bosses are trying to track down what seems to be a family of three filmed poaching trout and leaving three of the fish dead in the water.

By Craig Goldthorp
Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 7:30 am

Around 5.30pm on Saturday, April 11, CCTV footage shows a dark haired and stockily built man and woman – in their late 20s or early 30s – and a blonde girl aged around six, in a boat fishing illegally after defying coronavirus lockdown rules by entering the closed Polmont site.

The man, wearing a black jacket and yellow baseball cap with red rim, is seen feeding the fish Quavers crisps on a hook to try and catch them during the disturbing 30-second video.

The Falkirk Herald has learned that the trio ended up catching ten rainbow trout before returning them, although a couple of fish were dead in the water. And a 5lb brown trout was also caught and killed.

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Millhall Reservoir treasurer George Telford (55), of Polmont, said he had reported the poaching to police, added: “For somebody to do that to a local community business is devastating.

“We want to prevent people poaching the water because it’s theft at the end of the day.

“It’s costing me in the region of £800 a week to put fish in there.

“Nobody catches and kills brown trout, that is a sacrilege.

“There’s a lot of fish moving in the water and people can see them.

“Since the poaching happened last week I contacted all the members and they are now watching it round the clock”

George said he’d spotted the male poacher back at Millhall Reservoir last Saturday, carrying similar fishing gear, but the intruder had swiftly left the scene upon seeing him.

And, sadly for George, the poaching incident is not the only crime he and his colleagues have had to endure recently.

Firstly, there was a housebreaking from the main clubhouse at Millhall Reservoir between 9.30pm and 10.30pm on Monday, February 24, when two men were caught on CCTV breaking into a container and stealing three petrol strimmers and a Stihl saw, worth around £2000.

And the most recent incident between 8pm on Friday, April 17 and 10am the next day, saw an outhouse being vandalised by the same two men who fled the scene after apparently spotting CCTV cameras.

George said: “Things like this have just started happening since the lockdown. There has been an increase in people coming round the fishery because we’ve heavily stocked it for the start of the season.

“It’s like a fair up there. There are people having barbecues and there is no police presence.

“You wouldn’t believe the number of people who are walking around the golf course and the fishery.

“I’ve contacted the police and said: ‘You need to come up here and actually see what’s going on here on a 
Friday, Saturday and Sunday’.”

The Falkirk Herald contacted Police Scotland about the alleged crimes, with a spokesman saying that they had not received any reports of poaching at the Millhall 
Reservoir.

The spokesman said that enquiries were ongoing into the housebreaking and vandalism incidents.