Michael Starkey and Robert Semple teamed up to make sure that two of the biggest salmon ever caught, not just in Dumfries and Galloway but the UK, are now on display locally for people to see and their unveiling took place last Thursday at Lockerbie Library.
These extraordinary sized vertebrates are a sight to behold with one totalling 54 and half inches, whilst the other one measures 49 and half. The largest of the two was originally caught by John James Varrie when fishing from the River Annan in 1929, which was noted for containing big salmon, with the catch weighing 51 and half pounds. And the smaller specimen still weighs a staggering 48 and half pounds. It was caught by Hugh Muir in 1936 during a visit to the area.
For many years the salmon were stored away gathering dust in Lockerbie Town Hall before the pair decided to take action. Michael said: “These two incredible fish were donated to the town of Lockerbie and I thought what a shame they are not on display. Bob and myself have made this happen, I extremely glad to see them get recognised.
“Fish being caught of this particular size in rivers, you’ll never see something like this again due to global warming and marine harvesting.”
He added: “It’s us as humans that have created these problems which are halting fish growing to these amazing sizes.”
Both salmons have been placed in glass cases thanks to volunteers courtesy of blacksmith Alan Thompson producing the ironwork to fix the cases to the wall, as well as help coming from Gun and Fishing Tackle Makers in Carlisle.